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Old 02-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #1
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water heater woes


I have a three year old 50 gal. richmond electric water heater. It may not be the top of the line but I bought what I could afford at the time. I can replace it with a better one now if I have to. So here's my problem. It is a dual element non-simultaneous operation. Both elements have continuity and tank is clean. I have t-stats at 130 main bath taps 120-123. I have a spare bath 10 feet from heater bath spout is 127deg. I used a 5 gallon bucket and dumped 35 gallons with temp down to 116 deg between 35 and 40 gallons water went to ambient temp. First hour rating is 62 gallons tank capacity is 50 gallons. In my mind I shouldnt run out that quick. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 02-13-2011, 02:14 PM   #2
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that sounds about right for what your water heater will deliver. remember that cold water is replacing the hot water you use and is mixing in the tank. the first hour rating on the tank is generally figured on 80-90 degrees of temp rise, but is obviously not instantaneous. if you're not getting enough hot water, get a bigger tank or install a second tank and connect them together

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Old 02-13-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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I understand the cold water pushes up from the bottom and does mix. But after approx. 37 gal. of the 50 capacity back to cold? I assumed I could get near 45-50 of atleast warm enough for a shower. Ok if thats the case which is better one 80 or add a 40-50 beside my 50?
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Old 02-13-2011, 03:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 747jetmech View Post
Ok if thats the case which is better one 80 or add a 40-50 beside my 50?
IMO if you have the space, one water heater is better than two when it comes to maintenance or future replacement.

HRG
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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So what is the temp of the incoming water?

The on demand water heaters talk about 7gpm, but that is if they are starting off with 60F water... going from 60 to 120 is one thing.. going from 35 to 120 is another.

Another way of looking at it..

A 747 is going need how much power to start rolling empty?
How much power is going to be needed fully loaded but not overloaded for take off?
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Homerepairguy View Post
IMO if you have the space, one water heater is better than two when it comes to maintenance or future replacement.
If you want to do more troubleshooting on your current water heater, you could verify that the lower thermostat and lower heating element are both working properly. (Since you do have hot water, then the upper thermostat and upper element must be working.)

*** Do this only if you are competent with electricity ***
1. Turn off the electricity to your water heater.
2. Connect a volt meter across the lower element.
3. Turn the electricity back on.
4. There should "not" be 240 volts across the lower element when the tank is fully hot.
5. Open a hot water faucet and watch the volt meter. Voltage should be applied to the lower element when the lower thermostat senses a drop in temperature.

If in step-4, there is "always" 240 volts to the lower element, then the lower element is not working.

EDIT:
If in step-5 voltage is never applied to the lower element, then verify that voltage is being sent to the lower thermostat from the upper thermostat.
... a) If voltage is being sent from the upper thermostat to the lower thermostat but the lower thermostat is not sending voltage to the lower element, then the lower thermostat must be bad.
... b) If voltage is NOT being sent from the upper thermostat to the lower thermostat, then the contacts in the upper thermostat that feed the lower thermostat must be bad.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 02-13-2011 at 07:35 PM. Reason: See "EDIT" in the text - expanded analyzing results of step 5.
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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Not exactly on topic but, if you drew the water out over the course of an hour rather than as fast as you could fill the bucket, you would have gotten more hot water, because a heating element would have been on for most of that time. Also, hot water is lighter than cold water so there is some tendency of the warmer water to migrate upwards and the water that is drawn will be warmer than the "average" temperature of the entire tank contents.
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Old 02-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #8
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Hey 747Jetmech I posted the other day about my heater and found that mine seems to be working correctly. HEre is a link to the post with some data for you to compare.
AO Smith dip tube question
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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Ok, thanks for the posts. Incoming water is about 55. I did check upper and lower t-stats and upper lower elements with both checking good. I have the wiring diagram and they operate normal. I guess my big question is why after instant draining of 35 gallons in a 50 gallon tank my water is back to cold. I understand cold water pushes up from the bottom and I will have some mixture of cold. But to still be at 117deg at 35 gal then drop to 70deg between 35-40 gal seems dramatic like the bottom element isnt working. I have checked and rechecked with meter and yes I do know what I am doing with a meter and wiring diagram.thanks
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:59 PM   #10
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Have you checked the thermostat? If it is not reading correctly it can have effect on when the elements turn on and off.
Could the thermostat be waiting to long to turn on?
The temp reader for the in coming air on my van stopped working , just stayed at one temp... thus having the engine run differently, I changed it and now the engine runs like it should with the different air temps.
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Old 02-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
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water heater woes


Quote:
Originally Posted by 747jetmech View Post
I guess my big question is why after instant draining of 35 gallons in a 50 gallon tank my water is back to cold.
What if you tried this?

Drain water from your heater when the tank is supposed to be fully hot and see what the temperature of the water at the bottom of the tank is. This might give you a clue to analyze.

EDIT: If you try this, suggest turning the cold water inlet off and draining some of the water by opening the pressure relief valve or a hot water faucet. If the cold water inlet is left on, it would immediately cool the bottom of the tank and not give you a good indication of how hot the water is at the bottom.

HRG

Last edited by Homerepairguy; 02-14-2011 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Added how to drain suggestion.
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:00 AM   #12
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Sounds to me OK your draining 35 gallons and that is being replaced with 55deg water that only left you with 15 gal that got diluted when the 55deg entered the tank. Electric takes longer to reheat.

Has this been since it was installed or recent problem.
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:11 PM   #13
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I could have swore I posted a reply in here last night?
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I could have swore I posted a reply in here last night?
"You probably did but didn't say anything".

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