You've just installed a new water heater, only to find that it's not working correctly. Whether the unit is not working at all, or it's not providing adequate warm water, you need to get it checked immediately. New hot water systems should have excellent performance; therefore, if yours doesn't, something could be wrong. Below are some of the possible reasons why your new water heater is not working and what you can do.
Burnt Upper Element
Tanked hot water systems come with a tank that has an upper and lower heating element. For new installations, you have to fill the tank with water before turning on the power. If you don't wait for the water to fill up the tank, you may damage the upper element, which is tasked with heating the water. This is a common problem for new heaters, especially if you don't follow installation instructions. The only solution is to replace the burnt upper element with a new one.
Tripped Circuit Breaker
Circuit breakers cut electrical power to the specific circuit they are connected to. Once this happens, there will be no electrical energy to heat water. Therefore, if you have just installed your new heater and it's not working, check the circuit breaker. If your previous heater had electrical problems, the breaker might have tripped. Resetting it should restore power to the heater immediately.
However, if the breaker keeps on tripping even after resetting it, there could be electrical problems with the hot water system. One common one could be your heater drawing more power than the circuit can handle. This is common if your new water heater is larger than what you had. In this case, you need an electrician to connect the heater to a circuit that can handle the power draw.
If you replaced your water heater but never checked the thermostats, there's a chance that they are flawed too. Thermostats regulate water temperatures in your hot water system. Therefore, if they are not working, your heater may not heat the water adequately. If the thermostats are new, they may be loose or incorrectly installed. In some cases, the lack of insulation around the thermostats can also cause them to register the wrong temperatures and, in turn, fail to heat the water.
Water Not Heated Yet
If you just installed your new water heater, there's a chance that the water has not heated yet. This problem is common with tanked hot water systems. For example, a 240V 4500 Watt heater heats around 20 to 30 gallons of water per hour. If you switch on the water too soon, it may not be hot enough. Give the heater an hour and try the hot water again. If it's not working, you may be looking at any of the above problems.
Troubleshooting an electric water heater shouldn't be a DIY task. Contact an electrician so they can inspect your new heater for potential issues and provide all of the necessary hot water repairs.