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Old 07-17-2016, 05:52 PM   #16
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Here's a couple more videos that may help you out.

I would get a decent mm at a local big box store and ditch the harbour freight one. They have some decent ones for about 20 dollars. Just a suggestion.


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Old 07-17-2016, 05:56 PM   #17
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Hope you get it figured out soon amodoko so you can take a long deserved hot shower.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:16 PM   #18
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


I'm not familiar with digital multimeters but your low resistance readings may be caused by meter calibration and really be zero. Analogue (sweep) multimeters have a battery in the resistance circuit (mine is a 9v)and an 'ohms adjust' control. You are meant to touch the probes together (usually in Rx1) then adjust the needle to zero. If it won't zero properly, it usually means the battery needs to be replaced.
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Old 07-18-2016, 03:10 PM   #19
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Thanks for the replies! I did watch those exact videos when I actually ran my test on it earlier, where I got the one unusual ohms reading. And if I remember correctly, some of the tests in those videos require the power being on. I think I'm going to have to run some more tests on the water heater, and possibly with the power on. Before I do this, I am probably going to buy some electrical glove protection (those lineman gloves) that are supposed to protect you from 500 to 1000 volts. Something like this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302007732037...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

I'm not comfortable working with electricity so I want to have some added protection if the power is on and I can then use those gloves whenever I work with electricity in the future. I'm probably going to also have to buy a second multimeter I think since I'm not sure I trust the one I got. And maybe also a non-contact voltage tester. That way I can maybe run more tests on it to figure out what is the problem. Thanks again for your guys' help so far Much appreciated
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Old 07-18-2016, 07:13 PM   #20
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Yes. Please be careful and safe.
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:11 PM   #21
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


(See attached photos below for reference, sorry for them uploading sideways)

Okay, got back around to the water heater, thanks for your patience guys. This month has just been so hectic that I’ve had to put off this little DIY fix for quite some time. But I just got my safety gloves in the mail last week, rated to 500 volts since I’m not comfortable with electricity yet and wanted some added protection.

I did get some weird results again when testing the water heater with the power on. These aren’t the best results and I think I am either doing something wrong with my multimeter or I need a new multimeter. I took photos of the multimeter and how I have it setup. The black lead in the COM port and the red lead in the V..mA port. The 10ADC port has nothing plugged into it. I have set the dial to 750ACV which I think is what I need to test 240 volts on a household appliance since I only have an option for 200 and 750 in the ACV section as you can see from the photos.

I first put the multimeter into a normal 120 volt electrical outlet and got about 121 volts or something. So I thought the multimeter was working fine. Then I went and tested the water heater using this guide that you guys kindly supplied me with:

http://www.water-heater-repair-guide...hermostat.html

I posted pictures of my thermostats and everything at various points during my testing, but basically the tests on the upper thermostats and elements were fluctuating between -1 and 1 Volts for some reason. The upper thermostat is supposed to read 240 volts, so I was like excited that I thought I found the problem.

Then I tested the lower element and got a fluctuating reading between -1 and 1 Volts again. Then I tested the lower thermostat and got the correct reading of 120 volts for all the tests on the lower thermostats (supposed to read 120 volts according to the guide).

I then wanted to test if maybe I hadn’t set my multimeter up correctly or was doing something wrong, so I went to my dryer outlet that is working at 240 volts I believe, plugged the multimeter in, and could not get a reading really. Sometimes I would get -1 and most of the time it was just stuck at 0 volts. That dryer outlet works though. I re-tested the multimeter again in a normal 120 volt outlet and got the correct 120 volt reading.

What am I doing wrong with the multimeter? Or why am I only getting proper readings on 120 volt things, and getting improper readings on the 240 volt things. I even changed the battery on it. If the multimeter is the issue, then I will go and buy another one from a big box store as jmon had suggested. I just assumed it was working fine because it was giving correct readings on 120v outlets. That's kind of weird to me.

Also you will notice my reset button on my water heater is popped out, but I cannot push it in. I have pressed it really hard and it won’t stay in when pressed. It may be normal for this model, but thought I should mention that since I saw photos of water heaters that seemed to have the button flush and not popped out.

Thanks again for any help
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Last edited by amodoko; 07-31-2016 at 09:13 PM.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:48 PM   #22
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Just a quick note to add to my post I just made above, I went to the hardware store, got another multimeter that looks the same as the one I have, but in a different color, and it is doing the same thing. It gives me 0v on a 240v outlet, but correctly gives me 120 volts on a 120volt outlet. I'm stumped. I can't accurately diagnose this with the power on if it won't read 240volts. Maybe this type of multimeter has issues or maybe I need to get a completely different kind since I now have two multimeters that are doing the same thing.
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:05 PM   #23
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Are you sure that the outlet you are checking has 240 volts? Are you checking it at the receptacle that the hot water heater plugs in?
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:20 PM   #24
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


The outlet with 240 volts I was testing is a dryer outlet that is currently working. I am pretty sure it is more than 120 volts since it looks like the 240 volt outlets. Here are some pictures of it and the tests I did. All give me 0 volts even though that outlet works.
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Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips needed-img_5078.jpg  
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:03 PM   #25
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Those leads are probably not long enough to reach back in that receptacle. That is probably why you can't read it. Check for 240 volts at the top two screws of your upper element on your hot water heater. If you have 240 there got to the two next set of screws down. You should have 240 there, if you don't your high limit switch is tripped. If you do have 240 there go to your top element, you should have 240 volts there. If you don't your top thermostat is bad. If you do have 240 volts at top element but do not have hot water your top element is bad. There is more to check but I don't want to muddy the waters yet. And since you have no hot water the problem should be in the section I just described
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:06 PM   #26
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


And of course be careful. Turn your power off before you remove your covers, then turn your power on and check your voltage. If your not comfortable with this call someone to give you a hand
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:11 PM   #27
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


You have a defective upper thermostat. The red button is a reset for the over temperature device. The over temperature device or thermostat is a safety device that turns things off if the tank gets excessively hot. For that to happen one of the the thermostats for the heating elements would have to stick closed. If that happened and the over temperature thermostat legitimately clicked off you would have water coming out the T&P (Temperature and Pressure) release valve. Therefore the over temperature thermostat must be defective. Since it is a part of the upper thermostat, replace the upper thermostat.
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Last edited by hkstroud; 08-02-2016 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:08 PM   #28
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Both of you guys are correct! BayouRunner, you were right that those leads weren't long enough. I was able to extend the leads a bit by taking off some of the plastics and then I could stick them in further ( I did this very carefully, but would not recommend trying). I then got 240 volts out of the dryer outlet, so the multimeter is working properly.

Because I can only get 120 volt readings on the lower thermostat, and I can't get 240 volt readings out of the upper thermostat... This means the water heater is receiving power and the breaker is not bad, that the lower thermostat is operational, that the multimeters are working properly because I can get 240 volt readings out of the dryer outlet, and that the upper thermostat is defective.

I will be ordering a new thermostat then. Thank you guys for your help. Once I install it I will see if that resolves the problem. I'm excited to possibly get hot water again
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:41 PM   #29
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


I think I'm going to just pick this thermostat up from Menard's tomorrow. Is this one okay to do the job? It's just some generic one that seems like it may fit mine.

http://www.menards.com/main/plumbing...31187154853498
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Old 08-02-2016, 10:57 PM   #30
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Re: Electric Hot Water Heater Not Working - No Hot Water - Troubleshooting tips neede


Looks good to me. Make note of wiring before you disconnect things.
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