Our Water Heater is Not Working
Why is my water heater not working? We recently replaced our entire water line up to our home, However, since doing so we don’t have hot water.
Water Heater Stopped Working
Electrical Question: Why is my water heater not working?
Amanda, a Homeowner in Kentucky asks:
- We recently replaced our entire water line up to our home, beforehand we turned the electric off to the water heater from the break box.
- After the water was hooked back up and we purged the line of air and the water was turned on all the way we turned the breaker back on to the water heater. However, since doing so we don’t have hot water.
- We’re getting electric to the water heater just fine. We just recently purchased the water heater.
John, a Handyman, in Florida asks:
- I have a new water heater that is not working.
- This is a older home that had no ground wire to electric water heater.
- I had a new heater installed and ran a ground wire to a rod. Still no hot water.
- I checked everything per the water heater trouble guide.
- I am getting 120volts on each leg but nothing on both legs together.
- Do I have a bad breaker?
- The previous water heater was working without ground.
Additional Comments: Extremely helpful for those of us trying to identify problems to better help our electrician (and to save money if it is a simple fix.)
Thanks for your electrical wiring questions.
How to Check a Water Heater Problem
Application: Problem with a Water Heater that does not work.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical wiring project is best performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or Certified Electrician.
Electrical Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, Voltage Tester, and appropriate Safety Gear.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience, ability to work with tools, install electrical circuit wiring, and the available access to the project area.
Electrical Safety: Identify the electrical power source to the Water Heater, turn it OFF and Tag with a Note before working with the electrical wiring.
Electrical Wiring Parts and Materials: Electrical parts and materials for the Water Heater should be approved for the specific project and compliant with local and national electrical codes.
Electrical Codes and Inspections: Installing or changing home electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes as adopted in your location. A permit and inspections may also be required.
How to Fix a Water Heater Problem
This information is about a Water Heater that is not working in a residential home.
For Amanda in Kentucky:
Water Heater is Not Working after Replacing the Water Line
- Test the new water line to make sure there are no obstructions and the water pressure and water flow is normal.
- Before restoring power to the water heater, make sure the water heater tank is completely full of water.
- Make sure to bleed off any excess air that may be trapped inside the water heater tank.
- The pressure relief valve of the water heater could be tested to see if water is flowing and there is no trapped air inside the tank. NOTE: This should be done only if there is a continuous drain line attached to the pressure relief valve that leads outside of the home.
- Test the flow of water at a sink or bath tub to make sure water is flowing from the hot water side of the facets.
For John in Florida:
Water Heater is Not Working after Replacing It
- Since the previous 240volt water heater was working before, then I suspect the circuit breaker is either partially tripped off, or the connection of the breaker to the panel is faulty, or the circuit breaker needs to be replaced.
- Important: The main electrical system should be properly grounded. If the main panel did not have a ground system in place then the ground rod should have been properly installed at the main electrical panel, and then a ground wire should be installed from the main panel to the water heater.
More about Electrical Wiring for a Water Heater
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Electrical Junction Boxes for Home Wiring
Understanding electrical junction boxes and what they are used for. Home electrical wiring is the process of installing electrical wire to a location that will serve electrical devices or an appliance. One very important component is the box where the wire will be installed. The type and size of the home wiring electrical boxes will depend upon the circuit size, application and its location.
The following may also be helpful for you:
Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.
The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
It detects probable improper wiring conditions in standard 110-125 VAC outlets Provides 6 probable wiring conditions that are quick and easy to read for ultimate efficiency Lights indicate if wiring is correct and indicator light chart is included Tests standard 3-wire outlets UL Listed Light indicates if wiring is incorrect Very handy and easy to use.
Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..
The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.
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