Hot water heater question

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Jc05, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    Aug 18, 2005
    I noticed that my electric hot water heater seems to be kicking on alot, more for shorter periods of time. The other night I just happened to hear it kick on, and then I noticed it again a few minutes later, it kicked on for about 1 minute and kicked off. The breaker is right there by the water heater so I turned off the breaker last night when I went to bed to keep it from kicking on too much. This morning I kicked on the breaker and got a shower, the water was still warm from last night. It filled up and heated for what I consider the normal time, but then about 10 minutes later it kicked on for a couple of minutes and then about 10 min. later it kicked on for about another minute. Any ideas what could be going on, or is this normal and i just noticed it, kicking on for shorter periods of time in warm weather? I did have a water leak about a month back under the house, and had to turn off the water for a few hours could dirt have gotten in there or the tank gotten damaged? The water heater is about a 4 year old Kenmore. Thanks
     
  2. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    Sep 11, 2005
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    North GA
    If its indoors, then outside temp shouldnt make much difference. As for short cycles, I have no idea. Has your bill gone up? Short or long cycles shouldnt make any difference in efficency in an e-water heater. Never spent enough time close to one to know if what you describe is normal. If nobody changed any settings on it and it didnt get drained, then the recent work will have had no effect.
     

  3. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WI
    Could be a thermostat problem, or a problem with scale building up on the elements. Do you have especially hard water? Do you drain and flush the water heater annually?
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Location:
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    The lower element is probably burned open. It is heating only on the upper element and the reserve of hot water is limited when the top element heats. The water will remain cold in the bottom and when you extract some hot it comes off the top and is replaced by the cooler/colder water from the bottom thus the cycle is more frequent. If you do not want to get another element you can switch the top element to the lower position and then put the lower element in the top position but do not connect the power to the top element. It is unlikely you will ever be aware that you made the swap other than everything returning to the previous norm.