What Would Cause an Electric Water Heater to Stop Working? 

21 / 02 / 2023

Electric water heaters stop working often because of: 

  • Blown fuse 
  • Tripped circuit breaker 
  • Faulty thermostat 
  • Malfunctioning heating element 
  • Leaks in the pipe or storage tank 
  • Water heater is undersized (water doesn’t get hot enough because supply doesn’t meet your demand) 

Any of these problems can cause your electric water heater to malfunction. It’s important to call a hot water technician right away so that the problem won’t get worse. This way, the defect can still be fixed and that you won’t need to replace your hot water anytime soon. 

About electric hot water systems 

To better understand what’s causing the problem in your water heaters, it’s good to understand how electric hot water systems work. 

Electric water heaters are usually categorised into two: 

  1. Electric storage water heaters 
  2. Instantaneous electric water heaters 

From the name storage water heaters, these work by heating the water stored in the tank. It’s like heating an ordinary kettle. The difference is that in storage water heaters, the water is being kept hot (while in a kettle the water cools down as soon as you turn off the gas or switch the kettle off). 

On the other hand, instantaneous electric water heaters work on demand. This means they deliver a continuous and steady stream of heated water. When you turn on the tap, instantly the water is heated by electricity. Because you need the water instantly, the water heater immediately uses high amounts of electricity. 

Notice that because of the electricity requirement and the constant and heavy use of electrical components, the electrical aspect of hot water systems are often the first and most common to fail. This is why a blown fuse and a tripping circuit breaker are usually at fault when something’s wrong with electric hot water systems. 

Leaks are also common because of the storage or flow of water through the months and years. Note that aside from wasting water and electricity, leaks can also be dangerous because the water might touch the exterior electrical elements of the hot water system (or your other appliances). 

If you still can’t find out what’s wrong with your hot water, you can contact us here. Our hot water specialists will spot the problem and fix it right away.