Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
Water Heater Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Water Heater

    Hey guys, I have a problem that is giving me fits. I have a water heater that I have replaced the elements and the thermostats twice, both top and bottom. I did short out one of the elements accidentally as I was checking to make sure the power was hooked up by inadvertently touching one of the screws and the side of the water heater with a screwdriver. Anyway, my problem is this, the water will heat up but enough for only one shower and then it takes nearly 5 hours to reheat. Anybody got some tips on some things to check. I have a multimeter to check anything out. I just don't want to drain the whole thing again and replace all four parts if there is an easier route to take.

    Thanks in advance,

    Kevin

  • #2
    Re: Water Heater

    What is the wattage of your elements? You don't have to drain the tank to change the elements, by the way.
    "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Water Heater

      Also, how many gallons is your tank? I assume it is 220v? What do you have the thermostats set at? How old is your tank?
      "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water Heater

        They are 4500 watt screw in elements.

        I have been told that I don't have to drain the heater but I am nervous about hot water spewing out at me.

        The tank is 50 gallons and it is 220v. The thermostats are set on 125 and the tank is only 5 years old and in great shape. This is in one of my rental properties and I have changed the elements and the thermostats in most of the houses that I own in that neighborhood. This one is just giving me a problem.

        Kevin
        Last edited by Kev Dog; 02-12-2011, 10:40 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Water Heater

          You can expect it to take about 2.5 hours to heat a completely depleted 50 gallon tank. Why have you changed everything twice? Have you tested the elements before taking them out to see if they are bad? Have you wired it correctly?
          Why would you worry about hot water spewing out on you if the elements aren't getting hot?
          I know you have to cover yourself being a landlord but 125 is uncomfortably low to me.
          "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Water Heater

            Check the voltage at the top of the upper thermostat. The screws on the left and right at the very top. Whats the voltage there? It should be 220 or 240

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water Heater

              Originally posted by SlimTim View Post
              You can expect it to take about 2.5 hours to heat a completely depleted 50 gallon tank. Why have you changed everything twice? Have you tested the elements before taking them out to see if they are bad? Have you wired it correctly?
              Why would you worry about hot water spewing out on you if the elements aren't getting hot?
              I know you have to cover yourself being a landlord but 125 is uncomfortably low to me.
              The reason that I have changed everything twice is, when I shorted out the connection, I didn't know what was damaged. The next day when it still didn't work correctly I just changed it all again. It is wired correctly as I have done this several times but I always take a picture of the wiring to double check my connections before turning on the power.

              The water does heat but very slowly. That is why I don't want water spewing out at me. I am thing that one of the thermostats is bad I don't know which one.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water Heater

                Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                Check the voltage at the top of the upper thermostat. The screws on the left and right at the very top. Whats the voltage there? It should be 220 or 240
                The voltage at the top is 238/239. However, and this may be the problem, when I check the upper element on the screws I get the 220 voltage. When I check the bottom element I don't get anything. I know the top thermostat controls the lower but is there a time delay or does only one element work at a time?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water Heater

                  Only one element works at a time.
                  If you lower the temp. on the upper t-stat until it shuts off,
                  then the lower one should come on, if the water isn't
                  already heated. I know, as a property owner, you want to
                  save money, but if you ever flood an apartment or cause a
                  tenant to be scalded or some other plumbing catastrophe
                  occurs as a result of your repairs, then forget about filing
                  an insurance claim. You should be charging enough rent
                  to offset the cost of licensed, professional repairs.
                  Not criticizing, just saying...it's your butt on the line.
                  Of course, you may have a license, in which case I'm outa line.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water Heater

                    Make sure the thermostats are wired properly. make sure the upper and lower thermostats are held tight to the tank by the clips behind where the elements screw in.

                    Turn the power off at the disconnect or the breaker to the water heater. Disconnect both wires from each of the two elements. Set your test meter to continuity reading. Touch both probes from your test meter to each one of the two screws on the element. It should have continuity. Now remove one of the probes from one of the screws...and touch it to the bare metal of the water tank itself. You should NOT have continuity at this point and if you do the element is grounded and must be replaced. Do that for both elements.

                    If you have a eletrical test meter that will read amperage.....check the amp draw while each element should be operating. watts divided by volts=amperage.

                    Hope this helps you.

                    make sure all your wires are tight and secure and wired properly.

                    If you drain the tank to install elements...make sure the tank is full by waiting for a steady flow fro a hot faucet before energizing the heater or you will dry fire the element and it will fail everytime.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water Heater

                      I know the heater is only 5 years old but make sure the bottom element isn't buried in sediment. You'll have to drain the heater again to be sure.

                      A 5 year old heater might look great on the outside but real ugly on the inside. Make sure the dip tube is intact.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Water Heater

                        Originally posted by TheMaster View Post
                        Make sure the thermostats are wired properly. make sure the upper and lower thermostats are held tight to the tank by the clips behind where the elements screw in.

                        Turn the power off at the disconnect or the breaker to the water heater. Disconnect both wires from each of the two elements. Set your test meter to continuity reading. Touch both probes from your test meter to each one of the two screws on the element. It should have continuity. Now remove one of the probes from one of the screws...and touch it to the bare metal of the water tank itself. You should NOT have continuity at this point and if you do the element is grounded and must be replaced. Do that for both elements.

                        If you have a eletrical test meter that will read amperage.....check the amp draw while each element should be operating. watts divided by volts=amperage.


                        Hope this helps you.

                        make sure all your wires are tight and secure and wired properly.

                        If you drain the tank to install elements...make sure the tank is full by waiting for a steady flow fro a hot faucet before energizing the heater or you will dry fire the element and it will fail everytime.

                        Thanks, this helps a lot. I went over there this morning and checked the thermostats by turning the one on the top down and the one on bottom up and it worked properly. Then I turned the temp up a little to 130 on both elements to see if maybe they were just using more hot water than they thought. I think the top element is working and I hoping the bottom one is. I did briefly (15 - 20 seconds) turn the power on to make sure everything was connected when the tank was empty. Hopefully, I didn't fry the elements. I told the tenant to lets see how it runs today and if there is still a problem to let me know.

                        Kevin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Water Heater

                          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                          I know the heater is only 5 years old but make sure the bottom element isn't buried in sediment. You'll have to drain the heater again to be sure.

                          A 5 year old heater might look great on the outside but real ugly on the inside. Make sure the dip tube is intact.
                          The bottom element seemed to be o.k. as far as sediment went. When I pulled it out I stuck a flash light in the hole and looked around and it looked fine inside. I didn't check the dip tube though.


                          One of the tenants was taking a shower when I was there and had hot water. I opened the drain at the bottom of the tank to check the water to see if it was hot and it wasn't. This should be the case even if everything is working correctly right? Since the water is being forced in through the dip tube the bottom of the tank should have cooler water in it if someone is using the hot water at the time, right?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Water Heater

                            Originally posted by Kev Dog View Post
                            Thanks, this helps a lot. I went over there this morning and checked the thermostats by turning the one on the top down and the one on bottom up and it worked properly. Then I turned the temp up a little to 130 on both elements to see if maybe they were just using more hot water than they thought. I think the top element is working and I hoping the bottom one is.I did briefly (15 - 20 seconds) turn the power on to make sure everything was connected when the tank was empty. Hopefully, I didn't fry the elements. I told the tenant to lets see how it runs today and if there is still a problem to let me know.

                            Kevin
                            YOU DID! ...at least the top element

                            You'll get a call from the tenant any minute now

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Water Heater

                              Yaa, it only takes a second to fry it.
                              Do the continuity test that MP mentioned to see which one is fried. (although it may show continuity even if fried. You would have to do a voltage check to be sure. But 8 times out of 10 it will be right) If the tank was cold then it's going to be the top one.

                              After you've replaced it (again!) and you've filled the tank up, plug it in and in 3 hrs come back, unplug the tank and feel the tank around the bottom element. If it's hot then everything is copacetic.
                              "Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied." Mark Twain

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X