My new water heater does not heat water. I just moved into a new home. The electric water heater was turned off at the circuit breaker panel. I turned it back on. I have given the water heater 3 hours to heat water. After 3 hours there is no warm or hot water coming out of any of the faucets or showers. I am going to reset it using the breaker in another hour. If an electric water heater does not heat the water after 3 hours, is the water heater bad or is possibly NO power going to it?
First check to see that the water heater is getting power. You should be able to hear it actually heating the water if it is getting power and you just turned it ON with the breaker. Use a multimeter if needed. Also, It may be possible the breaker was not turned ON properly. Turn the breaker for the electric water heater all the way to the OFF position and then all the way to the ON position. You should hear a click as the breaker switch goes into the ON position. But yes, go ahead and reset the water heater using the breaker. By resetting it, you will stop the heating process for a few moments but this will not have any issues with the heating process as turning the breaker off for a few minutes will not slow down the heating of the water.
An electric water heater should begin to give hot or warm water within about 15 minutes when initially turned on. There are 2 heating elements in an electric water heater. The top/upper element is commonly known as a fast recovery element. This means the top heating element should heat enough of the water in the upper portion of the water tank to supply some hot water within about 15 minutes.
HOW IT WORKS: The upper thermostat controls the upper heating element to the heat water in the top portion of the water tank. When the top thermostat reaches the desired temperature it switches power to the lower thermostat which controls the lower heating element.
There may be an issue with the electric water heater itself:
When the upper heating element or upper thermostat is faulty, the water in the top of the tank will never reach the temperature setting on the upper thermostat and the water at the top of the water heater will not get hot. When this happens, it will never switch power to the lower thermostat or heating element. Thus the electric water heater will not supply hot water.
Top thermostat over temperature sensor tripped?
-The upper thermostat has an over temperature sensor on it for safety.
-This temperature sensor may have tripped if it is faulty or overheat.
To troubleshoot why your water heater does not get HOT water:
1. Turn off the power to the water heater.
2. Remove the top service cover to the top element and press the red reset button
3. Put the top service cover back on.
4. Turn the power back on to the water heater
5. If it trips again then the upper and lower stats should be replaced.
If all else fails:
If you press the red reset and reset power to your water heater and still have no hot water…
–Get a multimeter check and for 240 volts across the top two terminals of the thermostat.
–This is to make sure the power supply is incoming and the thermostat is not faulty.
–You can also check using your multimeter across the two screws on the top heating element for 240 volts.
–If you have 240 volts and and still have no hot water, then the issue is the upper heating element
–If it is cold and you do not have 240 volts across the heating element (using your meter) then you need to remove and replace the upper thermostat.
Thermostats and elements are inexpensive. To make sure you do not have any issues in the future, if you have drained the water tank, then you might as well change all 4 components since they all are the same age. It is true that if one fails then the rest can fail soon.
Here are Thermostats and Heating elements for water heaters…
If you have questions about your water heater, please leave a question below and we will be happy to help you get your water heater to supply HOT water for your home.