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Old 10-11-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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I have a 40 gallon electric hot water heater. The heat is coming and going. My question is whether or not to replace the whole thing or just try to replace the heating element? I don't know how old the heater is, this is our 5th year in the house. Also how difficult is this to accomplish.

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Old 10-11-2010, 07:56 PM   #2
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It's probably the lower element but you should test both along with the thermostats.

Why are you heating your hot water

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Old 10-11-2010, 09:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHMaster View Post
Why are you heating your hot water
Because it was not hot enough originally.

Can you describe in more detail the difficulty you are having with the existing heater?

Fixing something versus replacing it is always a dilemma because you don't know whether something else will go wrong soon thereafter and the water heater or television set or automobile or washing machine or whatever becomes a money pit.

A common problem with working with plumbing is taking things apart for example the thermostat might be rusted together with the tank and break off rather than come apart nicely.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 10-11-2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #4
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But hot water is plenty hot already. Isn't it already over 120 degrees? Look at the serial number on the tank. Almost every brand except bradford white use the first 4 numbers of the serial number to give you the year and week the tank was made. If it's over 8 years old and you have the funds to replace it, do it. Tanks just don't last 20 years anymore, it's gonna keep giving you problems if you don't change it now. Next time it gives you problems though it might cause a flood
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:15 PM   #5
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I will check the serial number. When the tank is working the hot water is just fine, I have never changed the temperature so it should be set at 115 or so. The problem was that I didn't have hot water all day. My wife takes her showers in the morning and for the past couple of days she has said that there is no hot water. Usually when I take showers after coming home from work there is no problem with the temperature. Yesterday it wasn't the usual temp. I was just down there getting the manufactorer name and model number. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:20 PM   #6
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The serial number was 0895B23885. So does that mean that it was installed in the 8th week of 1995? Don't laugh.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:47 PM   #7
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Yes, it's probably 15 years old but if it's not leaking, changing the elements or thermostats is a whole lot less expensive than changing the tank. If you have a multi-meter you can check for continuity across the elements (with the power off and the wires removed ) an open circuit tells yiou the element is bad. Usually it's going to be the lower one that goes. trun the power and water off, drain the tank, spin the bad one out and put a new one back in .

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