How To Fix An Overheating Electric Water Heater: Causes & Fixes

Had a rough day? A relaxing hot water shower helps you put your nerves at ease and provides instant relief from a long day of work and stress.

 We use hot water almost in every activity like washing dishes, taking showers, cleaning, and many more. But at times, we are suddenly greeted with hot splashes from the shower, which can cause burns and injury. How does water get too hot suddenly? The answer lies in the overheating of your electric water heater.

So if your water heater is getting too hot, and you are apprehensive about your naivety to this topic, then worry not because we have got you covered. There can be many causes like sediment build-up, high-temperature settings, broken valves, and many others that are responsible if your water heater gets too hot suddenly.

Not every one of us needs to be a mechanical engineer to understand what causes the overheating and how to fix it. Read on to know why your electric water heater gets too hot sometimes and how you may fix it!

What Causes an Electric Water Heater to Overheat?

What Causes an Electric Water Heater to Overheat

There can be several reasons why your water heater overheats. If your electric water heater is overheating, then it can cause damage to the heater as well as to the occupants. Let us have a look at what are the causes that get your water heater to overheat.

High-temperature settings

The temperature of your thermostat might be set too high. Try setting the temperature of the heater to 120ºF, which will eventually help with overheating. It will also prevent you from paying extra for your monthly bills.

Sediment build-up in the water heater

Water contains natural minerals, which get heated up when the heater is turned on, which may lead to sediment buildup around the heating elements or at the bottom of the water heating tank. This results in your heater working harder to get the water hot, thus resulting in overheating.

The pressure relief valve may be broken

The pressure relief valve allows the steam from the water heater to release, thus preventing it from overheating. If this valve is broken, then it may result in the steam getting trapped in the tank and overheating. It may even cause the bursting of your electric water heater if not repaired.

The thermostat may be broken

The thermostat regulates the energy flow to the heating elements. If it is broken, it won’t stop the current flow to the heating element, as a result, the heating element will get heated up, and eventually, the water heater will get too hot.

Heating elements may be overheated

The sediment layer around the heating elements acts as an insulator. It causes the elements to work harder, which generates heat which in turn is absorbed by the water making it heat up. This whole process causes the electric water heater to overheat.

These all might be the probable causes of the water heater getting too hot suddenly.

How To Fix An Overheating Electric Water Heater?

How To Fix An Overheating Electric Water Heater

We have discussed the probable causes, but it is much more important to look for solutions to these so that any kind of accident can be avoided altogether.

Given below is a proper guide on how to fix the overheating problem of your electric water heater. Let’s get started!

Checking the thermostat

The first and foremost step is to check the temperature of the thermostat. Set it at the standard temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat regulates the temperature of the water and prevents energy flow if the water gets hot beyond the normal level.

Use soft water instead of hard water

Hard water contains minerals like limestone that accumulate around the heating elements of the heater. Using soft water instead of hard water prevents mineral accumulation at the bottom of the tank and also around the heating elements.

Install water softener

These devices help in softening the water in the water tank and prevent the water heater from getting too hot.

Replacing T and P valves

These are safety elements that prevent the pressure build-up in the water tank by releasing water from the tank and helping it regulate the temperature. Make sure that the valves are not defective and have any leakage. You can also replace these valves once a year and keep them in check.

Install energy cutout devices

Install energy cutout devices in your water heater. This will prevent any excessive heating of the appliance and will also prevent it from getting damaged.

Flush water heater regularly

With the help of T and P valves flush the water tank so that any kind of trapped sediments are flushed away and the heating elements function properly.

Regular maintenance

Any kind of electrical appliance needs regular checkups and repairs. It is advisable to call a professional to come and visit for checking the device. Repairs will help the device to function for a long duration as well as prevent it from overheating.

Replace the heating elements

If the sediment buildup has been too much around the heating elements and the heating elements have stopped working effectively, it would be advisable to get them replaced.

Proper wire connection

Make sure that the wires connected to the heating elements are connected properly. If not, it could lead to a risk of life and safety and improper functioning of the elements.

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Key Takeaway

So if you also find yourself in a situation where your water heater is getting too hot, we assume that with these measures you will be able to tackle the problem very efficiently!

If the situation persists, it would be better to call a plumber and get it repaired professionally.

We hope that all your water baths are relaxing with no splashes of hot water in between and that this article has answered your question on troubleshooting a hot electric heater.