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Old 01-19-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


I noticed that we had not had any hot water throughout today and went downstairs to investigate. I ended up shutting off the supply and hot water going to and from the water heater and turning the breaker off and draining the tank (first time ever). I then took off the access plate to the top thermostat and noticed a red reset switch in there and I pushed it and it clicked (I am assuming this tripped). I then turned on the valves and the breaker. My question is, does the power need to be on for me to hit that reset switch or does it work without power on? I am waiting for the water heater to recover so I can not tell yet if the water heater is working.

*Water heater is 5 years old (put in when house was built) and the cold supply line is 59 degrees and the hot out line is 65 degrees which it was before I did all listed above.

Thanks

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Old 01-19-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


You may have a bad heating element. You can check it by testing the ohms using a multimeter. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will walk you through the process. It a fairly simple fix if that's the issue. Not sure about the red switch tho.

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Old 01-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


Did you get all the sediment out of the tank? You seemed to cut to the chase there with the switch. Is yours the type where the thermostat touches the skin of the tank to sense temperature?
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:48 PM   #4
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


Thanks for the quick replies. I am only getting about 73 degrees from a faucet after about a minute of running the hot side only. I am not sure about what type of thermostat I have. When I drained the tank, there wasn't much discolored water that came out. It was maybe for the first 2 seconds then it was clear after that. I left the supply line on when I was draining to flush the tank out, then shut it off and let the rest of the water drain out. Here is a picture of the upper thermostat area, with the red "reset" button.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


Did you make sure that the tank was full if water before you restored power to the water heater?
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #6
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


Make sure to refill the tank before putting the power back on or you can burn out the element.

Maybe this website can help

http://www.water-heater-repair-guide...setbutton.html
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
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Yes, I turned the supply line on first until the rush of water went away and then turned the power back on. I will take a look at that site and keep checking the temp. Thanks again for the help
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:46 PM   #8
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


There was 0 reason to drain all the water out.
All you really needed to do was drain out a few gallons, also could have left the water on and the power on.

What may happen know is since you flush the whole tank the aeriators on the faucets, the screens on the washing machine hoses and shower head may need to be removed and clean out.
Because of stured up trash in the tank.
It's also possible the shower valve may start acting up because the anti scald valve may start sticking.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #9
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


I did some testing and the culprit seems to be the upper element. I do NOT have continuity between the terminals on the upper element, and I have continuity between the left (bottom of the yellow wire in the photo above) element terminal and ground.

Just as added info, I do have continuity between terminal 1 (incoming hot) and terminal 3 (the top end of the yellow wire) which means my reset button is no longer tripping and power is being passed through the reset button. Same with between terminal 1 and 4.

Does this sound like I have come to correct conclusion?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:36 PM   #10
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-t...r-element.html
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:54 AM   #11
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Electric Water Heater Reset Switch


Yes, the element is your problem. Pick up a new one from your local big box store. You will also need to get the tool that unscrews the element. All together this repair should cost less than $30. Make SURE that power is off to the WH before you begin work. Also, ensure that the tank is 100% full of water before you restore power or you will be repeating this process.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:11 AM   #12
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Perfect. Thanks Justin

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