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Anne Terry 12-17-2008 05:50 PM

Rheem 58 Gal water heater not heating
I have a 58 gallon electric hot water heater, suddenly no hot water. It was manufactured in 2005, installed in my house in 2007 by a master plumber. This is the first time I have had a problem. I turned the power off - the main breaker as I do not know which switch applies to the hot water heater. I opened the top door and found the red re-set button. I pushed on it a couple of times, but no clicking. Turned on the power and do not hear it running. Could it be a heating element in what I consider a relatively new heater? I am a single woman and not too savvy about these things. Help.:(

micromind 12-17-2008 07:11 PM

It's likely one of several things;

1) The circuit breaker that feeds it is tripped. It is almost always a 30, and is double pole. That means it's sort of like 2 breakers in one, with the handles tied together. When breakers trip, they usually move to a sort of center position, and the handle must be moved to off, then back on.

2) It certainly is possible that an element has burned out. On a unit that doesn't heat at all, it's usually the top one. Has the water to the building been off recently? If so, the tank could have drained down a bit, and an element will burn up in less than a minute if it isn't completely submerged.

3) The thermostat could be bad. Rare on a relatively new unit, but possible.

4) Wiring could be burned up. The most likely place is the splice at the top of the heater, but sometimes at the breaker. Usually, you can smell this.

Most of this requires testing with a voltmeter or amp meter. Any electrician and some plumbers can do it.


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