electric water heater maintenance

Avoid Water Damage: Electric Water Heater Maintenance 101

When it comes to essential household maintenance, one of the most important investments you can make is maintaining an electric water heater. Not only does a healthy water heater provide the hot water supply that makes life so much easier, but without regular maintenance—such as flushing tanks and replacing parts—your system could run into issues such as leaks or other forms of damage that can cost thousands of dollars in repairs.

In this blog post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about electric water heater maintenance so you can avoid costly damages down the line. Read on for all the details.

Regular Maintenance

Regular electric water heater maintenance will ensure that it runs smoothly, preventing inconvenient and costly issues. Most experts recommend scheduling inspections at least once a year to perform the necessary checks and upkeep. Maintenance tasks can include:

  • Draining.
  • Checking for corrosion or rust.
  • Tightening electrical connections.
  • Examining the sacrificial anode rod for corrosion.
  • Replacing heating elements or thermostats if needed.
  • Refilling with fresh water after checking all components.

Staying on top of these tasks is essential to avoid costly repairs and breakdowns down the road. In addition, homeowners can set security reminders in their calendars so they remember to perform regular maintenance each year.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Regular maintenance is highly recommended to ensure your water heater is working properly. Still, it’s wise to know any signs that service may be needed. Here are a few issues you should keep an eye on:

Lack of hot water

If you’re wondering why your morning showers are taking forever and only producing lukewarm water, the most likely cause is a buildup of sediment in your water heater. Hard water leaves behind sediment deposits over time, which blocks the heat source and prevents it from adequately warming the water. Plus, this excess sediment takes up extra space in the tank – meaning there’s less hot water available for you to use in the first place.

High energy bills

It’s always annoying when your energy bill spikes for no foreseeable reason. If that happens, take a look at your water heater. Sediment buildup in the tank can cause the burner to work extra hard, producing hot water, resulting in higher bills. Make sure you get it taken care of before it gets worse and costs you even more money.

Leaks or water damage

It should not be taken lightly if you experience a leak from your water heater tank. While small, slow leaks can cause significant structural damage if left unaddressed, they can quickly become a more substantial problem in no time. Before you know it, you might be dealing with thousands of gallons of water soaking through the walls of your home if the tank were to fail suddenly. 

Inconsistent water temperature

Worrying about your electric water heater giving you alternating temperatures is annoying. One minute your shower will be steaming hot, and the next, you’ll have to adjust to icy cool water if it isn’t working correctly. This continual on-and-off cycle can waste a lot of energy and bother your fingers every time you try to find the happy medium between too cold and too hot.

Noisy operation

Electric water heaters are great because they provide hot water at the turn of a knob. But, unfortunately, they are only sometimes perfect – one problem that many experiences is excessive noise while the heater is running. Not only can this be annoying and disruptive, but it can also affect your energy bill as the added strain on the motor can increase electricity usage.

Energy Efficiency

Keeping your electric water heater in top shape can help you reduce your energy bills. In addition, regular maintenance and simple tweaks to your everyday habits will lead to more energy efficiency.

  • Make sure to flush out the inside tank regularly – about once a year – so it can operate at its highest capacity with no sediment buildup hindering its efficiency.
  • Adjust the setting of the thermostat on the heater itself to prevent the overuse of energy.
  • Turn down the temperature when you’re away on vacation or use hot water when most needed.
  • Adding insulation around the tank helps retain warmth and maintain the optimum temperatures needed for your water heater to function properly without having to output too much energy.

Follow these best practices, and electric water heaters can be very energy-efficient.

Leaks and Water Damage Prevention

Leaks and water damage can be a significant problem, especially when it comes to electric water heaters. Damage caused by minor leaks can add up quickly if left undetected, and major floods can leave a costly mess to clean up. Therefore, detecting and fixing leaks as soon as possible is key to preventing further damage.

  • Regularly check your electric water heater for signs of leaking or signs of moisture around the base.
  • If you find any leak issues, address them immediately rather than wait for them to worsen.
  • It’s crucial to check hoses frequently for kinks or wear-and-tear that could lead to leaks in the future.
  • Attaching a flood safety alarm near your water heater is an essential preventative action that can save you from substantial damage before it reaches its peak severity.

Taking these steps will help keep your home safe from harm stemming from potentially damaging water leaks.

Hot Water Supply

Ensuring a consistent hot water supply is critical to any home because it makes everyday tasks like showering, laundry, and washing dishes much more manageable.

Incorrect temperature settings, circuit breaker issues, and pipe contamination may cause common hot water supply problems. To prevent these issues, check the temperature settings, ensure your electric circuit breaker is not overloaded, and inspect your pipes for debris and contaminants.

These simple tips can help you enjoy consistent hot showers daily!

Consistent Water Temperature

Everyone knows the feeling of turning on the shower and receiving a blast of water that is either too hot or too cold. It’s an annoying situation to deal with, not to mention dangerous. However, maintaining a consistent water temperature on your electric water heater guarantees a comfortable experience using the shower or sink.

Temperature inconsistencies arise from weak or malfunctioning elements within the electric water heater, but they can usually be easily resolved by checking your heating system. Best practices include regularly draining your tank systems and having them serviced occasionally by a licensed technician – these small steps to ensure safety can save you massive amounts of discomfort in the future.

Safety Precautions

Maintaining electric water heaters can be challenging and dangerous if not done correctly. Therefore, it is essential to take safety precautions when managing this equipment. Best practices include:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, ensuring all tools are in good working condition before use.
  • Wear the proper protective gear and have a knowledgeable professional inspect the area for safety hazards before beginning work.
  • Properly ground the appliance against electrical shocks.
  • Avoid contact with energized electrical parts and components such as wiring or circuit breakers.
  • Shut off power to any connected plumbing lines before performing maintenance on them.

These safety tips can prevent potential accidents or damages so everyone can have peace of mind when caring for their electric water heaters. Lastly, if you need more clarification on the best way to maintain your water heater correctly, it’s always a good idea to enlist help from experienced technicians. 


Electric water heater maintenance is essential to ensuring a safe and efficient home. Regular inspection and servicing can help identify issues before they become severe problems, while consistent temperature setting and hot water supply will make everyday tasks much easier. Taking the time to follow safety protocols can also prevent accidents or damages.

However, If you need professional help with your electric water heaters, Smith and Jones Electric is there for you. Experienced and certified technicians can assist you with your electric water heater needs. Whether it be troubleshooting existing systems, repairing malfunctions, or providing installation services, we have the tools and expertise to complete any job.

It is important to be aware of and practice good maintenance habits to get the maximum efficiency out of your electric water heater. Then, with proper care, you can enjoy the convenience and comfort of having a reliable source of hot water at home. Contact us today and get a free estimate!