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Old 08-22-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Hot Water heater


My electric hot water produces very little hot water. I realize that one of its elements needs to be replaced.

Lately, it has begun making a high pitched sound, like my oven's heating element did when it was arcing. Does this mean that my hot water heater could explode?

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Old 08-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #2
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Hello and welcome tamilee, to the best darn DIY'r site on the web.

Sounds like you have lost an element on your heater, explode not likely, stop working all-to-gether, probable.

Mark

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Old 08-22-2011, 08:13 PM   #3
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Tamilee,

If you are competent around electricity, see if your thermostats are switching properly using a voltmeter.

Use up the hot water. The upper thermostat should be applying about 220 volt a/c to the upper element. There should not be any voltage applied to the lower element at this time.

After the upper part of the tank gets hot, the upper thermostat switches and passes the a/c to the lower thermostat which in turn applies voltage to the lower element. There should not be any voltage applied to the upper element at this time.

After the lower part of the tank gets hot, the lower thermostat should switch, removing voltage to the lower element. There should not be any voltage applied to either the upper or lower element at this time.

Bottom line is there should never be voltage applied to BOTH elements simultaneously. Usually the lower element burns out first since it is the one that always goes on and off whenever hot water is used. The upper element does not go on and off as often as the lower element.

If either thermostat does not switch the voltage off their associated element properly, then that element could be overheating. Maybe causing the noise you hear? I donno but worth checking.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 08-23-2011 at 02:46 AM. Reason: changed last paragraph from upper element to both elements.
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