darn water heater

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pcdreams, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    just replaced one of the two elements this evening. Results= Now no hot water:(

    I drained it and checked the other one. Looks to be ok but a contunity test says otherwise.

    Still I can't see why changing one element (or having a broken one) would keep the other from working. There are two thermostats (tied together somehow)

    anyone have any ideas? It's not a tripped breaker ;)

    its not that old of heater. had it about 3-4 years.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Turn the supply power off at the main breaker.
    Do a continuity test on both elements, making certain that the one that has continuity is not shorted to the outer covering. Now install the good element in the lower opening in the water heater and replace the wires as you originally found them. Install the other unit in the upper hole. Leave the wires off the upper unit but do place a wire nut or electrical tape on the naked wire ends. Fill the tank with water until water comes out at a nearby hot water spigot and the water is free of all air. This is most important as an element will melt in a few seconds if not submersed. Now turn the power on and read the voltage on the lower unit. It should be present in order for the unit to work. If the voltage is not there then you either have a it wired wrong, the over temp switch is tripped or defective, the thermostat is defective or you have no supply voltage. Do Not Rearrange The Wiring To Bypass Anything!
     

  3. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    1,735
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    excellent thanks.

    the top element & thermostat was out.

    Damn its gonna be nice to have hot water again (and its only been a week) :D
     

  4. sounds like you really know your wheaters.........i have two problems...........would like your opinion.
    1. this water heater is not old, but trips the breaker occasionally. both elements are heating correctly, bottom first, then top. it may take a week to trip breaker, then go another week to do it again. any suggestions?

    2. this water heater is older. it was heard making a skkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk sound pretty loud. we turned it off, then we turned it back on later and it was quiet. the kicker is this house is un occuped and when we decided to turn it off completely the electric bill has gone down to almost nothing. obviously this was using an awful amount of kilowatts. any suggestions for this one?

    thanks much for yur time

    btw. what is a continuity test. we have a voltage meter tester.
     
  5. pcdreams

    pcdreams Well-Known Member

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    I always say/type that wrong. It's actually countinuity test. Just test to make sure there are no breaks in the wire from end to end. its done with a multimeter by testing for ohms.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    unregistered, You problem most likely is that the lower element in the water heater has a high resistance short between the calrod unit's interior element and it outer metal covering. This is allowing the element to draw more current than the system was designed to carry and thus trips the breaker. Based on where the element has the short you could also be delivering power to the heating element even when the thermostat is open and that will drive the consumption of electricity high and the bill will rise accordingly. It will also cause the heater to make the skkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk sound and the water in the heater will be VERY hot . Time to install a new water heater.
     
  7. thanks agmantoo, but these are two different water heaters in two houses. each with its own problem. does that make your answer any different. the no. l heater is the one that trips the breaker every once in a while, now how do we find and correct that?
    the other one no. 2 is in a summer house and it probably does need to be replaced with its high consumption of power, although it is probably 8 or so years old.
    btw this is kate and i am too lazy to log in.............
     
  8. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Eight years is not that old for a water heater where the water is decent. The number 1 heater needs both elements to be checked with a multimeter to ascertain where the problem exists. You may also want to verify that this unit has a good 240 volts supply and not lower. If the breaker has been tripped many times you may also need to replace it. The 8 year old unit needs to be drained and flushed until the drain water is clear and the heating elements need to be checked with a multimeter to determine if there is a short between the inner heating element and the outer tube covering. Number 2 probably has a problem with the lower element but while you are in there you may as well check both elements. Both units have a heating element problem IMO