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Old 08-16-2015, 09:04 AM   #1
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Electric Water Heater


My tenant says she has no hot water. The breaker wasn't tripped but I still reset it. I checked for continuity on both top and bottom heating elementa and my digital multimeter showed 19.5 ohms resistance for bottom element and 18.5 ohms resistance for top heating element. I'm not sure what that translated to.

I tested and confirm there's power going to the tank.

What's next?
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:13 AM   #2
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Evict the tenant, no sorry, just kidding.

Measure the voltage on the top element. Are you getting about 240 volts.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:14 AM   #3
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thermostat Did you disconnect the wires from the elements?
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:24 AM   #4
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Possible next steps:

If you turn on a hot water faucet, does the pipe for hot water coming out of the tank heat up? (Presumably not, if there is no hot water).

Where are you measuring power to the tank? Are there two switches for the HWH (a circuit breaker in the panel and a quick disconnect near the HWH)?

Is there appropriate voltage across one of the heating elements (not just going to the tank)? If not, thermostat(s) may not be working.

Is the HWH circuit breaker a double pole breaker? If so, the appropriate voltage is approximately 240; if not, it is ~120.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #5
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Yes, I disconnected the wires from the elements when testing on the OHM setting.

How do I check that there is 240v coming into the tank?
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:27 AM   #6
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"Are there two switches for the HWH (a circuit breaker in the panel and a quick disconnect near the HWH)?"

Yes, I'm measuring the power to tank..at the tank.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:28 AM   #7
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"Is there appropriate voltage across one of the heating elements (not just going to the tank)? If not, thermostat(s) may not be working."

How do I check this?
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:29 AM   #8
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"

Is the HWH circuit breaker a double pole breaker? If so, the appropriate voltage is approximately 240; if not, it is ~120."

Yes, its a double pole breaker.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:30 AM   #9
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Sorry everyone, I have a digital multimeter but don't really understand how to use it.

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735402.324864.jpg
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:34 AM   #10
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Set the meter on VAC and test the terminals where you measured the resistance. Leave the power on but be careful.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:37 AM   #11
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Power's on at the panel. My meter's on AC V. I put my leads on the two tops screws:

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735838.649624.jpg

And the meter shows:

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735859.795197.jpg

Shouldn't it be showing 240v?
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjniles View Post
Set the meter on VAC and test the terminals where you measured the resistance. Leave the power on but be careful.

Top element:

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735926.044819.jpg
Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735940.427164.jpg

Bottom element:

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735979.065005.jpg
Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439735996.074614.jpg
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:46 AM   #13
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Yes those are the line terminals and you should have 240. Need to start working back toward the breaker panel and find where you have lost it. You may or may not have a disconnect above or near the WH, check there if you have one.
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:50 AM   #14
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All have great suggestions above. Check out the link, it may be helpful in troubleshooting the problem. Just a suggestion. Hope you find out what's wrong soon and get it up and running again.

http://www.water-heater-repair-guide...hermostat.html
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Old 08-16-2015, 09:51 AM   #15
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Yes, I have a designated disconnect box for all 3 of my tenants' water tanks. That is what i've been using to turn off the power to the tank when troubleshooting to avoid going upstairs into their apartment to turn off the breaker which is located in the electrical panel in their apartment:

Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439736626.948420.jpg
Electric Water Heater-imageuploadedbydiy-chat1439736651.827346.jpg

I haven't touched anything in that disconnect box though.
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