Water Heater Quit Working Need advice

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by rio002, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 29, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    Hi all! Well last night I took a very cold shower (not by choice) as our hot water tank quit working. I checked the breakers, all is fine there, but it is cold to the touch still today. It's a Reliance Master Plumber 501 dated Oct. 91. I imagine we have to replace it and do have a nifty insurance that covers all our appliances no matter how old for replacement with new--cost to us I think is only the labor. This insurance replaced our old furnace 2 years ago and (it was over 20 years old) and only cost us $495 vs. $1500. Anyhoo I hear there is a reset button on the tank I am going to look for and was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas before I have to haul out the paperwork and call insurance as they only replace if it is nonfixable or would cost more to fix than to replace, but the original cost of labor for someone to come out is out of my pocket--which is not in the budget right now since our Ford lost the transmission and we have yet to figure how to bail that out of the shop :no: Thank in advance :)
     
  2. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    You may not need a whole new water heater. Unless it's leaking, the element can be easily replaced (after draining the tank). Next might be the thermostat. Both are easily replaced and are fairly inexpensive.
     

  3. Tractorman

    Tractorman Well-Known Member

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    Jun 8, 2004
    Location:
    Danville,AL
    I would guess the reset button because there are usually 2 elements and chances are not good they both went out at the same time. The reset would kill the power to both of them and is usually located behind the little cover on the side of the heater. Either way elements are about $15 and easily changed.
     
  4. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    Jul 29, 2002
    Location:
    WA
    Thanks for the help! I did find the reset button on the thermostat (upper)--learned the upper thermstat controls the lower. When I got in there with the power off--the thermostat had actually half melted including the reset button and had burned the insulation and wiring that runs to the junction box--this is when it became obviously out of my limits for fixing. Had to have a service guy come out and do it, however I took advantage of his time ($72 an hour :eek: ) and picked his brain, watched him replace it and the wiring, and asked every question and the sun about water tanks, maintenence to be sure what I was doing was correct, and especially the differences because we run off a well, even how to maintain our other appliances to reduce hard water wear and tear. So even though the parts were $25 and the whole bill was $144 you can bet it won't happen again as now for that price I am more educated lol He did mention that if the reset button is out thus shutting off the tank that is only a clue that something else is wrong--usually the thermostat because as the tank heats and then overheats due to a faulty thermostat it expands and pushes the reset button out for safety, giving you time to replace the thermostat, he mentioned not to use the reset button unless you will be monitoring the tank to be sure it isn't going to overheat and do what ours did. Next I will know what to do--dang it's expensive to get educated LOL Thanks again :D
     
  5. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    Sep 4, 2003
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Think of it as a VO-Tech course.