Why My Electric Water Heater Keeps Turning Off

Why My Electric Water Heater Keeps Turning off

If you are experiencing issues with your electric water heater frequently turning off, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. Understanding the potential causes of this problem can help you troubleshoot the issue and find a solution. Here are a few common reasons why your electric water heater might keep turning off:

1. Tripped High Limit Switch

Electric water heaters are equipped with a high limit switch as a safety feature. This switch turns off the heating element if the temperature inside the tank exceeds a certain limit, preventing potential damage or overheating. If the high limit switch is tripped, it will cause your water heater to shut off entirely.

To resolve this issue, you can try resetting the high limit switch. Locate the switch, which is typically a red button on the thermostat or control panel. Press the button firmly to reset it. However, if the high limit switch keeps tripping, it is important to identify and address the underlying cause, such as a faulty thermostat or heating element, and consult a professional if needed.

2. Faulty Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat can also cause your electric water heater to turn off unexpectedly. The thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature of the water in the tank. If the thermostat is faulty or inaccurate, it may incorrectly sense the temperature and shut off the heating element prematurely.

To check if the thermostat is the issue, you can use a multimeter to test its continuity and accuracy. If it is not functioning properly, you may need to replace the thermostat to restore proper operation of your water heater.

3. Overheating due to Sediment Buildup

Sediment buildup is a common problem in water heaters, particularly in areas with hard water. Over time, minerals and sediment can accumulate at the bottom of the tank, insulating the heating element and causing it to overheat.

To address this issue, you can drain and flush the tank to remove the sediment buildup. Consult your water heater’s manual or seek professional assistance to ensure a proper and safe cleaning process.

4. Insufficient Power Supply

Another potential reason for your electric water heater turning off is an insufficient power supply. If the electrical circuit supplying the water heater is overloaded or there is a wiring issue, it can cause the water heater to shut off as a safety precaution.

Ensure that the circuit breaker or fuse supplying power to the water heater is not tripped or blown. If the problem persists, it is recommended to have a qualified electrician inspect the electrical connections and circuitry to identify and resolve any issues.

5. Malfunctioning Heating Element

A faulty or burned-out heating element can also cause your electric water heater to turn off. The heating element is responsible for heating the water inside the tank. If it is damaged or not functioning properly, it may cause the water heater to shut off before the desired temperature is reached.

You can test the heating element using a multimeter to determine if it needs to be replaced. If the test indicates a malfunctioning heating element, it is recommended to call a professional plumber or water heater technician to replace it.

Frequently Asked Questions On Why My Electric Water Heater Keeps Turning Off

Why Does My Electric Water Heater Keep Turning Off?

Electric water heaters can turn off due to various reasons such as a faulty thermostat, a tripped circuit breaker, or sediment buildup.


There can be several reasons why your electric water heater keeps turning off. By understanding the potential causes and troubleshooting the problem systematically, you can address the issue and restore the proper functioning of your water heater.

If you are not comfortable or experienced in dealing with water heater repairs, it is always best to consult a professional plumber or water heater technician. They have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and fix more complex issues safely.

Remember, regularly maintaining your water heater by flushing the tank and checking its components can help prevent future problems and extend its lifespan.

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