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Old 08-31-2008, 07:16 AM   #1
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No hot water to new water heater


Hello all!

I read the thread about half a page down and it had some good insight, but not sure if that is exactly my problem (although it could be).

My old water heater was on the verge of rupturing, so I replaced it with a new Whirlpool 38 gallon. I put in all the piping, making sure that the cold water pipe was on the right hand side (the side with the covers for the thermostats should be the front of the unit if I'm not mistaken)...no leaks. I have two breakers in the breaker box for the unit, so two wires lead to it. I hooked it up, verified that the upper and lower thermostat were set to the same temperature, and then went back and turned on the breakers. I can't get any hot water out of the unit at all. I used a tester to make sure that I had power (and it's not a fancy tester; just tells if there is indeed power coming), and when I did, there was current to both the upper and lower thermostats and elements. I powered it off, hit the reset button, powered it back on, still no hot water. I had a plumber come out and look at it, he said that I must have powered it up before I let the tank fill (although I waited a good hour) and burned out the upper element. I drained it, looked at the element, it looked fine, but just as a precaution, I replaced it. Put everything back, let the tank fill for a good 2 hours, and then powered it on. No hot water. Tried to reset again, still nothing. At this point, I'm at my wits end!! Any thoughts? Thanks to all!

Edit: One thing I AM noticing. When I cut on the hot water, it's a HAIR warmer than the cold water. It's not warm by any means, but it's just a teeny bit warmer than the cold side. Could it possibly be that I'm not getting enough power to the thermostat/elements?


Last edited by bvsmith_1974; 08-31-2008 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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No hot water to new water heater


Not an expert, but I would get a meter and verify you have 220 going to the elements.

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Old 08-31-2008, 09:09 AM   #3
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No hot water to new water heater


Sounds like you turned the power on premature, or you have a wired it wrong. (pretty hard to wire it wrong though.) You could have a bad breaker, but only way to know is if you test for 240v, is there a disconnect as well as a breaker? are both on?
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Last edited by chris75; 08-31-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
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No hot water to new water heater


Yeah I was looking at the wiring diagram, and at a glance I THINK I have it wired correctly, but as mentioned above, definitely going to get a voltage meter. The guy that checked it yesterday said the breakers were fine, and I don't see where they are flipping or anything. When I undid the wire nuts from the old water heater, I noticed that the wiring was a little rusty, so one thing I'm going to try as well is to strip the wire back a bit and get rid of those rusty ends. I'm welcoming all suggestions before I make my 3rd (and God willing final) trip to Lowe's...i.e., besides a voltage meter, should I pick up a thermostat too (or does it sound like the thermostat is ok, and it's something in the wiring).
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvsmith_1974 View Post
Yeah I was looking at the wiring diagram, and at a glance I THINK I have it wired correctly, but as mentioned above, definitely going to get a voltage meter. The guy that checked it yesterday said the breakers were fine, and I don't see where they are flipping or anything. When I undid the wire nuts from the old water heater, I noticed that the wiring was a little rusty, so one thing I'm going to try as well is to strip the wire back a bit and get rid of those rusty ends. I'm welcoming all suggestions before I make my 3rd (and God willing final) trip to Lowe's...i.e., besides a voltage meter, should I pick up a thermostat too (or does it sound like the thermostat is ok, and it's something in the wiring).

If you bought a brand new water heater, the problem is MOST likely on what you did... so first thing you need to do is make sure you actually have 240v's at the upper heater element.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:25 AM   #6
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Great, thanks all! I'll get a meter and follow up here ASAP.
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #7
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Ok, I did get a meter, and what I've got it two wires coming from the breaker box to the water heater, with each wire bringing 120V. Bear with me, as plumbing I'm decent at, but electrical, I'm sort of mediocre The way it was hooked up to the old water heater was both of the power wires hooked to the red, and the other two hooked to the black. I'm assuming those two combined would give 240V? Or is that some kind of funky electrical that I'm not aware of?
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:14 PM   #8
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You burnt the bottom element up turning the power on with no water in it is my bet. Top element comes on only after the bottom turns off to the best of my memory. Which is not good. Turn the power off and remove the bottom element wires and using a ohm meter test the element. Infinity shows a burnt element.
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:20 PM   #9
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Naw, both times I let the water run for a good long time (45 minutes the first time, 2 hours the second time). Also, from what I understand, the top heats first, then power is shifted to the lower part.

But, just in case (because I'm pulling my hair out), when I drained the tank, I pulled both elements out and looked at them
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:56 PM   #10
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ah yes, but did you open the hot water faucet in kitchen/bath or wherever to allow the tank to fill completely? if not, you fried one of the heating elements cause it did not fill both chambers.... (a friend did the same thing, don't feel like you're all alone. i'm sure thousands of elements have been replaced because of this error)

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Old 08-31-2008, 01:00 PM   #11
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and they're laughing all the way to the bank, no doubt.....

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Old 08-31-2008, 01:20 PM   #12
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LOL No, I actually managed to avoid that mistake, only because I had my father-in-law helping me, and he had done it before to himself :D

Ok, so I just went down and started looking at the wiring. Here's the weird thing. It's a double-pole breaker with two wires, as mentioned before. One wire coming to the water heater has two wires. However, the other one has 3....one white, one gray, one pink. The pink from that one was connected to the white in the other one, and then the white from the first one was hooked to my red on my water heater. The gray ones from both wires was hooked to the black. I tried hooking just the two whites to the red, and left the gray/black alone, and I was getting 240 volts to my water heater...but then my heat pump fan outside started making a funky noise. I hooked all 4 wires together (2 whites, pink, red from the water heater), and the noised stopped and I'm getting 240v to the water heater. Guess we'll give it a few minutes and see if I get hot water.
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bvsmith_1974 View Post
Ok, I did get a meter, and what I've got it two wires coming from the breaker box to the water heater, with each wire bringing 120V. Bear with me, as plumbing I'm decent at, but electrical, I'm sort of mediocre The way it was hooked up to the old water heater was both of the power wires hooked to the red, and the other two hooked to the black. I'm assuming those two combined would give 240V? Or is that some kind of funky electrical that I'm not aware of?
The feed from the panel should be hooked to a 2 pole breaker with a handle tie. When it's turned on you should read 120V from one of the 'legs' to ground, 120V from the other leg to grnd, and 240V leg to leg. In the connection area of the water heater (it's junction box), the wtr htr should have 2 wires, usually 1 red & 1 blk, and a grnd screw. Obviously the ground wire goes to the grnd screw. One of the incoming (source) 'hot' wires will connect to one of the wires of the wtr htr. The other source 'hot' to the other of the htr. Then your htr will have 240V.
Is the feed from the panel a cable or in conduit, and what colors??
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Old 08-31-2008, 01:32 PM   #14
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sounds like a plan, it shouldn't take but 10 minutes or so to be able to tell for sure!

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Old 08-31-2008, 01:46 PM   #15
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And we've got hot water! Thanks all for the help and suggestions!

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