Ted – I don't know what to do! My electric bill doubled last month and I don't think anything changed about my house. Help!
If you have an electric water heater, the first thing to check is if you have a water leak somewhere. This is usually caused by a dripping hot water faucet. It’s amazing how much energy is wasted by a slow water leak.
A second thing to check is the thermostat on the water heater. If the thermostat is malfunctioning, then it might be heating the water way too hot, which would lead to excessive energy usage. If this is the case, it can actually be very dangerous because it can cause a tremendous pressure buildup inside the water tank if the pressure relief valve isn’t working. If it is working, the heater will periodically “beltch” boiling water out the relief valve, which can also be dangerous. Check for puddles around your water heater.
You may also find that the water coming out your faucet is extremely hot. However, most systems are required to have a tempering valve the prevents the water from getting too hot, so you might never know.
So start with your water heater. If that doesn’t work, I’ve got a few more tips…