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Occasional water heater repair isn’t uncommon. After all, water heaters are like any other machine that requires routine maintenance from time to time. For instance, if you’re noticing you’re out of hot water or it runs out quickly, your water heater thermostat may be failing. The good thing is most problems can be solved with a simple DIY, saving a little time and money.You can do both by replacing your hot water heater’s thermostat yourself! Luckily, it’s a simple fix! 

So, if you need to replace your water heater thermostat, follow our handy how-to guide for water heater repair. As always, please remember to use caution around electrical wires. 

When To Replace Your Thermostat 

Most hot water heaters have two thermostats. You’ll find them at the top and bottom of the tank. Refer to your manual (if you have it). If you don’t, you can probably download one from the manufacturer’s website. Simply search for your brand, model, and enter “owners manual” at the end.

If your water heater isn’t working properly, it’s likely the thermostat is the culprit. Luckily, repairing a water heater thermostat is an easy fix that can be solved by most homeowners. While it’s unlikely that both thermostats will fail at the same time, it’s a possibility and recommended that you replace both thermostats if one starts to fail. 

If your top thermostat begins to fail, the entire water heater will stop producing hot water. On the other hand, if there is a lower thermostat failure, then you’ll notice the water being only lukewarm or hot before quickly running out since only the upper portion of the tank is being heated.  

Steps for Water Heater Thermostat Replacement 

First, you'll have to test the thermostats. You’ll need either a multimeter or voltage/ohm meter. These will determine whether your thermostat is actually broken. Again, if you have any questions about using either of these tools, give us a ring.

If you have a broken water heater thermostat and want to replace it yourself,  you'll have to buy a new one. While a few thermostats are interchangeable, you will want to take your broken one to the hardware store in order to be certain you get a compatible thermostat. Generally, they’re reasonably priced. 

The good thing is water heater thermostat replacement can be fast and pretty easy. Follow these steps so you can get your water heater working properly again!

1. Kill The Power

You should find the power to your water heater in your breaker box. Turn it off. If you can’t isolate which switch controls electricity for your water heater, just hit the main. Always better to be safe than sorry. This step is crucial.

2. Opening the Tank 

Don’t be intimidated  - opening the tank is not difficult at all. Using a screwdriver, remove the metal cover on the outside of your tank. You should see some insulation. Unwrap it and then remove the plastic cover that houses the thermostat.

3. Remove the Thermostat  

The thermostat is kept in place by a spring bracket. It should be clear how to remove it. It varies from model to model, but you most likely won’t require any special tool. Wiring for the majority of water heater thermostats is straight-forward, but you might want to use colored tapes or label them in order to ensure that you wire your thermostat properly. Hot water heater repair is easy, but just remember to pay attention as you go along. If you aren’t experienced with wiring, take a picture of it before you uninstall the thermostat.

4. Thermostat Installation 

This is pretty easy, too. Most hot water heater repairs are. Reattach the thermostat to the bracket on the tank. Rewire it. Make sure you set the thermostat to the temperature you prefer (around 120 °F is what we usually see here in Sacramento), then just work backward from step 2. Replace the cover, the insulation, and the metal covers of the water tank.

When to call your Sacramento Plumbers for Water Heater Repair

If you’re too busy to do your own water heater replacement, or if DIY plumbing is just not for you, then don’t worry! You can still have your hot water back by calling professionals to come and get your water heater up and running in no time. 

The expert plumbers at Express Sewer & Drain are pros at water heater repair and make sure your thermostats are working properly. With years of experience and incomparable service, Express plumbers have been trusted by Sacramento residents for generations. So, if you need quick water repair, don’t hesitate to call Express Sewer & Drain today!

Topics: Water Heaters, DIY