Here is a Hot Water Heater I repaired today. The problem was that the water was hot at first then quickly got cold.
Here’s what I found….
The first thing was that the thermostat here had failed. It no longer “clicked” when you turned it all the way up and all the way down. I found that it had failed in the “on” position and it also caused the Heating Element to burn out.
There was two elements, one worked and one didn’t…that’s why the water was hot at first, then quickly got cold.
Removing the thermostat is simple, make sure the power is off, double check then re-check that the power is off!!! Unscrew the wires and pull the tabs up (shown with arrows) and slip it out…
The heating element is shown here.
But first….you must drain your tank….
Today I had a more difficult problem because the drain had frozen, so instead of doing it the easy way with a water hose, I actually had to remove the element and let the water fly!! It took 11, 5 gallon buckets almost full of water to remove it all….Got quite messy…
Remember to make sure you turn off the cold water supply to the hot water heater. Releasing the pop-off valve at the top of the water heater can allow an air-break allowing the water to drain faster as well.
Again, making sure the power is off, remove the wires. Then as you can see a couple of pictures above here…. there is a large nut that is actually built onto the element. Turn ONLY the silver nut part, do NOT use the plastic casing around the wires to turn the element.
This is the new heating element going back into the hot water heater…Make sure you match the exact wattage element…
Remember to re-fill the heater before you turn it on!!
I leave the pop-off valve open and turn the water back on, then wait 5 or so minutes until it gets full and quickly shut it off when I hear water going through it.
Make sure all your shields are back in place, turn the breaker back on, (hopefully there are no sparks…haha) and listen for the water to start to boil!!
“Happy Hot Shower!”