How To Check An Electric Water Heater

Phil runs through the steps of checking an electric water heater to see if it’s working. We were called out because there’s no hot water. There will be other videos showing how he replaces the water heater.

00:00 Follow along with a handyman
00:25 Checking an electric water heater that has no hot water
00:45 Not a good sign-rust line of water on the side of the heater
01:13 First thing you want to check is the water heater getting power
01:35 Checking the water heater with voltage tester
02:05 No power, now checking the reset button
02:45 Got power to the reset, and leaking water
02:55 Water is leaking and the water heater needs to be replaced
03:33 Be an American not an American’t

Hi, I’m Phil Bridges, owner of Straight Arrow Repair. Ever want to know how a repairman fixes things? Well come with me, and I’ll show you how I solve problems. Let’s make things better together.

Guess you snuck up on me. Guess what? We’re going to work on a water heater today. Supposedly there’s no hot water. So first thing, we’re going to check and we’re going to take this cover here off with a screw, that top element is usually. That’s not a good sign right there. Well, what? That rusty line going down through there.

Anyway, we’re going to take this cover off and we’re going to pull the insulation and such off that and we’ll check resistance after we make sure we have the power off. So what we’ll do is we’ll take a test to make sure we have power off but John, don’t turn power off till we know we have power here. First thing we’re going to see if we have power.

If we don’t…

“I was just going to see where the power was at.”

I think it’s behind the door, right there.

“The door behind the door.”

Behind this door they hide it in mobile homes, usually behind the bedroom door so anyway, here’s where we’re going.

All right? So what we’re doing right now is although we have other situations if you notice the water, we’re checking the voltage and we got no voltage there. So we’re going to go to the, is that on DC or AC.

“So voltage on. And so this is the good one so.”

OK, so we’re now checking on the thermostat. See, there’s no voltage there. So the breaker is off or the reset button is off is a reset?

“It has to be the reset button because nothing is off here.”

Clay. There’s a button on that temperature gauge, the red one. It’s a reset button.

“Right here?”

See that red button you get voltage to that?

“Sounds like it’s burning.”

Listen to me, check the voltage where the wires connect to it.

You got voltage there?



“This thing sounds like it’s burning.”

Well, it’s probably tripped because running water on it. See all that water running down, we could get shocked. Now, let’s figure out where the water’s coming from here. Look, on these connections on top. I don’t see any leaks up there. No water on top. So the water heater itself is leaking what year is this water heater?

It’ll have some kind of right there.



“22 years old.”

OK, so the determination is the top of the water heater is leaking and it’s running down and this 22 year old water heater is going to have to be replaced.

This is Phil Bridges, if you like what you saw and think it might be helpful to somebody else, push that like button and let other people know what you and I know, and we’ll work together toward making a brighter future. By the way, we’re not Amera-Can’ts we’re Americans. See you next time.

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