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Old 03-24-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
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Help troubleshooting electric water heater


I went to get some hot water this morning only to be surprised with ice cold water. The breaker on the water heater was tripped. I reset the breaker with no change. After that didnt work, I popped the covers on the elements and hit the reset button on the upper element. That appeared to do the trick.

I poked around with my multimeter to verify operation. The strange thing is that I only had 240v at the upper element. Nothing at the lower. Figured it should have been on since water was ice cold.

Fast forward 30 min - water was VERY hot. Much higher temp than normal. The water heater was also making more whirring/clicking noises than normal. I shut off the breaker to stay on the safe side. Any idea what could be causing this? Bad thermostat maybe?

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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How old is the tank?

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Old 03-25-2013, 12:15 AM   #3
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The upper & lower heating elements won't run at the same time.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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poping and crackling. Sounds like the tank is loaded up with sediment
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:31 PM   #5
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I have had the exact same situation. The thermostat is bad. It is keeping the element on (upper one in this case) and is overheating, causing the safety to kick out. A new thermostat is usually in the 10 to 15 dollar range. Just be sure to get one that matches yours and turn the power off at the breaker before changing it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
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The tank is only 1 1/2 years old - shouldn't be a sediment issue at this point. Good to know that both elements won't go on at the same time. My experience is mainly with gas water heaters. This unit is just a temporary since I demoed my chimney last year. In another year, I hope to install a gas power vent once my remodeling projects are wrapping up.

I'll look up a part number and try a new upper thermostat - should be a cheap fix.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:41 PM   #7
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Do you have a water softener? Have you checked for sediment and media in the bottom of the HWH?
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stubborn1 View Post
I went to get some hot water this morning only to be surprised with ice cold water. The breaker on the water heater was tripped. I reset the breaker with no change. After that didnt work, I popped the covers on the elements and hit the reset button on the upper element. That appeared to do the trick.

I poked around with my multimeter to verify operation. The strange thing is that I only had 240v at the upper element. Nothing at the lower. Figured it should have been on since water was ice cold.

Fast forward 30 min - water was VERY hot. Much higher temp than normal. The water heater was also making more whirring/clicking noises than normal. I shut off the breaker to stay on the safe side. Any idea what could be causing this? Bad thermostat maybe?
When you went back 30 minutes later did you check to verify which element was heating? This should be a strong clue.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:45 PM   #9
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Help troubleshooting electric water heater


the upper element heats first. when the upper thermostat switches off it switches the other leg of the 220 line to the lower thermostat. the lower element the heats til the thermostat is satisfied. the lower thermostat is either sticking or you have a shorted element that is still heating on the 110 that is connected all the time. the water overheated and the upper limit breaker popped. i would say the lower thermostat isn't kicking off. that is where i would start.
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Old 03-25-2013, 11:04 PM   #10
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If its only a year and a half old look in to the warranty most manufactures are giving 6 years on tank 6 years on electrical parts. sounds like you have a bad thermostat could be upper or lower.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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If its only a year and a half old look in to the warranty most manufactures are giving 6 years on tank 6 years on electrical parts. sounds like you have a bad thermostat could be upper or lower.
We sell Rheem, State, AND Bradford White, none of them give 6 years on electronics. Only 1 year.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
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We sell Rheem, State, AND Bradford White, none of them give 6 years on electronics. Only 1 year.

A O smith and state 6 and 6. GE which i care not fore 6 and 6 and American which was the old mor flo's 6 and 6
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:12 AM   #13
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A O smith and state 6 and 6. GE which i care not fore 6 and 6 and American which was the old mor flo's 6 and 6
Double ya tee eff?


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Old 03-27-2013, 08:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Double ya tee eff?



Lost you..
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:04 PM   #15
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Lost you..
"(W) (T) (F)"

(Double ya) (Tee) (Eff)


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