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Old 05-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #1
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Hot Water Heater Continuously Resets


Hi,

I noticed the other day that all of the sudden I had no hot water. I took the cover off of the unit and pressed the red reset button and then there was hot water again. Unfortunately, I noticed that the water was hotter than it should have been and by the next morning it had tripped again. So, obviously something is wrong. The unit is a 40 gallon electric State Select and if I'm interpreting the serial number correctly it was manufactured in May 2006 which makes it about 7 years old. I'm a bit strapped for cash at the moment so I'd like to avoid replacing the unit.

I know almost nothing about water heaters but based on the googling that I just did it looks like the problem can be one of two things. Either the thermostat is stuck or the element is grounded. I have a number of questions, some of which I'm sure are a bit silly.

(1) Do all hot water heaters have two elements / two thermostats? I only have one place on mine to set the temperature. Does that mean that there is only one thermostat? There is a second cover higher up but behind it there is only a metal circle looking thing. (see photo) Can someone tell me what that is?

(2) How can I determine whether the problem is a bad thermostat or a grounded element? I do have a multimeter, though not a lot of experience using it Generally though I am smart enough to at least not kill myself.

(3) How likely is it to be one or the other. Is it like 50/50 or 90/10? I ask because it looks like replacing the element may be more than I can handle, but the thermostat doesn't look too bad.

(4) Where can I find the right thermostat? Are they standard or do I have to find the exact thermostat for my model? I live in a small town. There is a walmart but no real hardware stores. Are they likely to carry it?

Thanks in advance!

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Last edited by rs1971; 05-29-2013 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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water heaters come with single or double elements, 99.9 percent of the times when the red button pops its the thermostat. temper plate inside go bad and they wont shut down at preset temp they over heat then the emergency reset pops, you'll need to make sure its a single element, most are interchangeable brand to brand, buy the package element and thermostat, if you cant find them locally order on line, make sure of the voltage and wattage before you order, element has nothing to do with the reset popping but if its 6 to 7 years old go ahead and replace the element while your at it.

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Old 05-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javiles View Post
water heaters come with single or double elements, 99.9 percent of the times when the red button pops its the thermostat. temper plate inside go bad and they wont shut down at preset temp they over heat then the emergency reset pops, you'll need to make sure its a single element, most are interchangeable brand to brand, buy the package element and thermostat, if you cant find them locally order on line, make sure of the voltage and wattage before you order, element has nothing to do with the reset popping but if its 6 to 7 years old go ahead and replace the element while your at it.
Hi,

Thanks for that. I'm still not sure how many elements it has. Is there always the same number of thermostats as elements? I tried finding the manual online but wasn't able to, probably because it is so old. The model number is ES640SORT and it's manufactured by State. Anyway, I'm including photos here of what's behind the upper and lower panel so hopefully someone can give me a clue.

UPPER PANEL



LOWER PANEL


Thanks again.
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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Each element would have its own thermostat, Thats a single
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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Each element would have its own thermostat, Thats a single
Okay, that's what I thought. But what's the thing metal thing under the top cover?

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Old 05-29-2013, 06:44 PM   #6
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That would be the port for the top element
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Old 05-29-2013, 06:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
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That would be the port for the top element
Ah, ok. So this geometry could support one element or two. That's interesting.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:45 PM   #8
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http://www.statewaterheaters.com/lit...185225-000.pdf
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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I learned a long time ago to replace both the stat and element.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:28 AM   #10
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Okay, thanks everyone for all the help. I have one last question. I just finished replacing the thermostat / element and I'm waiting for the water to get hot. There was one small snafu. The geometry in the replacement thermostat is slightly different than that on the original and as a result the plastic cover doesn't fit anymore. I guess I could just leave it off, but I like to get things done right. Is there somewhere I can find a plastic cover that will fit my thermostat? I poked around online and I couldn't find anyplace that sells them at all.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:56 AM   #11
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Just cut a hole in your existing on and make it fit.

You can tape over the old hole.
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:05 AM   #12
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Some thermostats come with new covers. The ones we get don't. I just usually have to snap off one of the "legs" on the old cover and it fits fairly closely to what it used to fit on the old one. It doesn't sit tightly, but it stays there by itself.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:01 PM   #13
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By the way make sure you do not turn the power back on until you have a full tank with water running out a faucet... Elements will fry in open air.

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