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Old 04-07-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


Three weeks ago we bought a brand new Whirlpool 55 gallon electric water heater from Lowes. We had Lowes professionally install it. BEFORE the water heater we were using the oil furnance.

Lowe's plumber came and installed it. Two weeks it worked fine. Then it just stopped working - got a shower and the water temp was room temperature warm. So we called Lowes the plumber came out and said everything was working fine. Just to be sure he replaced the upper and lower heating element. Still no hot water... called Lowes back and the plumber came again -- plumber does not understand said power is fine, everything is working he doesn't understand. So HE REPLACES THE WHOLE WATER HEATER -- we have a fresh new unit (well the other one was 3 weeks old). Takes the old water heater apart and says the pipe was broken where the hot water is pushed into?

OK well NOW our BRAND NEW 1 DAY OLD water heater is NOT producing Hot water either I am pissed this is getting ridiculous. I'm about ready to ask for my money back and just go back to using oil -- which is ridiculous too because its almost $350 a month for oil.

What I don't understand is it WAS working fine and just stopped...i suppose if the pipe was broken that explains why...but now the new one doesn't work either?

I don't expect to fix this myself because apparently the professional plumber cant seem to fix it and I have NO plumbing or electrical knowledge. BUT can someone please please offer advice to what the problem might be? Maybe I can fix it or check myself but if you do explain it please put it in simple easy terms so that even a child could understand lol.

Thank you!

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


Why do you want to mess with it ? Should be under warranty. You may ruin your warranty if you do something to it, Keep calling Lowes back, Sooner or later they will fix it, Good luck. I hate things that don't work right.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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Hi and welcome to the forum. It would seem you are the victim of yet another big-box store piece of junk.
I seriously doubt the guy that installed it the second time knows his posterior from a spherical opening on a horizontal plane devoid of all mineral substances.
I hope you can get a refund, for the original unit and the unneeded elements as well. Then go to your local REAL plumbing shop and have a REAL installer come put in a REAL water heater and I think you'll be just fine. Junk is junk and garbage is garbage. You have my sympathies.

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Old 04-07-2012, 01:26 PM   #4
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I agree with Rocksprings and DM, but just a couple of things that you can check yourself;

First, you mentioned the shower, but is the problem isolated to the shower, or is the problem at the faucets as well? If isolated to the shower, it could be the mixing valve.

Second, check that the supply line, coming from your well or meter, is connected to the bung marked "cold". Having the hot and cold lines reversed does not work well at all.
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Second, check that the supply line, coming from your well or meter, is connected to the bung marked "cold". Having the hot and cold lines reversed does not work well at all.


I was wondering the same thing: is it plumbed backwards?. ie: cold into the hot side?
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Old 04-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #6
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Give that man a ceeeegar!

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Old 04-07-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
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I must say Ive had many good laughs around here over the years looking at the installs done by "the plumbers" from lowes and the homeless depot,theyre pretty east to spot usually just look for ge or whirl pool water heater leaning to 1 side with flexable copper water lines and a ball valve installed with compression connectors!
Almost forgot the plastic drip leg coming off of pop off valve they like to use as part of the kit!
The nipple the hot water comes out of was bad on first unit,how did you get any water out of it at all then????????
Did the guy working on it even try turning up the thermostats to see if it would come on?
Did he go to the panel with an actual meter and make sure he was actually getting 240v ,or did he just use a test light/buzzer that tells you that youre getting somewhere between 65-4000 volts?
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Old 04-07-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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The nipple the hot water comes out of was bad on first unit,how did you get any water out of it at all then????????
THANK you!

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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another sad story for homeowner by big box store.....Idon't like to hear them but the truth is ..it keeps my plumbers busy fixing there messes.....so what I would do get my money back and call a local company with good track record ...your sure to get a better job.....
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:45 PM   #10
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


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Did he go to the panel with an actual meter and make sure he was actually getting 240v ,or did he just use a test light/buzzer that tells you that youre getting somewhere between 65-4000 volts?
I don't really know the bounds of a limited electrical license. Obviously I can do something like this on my own home, but as a plumber, pulling the panel cover off and touching wires in there, i'm just not sure if that's something i'm allowed to do.

I usually check voltage at the wires in the junction box on the heater, and if they're not reading proper voltage, and the breaker appears to be in the on position, I have them call an electrician.


That being said, my first guess was reversed hot/cold lines as well. It sounds like that's the only thing left UNLESS he's transporting the heater on it's side and it has a weak dip tube to begin with, and they're getting snapped off in transit.

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Old 04-07-2012, 09:57 PM   #11
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


General consensus seems to be the hot/cold water lines were switched.
OP states it worked fine for the first two weeks.
Is that possible if the lines were switched?
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Old 04-07-2012, 09:59 PM   #12
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


Do you have a recirculating system on the hot water line?

Pictures would be great.
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Old 04-07-2012, 11:25 PM   #13
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I don't really know the bounds of a limited electrical license. Obviously I can do something like this on my own home, but as a plumber, pulling the panel cover off and touching wires in there, i'm just not sure if that's something i'm allowed to do.

I usually check voltage at the wires in the junction box on the heater, and if they're not reading proper voltage, and the breaker appears to be in the on position, I have them call an electrician.


That being said, my first guess was reversed hot/cold lines as well. It sounds like that's the only thing left UNLESS he's transporting the heater on it's side and it has a weak dip tube to begin with, and they're getting snapped off in transit.

Well it sounds like he had some sort of a fuel oil burner in there before,so somebody had to have run the wiring for the new water heater that wasnt there before.
Judging from what Ive seen of the plumbing Ive seen those hacks do,I can just imagine their wiring skills!
I somehow imagine 50' of 1/2" greenfield with some 10/2 romex drug through it looking like a drunk out of shape snake!
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:06 AM   #14
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Water heater trouble!!! Please help!!!!


Dip Tube..

The water tank is little more than a giant bucket with a heating element and a dip tube.
If the unit functioned properly for the first 3 weeks then it can't be plumbed incorrectly. The installer over welded the dip tube. The first time it took 3 weeks to work its way off and the second time the welder job ruined it from the start
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:57 AM   #15
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Dip Tube..

The water tank is little more than a giant bucket with a heating element and a dip tube.
If the unit functioned properly for the first 3 weeks then it can't be plumbed incorrectly. The installer over welded the dip tube. The first time it took 3 weeks to work its way off and the second time the welder job ruined it from the start
You have confused me, what do you think was welded? Do you mean soldered?

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