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marman4880 08-04-2010 04:49 PM

Electric Water Heater Issues - Water Too Hot after tstat replacement and Sulfur Smell
I've been a having some issues with my electric water heater.

About 2 months ago, the temperature of the water all of the sudden became insanely hot. I did some testing and decided to replace both thermostats. That solved the problem and temps were back to normal.

About 2 weeks, after weeks of my wife complaining of a sulfur/rotten egg smell coming from the hot water, I decided to drain the tank (Which I had never done - its 7 years old) and then proceeded to flus the tank. There was lots of little white pellets that came out and once I got water back in the tank and turned it back on, the smell was completely gone.

Fast forward a week. The other night, we had no hot water, I discovered the circuit wads tripped in the breaker box. Turned it back on and everything was back to normal...but I was perplexed as to what caused that to happen. I woke up this morning and discovered that not only was the egg smell back, but the water was now insanely and dangerously hot!

Short of trashing this unit and buying a new one (i don't really want to drop $400 right now) What are my options? Did the flushing have anything to do with it? How can the t-stats not be working when they are new?

Disclaimer, the elements have never been replaced, but I'm not sure how that can affect anything. I want to get the temp back normal and the egg smell gone!

Please help! I need it!


TheEplumber 08-04-2010 08:04 PM

Replace the magnesium anode rod to stop the smell. Its a sacrificial rod that can dissolve away over time.
The extreme hot water sounds like your thermostats

AllanJ 08-04-2010 08:56 PM

If the thermostat immersion part or element gets caked with sediment, regulating the temperature of the water becomes erratic.

I don't know how or why the new thermostat could get caked up so rapidly.

Do you think you got almost all the sediment and white pellets out of the tank?

Also try lowering the temperature settings (probably a screwdriver adjustment) of the thermostats.

Alan 08-05-2010 10:10 AM

If the thermostat isn't touching the tank, it will overheat the water, overdraw on electrical amperage, and trip the breaker. . . .

Make sure they are touching. Sometimes when you replace them, you have to tweak the little tabs that hold them in to get them to stay tight against the tank.

rockerjockey 08-05-2010 05:25 PM

Change the elements.

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