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How to Troubleshoot and Repair an Electric Water Heater

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PROBLEM: Water Leaks
Water leaks can be caused from leaking valves, connections or from the tank itself.
    Possible Causes
  • Faulty T&P (temperature and pressure) relief valve
  • T&P valve leak due to excessive pressure, overheating or is stuck
  • Leak from overhead or nearby plumbing connection
  • Leak from loose heating element bolt(s) or bad gasket
  • Leaking water tank (corrosion likely)
    Possible Repairs
  • Place a bucket under the overflow pipe. Open and flush the T&P valve clear of debris. If a leak remains from the valve, replace the T&P valve.
  • Reduce thermostat setting to prevent tank overheating and opening T&P relief valve.
  • If leak is coming from a pipe connection such as water inlet or outlet or T&P valve threaded connection, tighten the connection using an adjustable wrench to simply make the connection snug. Do not over-tighten!
  • If leak is from heating element, with the water and power to the water heater turned off, try to tighten the heating element mounting bolts. Make sure they are snug and again, do not over-tighten.
  • If heating element leak persists after snugging bolts, remove the heating element and replace the gasket.
  • If the leak is coming from a corroded water heater storage tank then the water heater needs to be replaced.

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