How to Deal with Over-Heating Water Heater Issues

25 January 2018,

How to Deal with Over-Heating Water Heater Issues


Hot water is very important to our comfort and convenience. When you take a shower and the water is too hot, even when you have adjusted the tank temperature, it could be a sign your water heater is over-heating.

How do you fix an over-heating water heater?

To get to the bottom of the problem, it is important to understand how a hot water heater operates.



Understanding how your Water Heater Operates

We usually take hot water for granted. To a home owner, he knows the size of his water tank, whether it is electric or gas, and if it is functioning properly.  But because a hot water heater is important to most of what we do at home such as cleaning, showering, and doing the laundry, it pays to know more about it.


Things to know about your Water Heater

Conventional water heaters are insulated cylinders equipped with a heating device.  Water flow to the heater is controlled by a shut-off valve from the cold water supply.  Cold water goes to the bottom of the water tank.  If you use natural gas, your water heater uses a burner at the bottom and a chimney above it.  In case of electric water heaters, 2 heating components are visible inside the tank.

When water is hot, it rises to a pipe that delivers hot water to your tap.  Hot water tanks also have a device for controlling temperature.  For maintenance, the water heater tank is drained using a drain valve around the tank’s base.  Pressure in the tank is kept at safe levels by a pressure relief valve.


Recommended Temperature Settings for Water Heaters

A thermostat dial allows you to set the desired temperature setting for your water heater.  In many cases, extremely hot water from the tap is caused by incorrect temperature settings.

A thermostat dial for an electric water tank is usually found behind an access panel. You should disconnect the electricity before opening the panel.  A heater will have 2 heating components and you will see 2 dials.

Some gas water heater tanks are equipped with a thermostat dial outside the tank.

To know what safe temperature settings are, check some tips below.

  • The most common hot water setting used at home is 60°C
  • Most medical specialists recommend hot water heater settings at 50°C to prevent accidents
  • A setting of 60°C can cause scalding in very young children and infants
  • A setting of 70°C can cause third-degree burns
  • A minimum setting of 50°C is necessary to prevent the growth of bacteria inside the hot water tank

The correct temperature setting is essential to your safety and comfort.


How to Adjust your Hot Water Temperature


For Natural Gas Water Heaters

It is quite easy to resolve an overheating hot water tank that uses natural gas.  Check if the setting is too high and lower the thermostat.  You can check the settings:

  • 32°C to 43°C is the lowest setting for warm
  • 50°C is moderate setting
  • 60°C to 65°C is hot
  • Set the temperature to low if the tank will not be used for a while.


For Electric Water Heaters

The thermostat for electric hot water tanks are usually located behind the access panel.  Set the temperature using a screwdriver.

  • Turn the water heater breaker off to stop the power.
  • Look for the thermostat adjustment and temperature settings above the heating component
  • Set the thermostat to the right temperature.
  • Return the insulation and panels correctly and turn on the breaker.


Troubleshooting tips if resetting doesn’t work

If you have set the water heater tank to the right temperature and the water is still too hot, check the water temperature with these simple steps.

  • Put hot water from the tap into a glass. Keep water running for at least a minute.
  • Measure the temperature using a candy or meat thermometer.
  • Check if the hot water temperature is the same as the temperature setting of your hot water tank.

If the temperature reading is much higher than the set temperature, your water heater is over-heating. Consider calling in a plumber.


Reasons Why your Water Heater is Over-Heating

Your water heater could be overheating because of a variety of reasons.

  • The thermostat is not properly adjusted
  • Hard water deposits on the heating component or inside the water tank
  • Failing heating component
  • Faulty temperature controller (electric)
  • Faulty gas valve (gas)


Proper Hot Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Generally, hot water heaters don’t need a lot of attention. However, every homeowner should practice simple maintenance tips for safety and convenience.

  1. Drain the water heater annually. There is a small tap near the bottom which can be attached to a garden hose. Drain the water to remove sediment, rust and other mineral deposits.  These particles affect heat transfer and prevent your water heater from functioning properly.
  2. Every few years, it is important for you to check the anode rod, a metal that prevents corrosion. This must be replaced if encrusted. Doing this prolongs the life of the hot water heater.  Certain models may not have an anode rod.
  3. Regularly check the flue of a gas water heater because incorrect installation can result in dangerous carbon monoxide entering your home.
  4. Consider using a water heater blanket to save on costs of reheating and keeps hot water hot for a longer time.


Overheating Hot Water Heaters – High Risk of Scalding

Don’t delay or postpone the problem of overheating hot water heaters.

You as well as family members are at serious risk for scalding. Just a couple of minutes of exposure to extremely hot water from the tap or shower can seriously injure young children and adults.

You can ask for professional help from licensed and qualified plumbers serving areas of Montreal and Quebec City.  You can compare free hot water tank quotes so you can carefully study your options and know how much the cost is likely to be.


Get Free Hot Water Tank Quotes for Repairs or Replacement

Basic maintenance can help make your hot water heater last a long time.  It is important to drain your water tank periodically to clean out deposits and sediments which impede the proper function of your water heater.

It is essential to call in a professional for overheating hot water tanks.  A licensed and experienced plumber can provide you with the correct diagnosis and solution.

  • Checking the thermostat
  • Checking for mineral deposits or possible corrosion
  • Assessment of the heating element or gas valve condition
  • Checking the pressure release valve

A qualified plumber from our network can provide reliable advice, particularly if it is time to replace your hot water tank.  Repairs can be expensive and a good plumber will inform you if it is practical to repair or simply replace an overheating hot water tank.

Request for free hot water tank quotes today to get quotes from licensed plumbers in Montreal and Quebec.

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