Written by April Reinhardt (last updated January 14, 2022)
If you find that your hot water isn't lasting as long as it should, your water heater might have a problem. Because most water heaters are simple devices, troubleshooting the problem isn't difficult. Perhaps the heating element is broken, or maybe the high temperature cutoff switch has tripped. Sometimes sediment may settle within the tank, causing the heating element to fail. The pressure relief valve might have malfunctioned, causing water not to heat properly. Or the problem may be as simple as having to adjust your water heater thermostat to a higher level.
If you've ruled out all of those variables, or if your water heater is cracked and leaks water, then it is time to replace the unit. Make sure that you have help moving the old and new water heaters, and then follow these steps for replacing an electric water heater:
Once you've connected the new heater, turn the hot water taps off in the house, turn the water back on at the main valve, and then fill the water heater completely. To remove sediment from the tank, drain about a gallon of water from the draincock. Turn on the electrical power to the heater and then set the thermostat.
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