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mw2727 08-21-2008 11:43 AM

Electric Water Heater Problem
I recently had a small flood in my basment (clogged condensation line in the A/C unit) and now have developed a problem with our water heater although the water heater was not in any of the standing water.

Long story short, when we turn on the hot water first thing in the morning (for a shower) the water is luke-warm at its warmest temp. If one of us takes a shower 30-45 mins later, there is hot water. My thoughts are that the water heater is not holding the water hot, but to be honest, I have no idea what could be wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated on what is going on and how to fix the problem!

bob22 08-21-2008 11:47 AM

sounds like one of the elements has gone or you've a bad thermostat in it; how old is the heater?

mw2727 08-21-2008 12:03 PM

I recently purchased the property 9 months ago, but I am quite certain the unit is 5 years old. If it is an element or thermostat has gone bad, can that be fixed easily with a diy project?

YerDugliness 08-21-2008 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by mw2727 (Post 150592)
If it is an element or thermostat has gone bad, can that be fixed easily with a diy project?

I've replaced elements myself, but never a separate thermostat (the one thermostat I repaced was part of a gas valve for a gas-fired water heater).

You'll need to drain the tank below the places where the elements attach to the tank. They are pretty obvious, they are those locations with covers on the case. You'll also need a 6-sided wrench to remove the current elements (I use the plural form b/c in my experience if I replaced one element, the one I didn't replace failed soon after, so I always replace them in pairs to avoid the nuisance of having to do it over again), but the cheap formed steel ones you buy in the plumbing stores didn't do it for me, I had to buy a 3/4" drive socket and breaker bar of the correct size at a hardware store to be able to break the element loose. I did try a cheater bar on the formed steel cheapie "wrench" I bought at the plumbing supply store, did nothing more than bend the wrench up--those old elements can be quite stuck in there!

If your elements look like they have been in there for a while, you might want to replace the sacrificial anode that is in the water heater at the same time, I mean, you already have it drained.

You MUST be sure the electricity to the water heater is turned off at the breaker box before you start any of this--"Danger, Will Robinson, Danger"!!

Good luck, this is one repair you can do for yourself if you're the least bit handy!

Dugly :cool:

bob22 08-21-2008 01:51 PM

Bob Villa how-to:
Another site's:
And another:

Further questions, post back.
Good luck!

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