Temperature Sensor Failure Water Heater Problem and How to Deal with It

Most homeowners must have at least experienced a temperature sensor failure water heater, which affects their convenience and comfort in accessing the hot water. If you live in cool or even cold areas, you want your heater to remain on and function properly – unless you enjoy a cold shower.

Unfortunately, not all homeowners understand how to care for and maintain their water heaters. Many don’t even know the function of every part or detail! To prevent sensor failure, ensure you understand your heater and how it works, including the signs of possible trouble.

Water Heater Sensor Failure

The temperature sensor on the heater functions as the signal switch. It ‘notifies’ the gas control valve to terminate or release the gas supply. The mechanism would be based on the (water) temperature compared to the pre-determined levels. However, like other mechanical parts, the temperature sensor may experience defects or damage.

temperature sensor failure water heater

If there is a failure of the temperature sensor, the water may stay cold, it may overheat, or it may not have enough hot water. There are some common signs that you need to be aware of, and they aren’t limited to the warmth level of the water only. You should also find signs of strange noises or leaks from the unit.

Damaged Signs or Symptoms

If your temperature sensor is damaged or failing, you should be aware of these common and pretty obvious signs:

  • Water temperature levels. You can either have water that is too cold or too hot. 
  • Water leaks. You should check the unit to see whether there is a leak – big or small
  • Strange noises, which is possibly happening because of sediment buildup
  • Discolored or murky water because of the anode rod being corroded

Read also: Leaking Water Heater is Dangerous

And why can the sensor be broken or damaged?

  • The connection is somewhat loose
  • The sensor has been broken or bent
  • It’s worn out
  • It has an internal defect or fault
  • Debris, dirt, or dust has accumulated on the sensor

How to Fix Temperature Sensor Failure Water Heater

If the sensor is somewhat damaged, there are several things to do:

  • Use and access the multimeter. You can use it to determine the temperature sensor’s resistance reading.
  • Compare that reading to the expected one based on the chart (usually provided by the manufacturer). In the manual, you should be able to find sensor resistance for different temperatures.

If the readings aren’t as matched as the recommended range, it’s highly likely damaged. You need to replace it. 

Water Heater Temperature Sensor Replacement

If the sensor is damaged, then it should be replaced. However, it takes professional skill to determine whether the part is broken or damaged. Although you may see a lot of DIY tutorials out there, it’s not really advisable to inspect on your own unless you are a certified professional.

If nothing is seriously damaged and the sensor can be fixed, it may cost less than $200. But if you have to replace the sensor, expect to spend at least $200. And if you have to deal with major repairs, the cost can increase quickly. And the last thing you want to do is to damage your heater even further.

Final Words

If you suspect anything is wrong with the heater, it’s better to contact a certified and licensed professional and have your heater checked. Many homeowners believe that they can perform DIY work on their own, but in the end, not only do they waste money, but they also waste energy and time.

Read also: Where is Pilot Light on Water Heater, and How to Check It?

While numerous DIY guides and websites offer advice on water heater repairs, dealing with temperature sensor issues often requires the expertise of qualified professionals. Attempting repairs without the necessary skills can lead to further damage, increased repair costs, and potential safety risks.

In many cases, they worsen the problems instead of solving them. So, on the safer side, contact a pro and let them do their job.

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Heater Technician is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.