What to Do if your New Electric Hot Water Heater has No Hot water

You’ve installed your new electric water heater, switched it on and unfortunately, you have cold water instead of hot water.

What might be the problem? Where do you even start?

This post lists the checks you can do to find and hopefully get your water heater working again.

Note: The information provided here is only intended as a guide. Always consult a qualified electrician.

Quick Answer

If your newly purchased water heater is not working, it may be a problem with the wire connections at the heater or the circuit breaker supplying electricity to the heater may have tripped just to mention a few of the possible causes.

Read on for details on what checks you can do and what else might be the reason for no hot water from the electric water heater.

No Hot water heater from New Electric Water Heater – What Checks to Do

If it is a new heater, check that the plumbing connections have been done correctly.

Have the cold and water heater been connected as specified in the installation instructions?

#1. Confirm the water heater’s electric wiring connections. Check that the wire connections at the water heater junction box are not only firm but wired according to the installation instructions in the water heater manual.

The water heater will not be able to heat water if there are loose wire connections at its junction box.

#2. Check that there is electricity at the electric water heater. Note electricity can kill – only proceed if you’re a qualified electrician.

Use a good quality digital voltmeter to measure the AC voltage at the water heater terminals where the water heater inspection plates are.

Check that the electric circuit breaker to which the water heater is connected is switched on and if the heater has a low voltage disconnect switch, that it is switched on too.

Lastly, check that the water heater’s temperature limit control breaker has not tripped.

If it has, it will need to be reset before electricity can be supplied to the water heater elements again.

Is the voltage level supplied meet the water heater requirements?

Depending on the water heater heating capacity and model, its rated voltage rating may range from 208V to 480V.

What is the voltage rating of your electric water heater (Check the user manual)?

Compare this to the voltage at the water heater terminals. Your water heater may not be putting out any hot water if the voltage at the terminals is lower than expected or there is no power (voltage) at all.

#3. The Thermostat may be set too low. Check that the thermostat is set to 120°F. Consult the water heater manual on how to check and make changes to the thermostat settings.

The electric elements are designed to heat water to the set temperature level.

If the thermostat is set too low the water from the faucets will be cold.

#4. The electric water heater may be faulty. It is possible for a brand new water heater to be faulty. It might be an issue with the heating elements, thermostat, or internal wiring.

If there is no issue with the water heater wire connections and thermostat setting then there’s probably an issue with the heater itself. Contact the supplier.

Closing Thoughts

If your newly installed water heater is not supplying hot water, it might be one of several issues including loose or improper electrical wire connections, a tripped circuit breaker or possibly, the thermostat may have been set too low.

Always consult a qualified electrician.

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