When the water heater fails, things can come to a standstill in your home – no showers, no laundry, the dishwasher doesn’t work, etc. The good news is that the most common water heater problems can be repaired quite easily either as a DIY project or by a local plumber. They include a leaking pipe connection, failed heating element, or a failed thermostat.
This house repair guide provide tips for trouble-shooting problems with your electric water heater (click here for gas water heaters) and instructions for making the repair. The tips will prove helpful whether you do it yourself or need to discuss the repair with a plumber. Electric water heater repair costs are included. In addition, we list the tools and parts you’ll need for a DIY fix and cover costs of hiring a professional for the work. Tips for saving money on the work are included, and this post ends with a list of further resources you will find helpful for this common home repair.
The first step, of course, is determining what’s wrong with the unit. If it’s leaking from the bottom, we’ll say right now, it is time to replace the water heater (you may have to lift the carpet to for check water stains) If it’s not making hot water, that can be remedied.
1. Heater Isn’t Making Hot Water
3. Water is Leaking from the Water Heater
4. Water is Rusty
The anode rod should be replaced. If the rust continues, corrosion inside the tank is the likely cause, and the heater should be replaced
5. Water Smells Bad
Add 2 points of hydrogen peroxide to a 40-gallon unit and 2.5 pints to a 50-gallon or 60-gallon tank and let it set for two hours
The hydrogen peroxide doesn’t need to be rinsed out. If the smell persists, replace the anode rod with a zinc-alloy type
6. Consistent Popping or High-Pitched Whining Inside the Tank
This is caused by sediment in the tank, use the drain valve to drain the tank with a hose running into a tub or out of doors
Electric Hot Water Heater Repair Costs
Here are the costs for the supplies and tools we’ve mentioned. We also look at professional repairs to your water heater.
DIY Electric Water Heater Repair Costs: Keep in mind that you’ll be working on an electric device, and water may be present too. If you don’t have experience working on electric appliances, don’t risk injury; Call a professional!
Professional Electric Water Heater Repair Costs: Most plumbers charge a minimum service fee of $175 to $185, and that might cover minor repairs. If an element needs to be replaced, it will likely cost more.
Saving Money on Electric Water Heater Repair
If you have a friend with experience with these repairs, ask for help to save money. When choosing professional repair, the best way to save money is to get several estimates for the work. Call several plumbers, and ask about their minimum service fee and typical fees for making the basic repairs listed here.
Len The Plumber – You’ll find a good overview of how an electric water heater works:
Albrights Mechanical – This Baltimore plumber shows you how to properly set your home’s water heater temperature.
Plumbing Supply – This plumbing supply company offers helpful FAQs on electric water heater repair issues.
Grover Electric – Another plumber offers a good overview of water heater problems.