If you turn on the faucet and the water coming out is cold something is most likely wrong with your hot water heater. Once you go through the list below you should be able to identify what is wrong with your hot water heater.
The hot-water heater is not getting power
All you need to do to find this out is to check your hot-water heaters circuit breaker (or fuse). Go to the service panel, check the hot water heater’s breaker, and see if it has been tripped. If the breaker has been tripped, carefully switch it off, then back on again. If the breaker has not been tripped, try checking the high-temperature limit on the hot-water heater. If it is too low, try resetting it.
- Make sure to turn off the power to the hot-water heater. Go to the service panel, and flip the breaker off.
- Next, we need to remove the access panel.
- Remove any safety guards or insulation.
- Press the red reset button for the thermostat.
- Put everything back together.
- Turn the breaker back on.
That should have solved your problem but if it did the next step is to check if the thermostat is receiving power. Use a multi-meter to test if power is going to the terminals for the thermostat. Be very careful while doing this.
If the thermostat is receiving power and the reset button didn’t work, it’s time to check the heating element.
Broken heating element
First, let’s check if the heating element is receiving power. The first step would be to use a multi-meter and check if the heating element is receiving power at its terminals. Be very careful while doing this because it has to be done with the power on.
If the heating element is receiving power then the next step would be to check if the heating element has gone bad.
- Turn the power to the hot water heater off using the breaker box.
- Remove the wires from the heating elements terminal connections.
- Set your multimeter to check continuity.
- Touch the multimeter to both sides of the terminal block and check for continuity.
- If there is infinite resistance then the heating element has gone bad and needs to be replaced.
Replacing a heating element is fairly easy, you just use a water hose to drain the tank by turning the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Once the tank is empty you can easily unscrew the heating element from the tank and replace it with a new one.