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Old 09-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
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New water heater, no hot water


Hi all,

I installed a new 38 gallon electric hot water heater today and so far I have no hot water. It's been three hours so far and the tap is just luke warm.

So far I've tried adjusting the thermostat to ensure the same temp on top and bottom, I've checked that electricity is running to the heater and I've checked both elements with a multi-meter and got a reading from both so I'm assuming those are good. I did turn the breaker back on before the tank was full, and I read that could burn out the elements but since I got the reading I'm assuming those are not the problem at this point.

I'm scratching my head as to what could be wrong here. My FIL is telling me to take the heater back to the store and get a new one, but I feel like there's a greater chance of user error here.

There wasn't much to hook up, we just matched black to black wires and red to red, so I'm not sure if electrical could be the issue.

Not sure if it's relevant, but the old heater had what we assume was one bad element because the hot water ran out real quick and some days we had no hot water at all, then it would come back. I turned off the breaker then turned it back on and smelled burned plastic. When we took out the old one today I saw one of the wire covers was melted. Could that indicate there's some electrical/voltage problem?

Thanks, I'm completely new to this and I need help quick before my FIL rips the heater out of the wall!

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Old 09-21-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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New water heater, no hot water


Only takes a min. or two to melt an element if the tanks not at least full enough of water to be over the elements.
The right way would have been to turn on the incoming water to the tank and open up a hot faucet and let it run until it stopped spitting out air.
Also need to remove all the aerators on the faucets and the shower head to flush out the stirred up trash in the lines.
How did you check the elements?
http://www.water-heater-repair-guide...nttesting.html

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Old 09-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #3
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New water heater, no hot water


Thanks for your reply. I checked the elements with a multi-meter by touching the two screws on the element after turning the breaker off. I got a reading so I assumed that meant the elements were ok. Is that not right?
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:13 PM   #4
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New water heater, no hot water


If you turned the power on without the tank full, you have smoked the upper element. You say you got a reading on the upper element; can I assume you got approx 240 volts? If yes, turn off the power and test across the element terminals with an ohmmeter. You should get about 13 ohms. If it is open (infinite resistance or no reading) then the element is shot and needs to be replaced.


Also use the ohmmeter to test from each element terminal to the tank. These readings should be open. If you get a reading on this test the terminal is shorted to the tank.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:31 PM   #5
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New water heater, no hot water


The meter is set to X1K and the needle flies all the way to infinity, so I'm guessing that's not supposed to happen.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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New water heater, no hot water


Quote:
Originally Posted by sofla View Post
The meter is set to X1K and the needle flies all the way to infinity, so I'm guessing that's not supposed to happen.
If you are using an analog meter and the needle goes full scale, it indicates a short circuit. An open will not cause the meter to move at all.

Compare the readings on the lower element. The lower element should be OK.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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New water heater, no hot water


When you install an electric HWT you must first make sure that you turn on a house faucet hot water and run it until you get a steady stream of water. Then you energize the tank.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:05 PM   #8
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New water heater, no hot water


if you turned power on to tank before being full......shut off power drain tank replace top and bottom elements ....fill with water till its flowing from faucets turn off faucets turn on power should have hot water in about 1 hour...ben sr

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