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Old 10-12-2008, 02:59 AM   #1
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problem with water heater


I have a water heater that only heats water about 30 gallens if that it is electric how can you tell if elements in heater is bad or not the heater is about18 years old
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Old 10-12-2008, 03:18 AM   #2
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problem with water heater


Any water heater that old is probably due for replacement, for poor energy efficiency if nothing else, but you can probably just repair it.
A simplified way to test if elements are bad is to turn OFF the power, disconnect the wires from the elements and test them with an ohm meter. No resistance = bad element (usually the bottom one).
With the power and water to the heater OFF, attach a hose to the drain at the bottom of the heater, open your highest hot water faucet for air, and drain it down (also open the T&P valve at the top of the heater for air as it drains down).
Unscrew the element or element bolts, and replace the element with one just like it.
Make certain that the water heater is filled with water before restoring power (or you can burn out the elements) Let the water run until all air is out of the farthest hot water faucet.
Good Luck!
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:55 AM   #3
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problem with water heater


Time to consider a new water heater. You have gone about twice the life of a water heater.

There is probably sediment in the bottom of your tank that will cause problems with the bottom heater.

Also your tank is in danger of leaking and once a water heater leaks they can cause all kinds of damage. I am actually surprised that you don't have a leak already. Eighteen years is a long time for the older tanks.

A new tank will be more energy efficient.

I would not spend any more money on this tank. It would be a temporary fix at best and you would need a new tank soon anyhow.

Plus depending in where you live there are tax credits for energy efficient tanks. Check that out before you buy to see what kind of tax credits there are. Most stores that sell tanks will be up on that information.
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