My electric water heater does not put out enough water. Do I need to replace the element?

10 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    you might need too

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    If you mean it runs out of hot water before you finish your hour long shower...then you need a bigger tank.  (or a shorter shower, like say 5 minutes?)I have a clock in the bathroom so I can do it in 3 and that is hair wash & conditioner too.

    . When water is ice cold you tend to go FAST.

  • 1 month ago

    You might have to

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I don’t know sorry

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  • 1 month ago

    It's likely your lower element or thermostat has failed, but it could be a corroded dip tube. The lower element is the element that gets the most severe use, but the lower stat or even the upper stat can cause the exact same effect. Without an electrical tester it's hard to narrow it down. Even with a tester both elements and stats are the same age, replacing one component is like replacing one tire at a time, and a whole lot of work. And you can buy each of the components for about $15 each, or you can buy a kit with all four components for under $40 . You have to fully drain the tank to replace the lower element, you should at least replace both elements while you have an empty tank.

    Most electric tanks have upper and lower elements. The upper element provides a fast recovery of 10 to 20% of water, then the upper stat directs power to the lower stat to heat the bulk of the tank.

    If the upper element fails the top never gets warm, and never switches to lower stat/element. And you get zero hot water.

    If it puts out 5 minutes of full temp then goes cold, it's probably the element. If it puts out 1 minute of hot and then a whole lot of barely warm water then it could be the dip tube. The dip tube channels cold refill water to the bottom of the tank, if it fails it mixes incoming cold water near the top. But most likely it's the lower element.

  • 1 month ago

    the thermostat's safety breaker could also have popped off. button in lower center of the thermostat, under the cover. usually red. if this has happened, you need to look carefully to find out why ... frequently it's because the tank is leaking

  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Try flushing the years of accumulated sediment in the bottom of the tank first. That's probably using up a fair amount of your capacity.

    Connect a hose to the drain outlet, run the hose to the tub or outdoors (NOT the toilet) and open the valve. Monitor the output from the hose until it runs clear for a couple of minutes. Then you can close the valve and disconnect the hose. See if that improves things.


    To Spock: leave the cold water on for flushing. The cold water rushing in at the bottom should help stir up the sediment and flush it properly. Without that thrust, only the sediment near the drain valve will be flushed away.

    • Spock (rhp)
      Lv 7
      1 month agoReport

      i usually do this with the incoming water turned off. just open a hot water tap and gravity will do the rest. HW heater is designed to add cold water at the bottom -- where the drain is and so it could easily not get the accumulated crud out

  • arther
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    is it running out of hot water as in it doesn't have enough capacity for your family / needs or the water pressure is low? if its the first option get a bigger unit.

    If the unit is 10 years old get a new unit don't spend any money fixing the old unit if it is an element as in its now running only on the boost element?

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    No, not the element.

    The Tank capacity is insufficient.

    You need a larger Unit. A bigger Tank.

    An alternate problem, could be, that silt or corrosion or the like is affecting the unit. Call a TECH to check it out.

  • 1 month ago

    If it was working fine and now is not making the water hot enough, check the thermostat to see if it got bumped to a lower temperature. If that is OK, check the age of the water heater. They usually last 8-12 years. Less if you have a lot of minerals in the water, more if you use a water filter and softener on the water that goes into it. If it is over 10 years old, seriously consider replacing it. You might want to invest in a tankless water heater. You will get constant hot water no matter how much you use and you do not have the risk of a tank failure and flooding the room.

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