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How do you test your water heater elements - Water Heaters

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Copy following link for testing water heater elements:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

Posted on Nov 04, 2012

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1 Answer

Water heater has barely warm water


1) Test elements, and if elements test ok, then replace both thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

2) If you do not want to test elements, then replace both thermostats, and if functionality is not restored, then replace both elements.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

3) Call plumber to do the work shown above.

Feb 16, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Ow do i test heating element on rheem water heater


1) Copy following link for 3-step testing water heater elements.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

2) You need $10-15 multimeter from local hardware

Dec 11, 2012 | Eemax EX1440SP Heating Element for SP3208...

1 Answer

I have 120 VAC to the elements and have hit the reset button but my water heater wont switch on to heat the water. it is brand new.


Test for 240V across top two screws on upper element
Test elements.
Replace thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

Tank that has two elements is rated 240Volt.
The element will test for live 120Volt to ground at all times, but not until the circuit is completed will the element turn on and test 240Volt.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Oct 23, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

MY Rheem 81SV40D Water Heater (47 gal) does not heat enough water. Approximately one bath worth.


You have dual-element 240Volt electric water heater.
Since you have some hot water, then we know upper element is good, and that circuit breaker and electricity to water heater are good.
Not enough hot water is probably bad lower element, and possibly sediment build-up in bottom of tank.
Test element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Replace 4500 watt element available at local hardware, and clean out bottom of tank:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

Oct 07, 2012 | Rheem Tankless Hot Water Heater...

1 Answer

Hot water element


Make sure wires are removed from element when ohm-testing.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Watt and voltage rating of element appears on end of each element.
Volts squared divided by watts = correct ohm testing.
Two-element water heaters are rated for 240Volts, but can be wired for 120Volts.
Check that water heater is receiving power from circuit breaker box.
So if breaker is 2-pole 240Volt, then check that heater is receiving 240 V across top two screws on upper element.
Replace upper element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html
Other resources.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Test-electricity-to-water-heater.html

Oct 02, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Rheem 40 gal. elct. have 220 at both elements all the time but only one drawing?


Your testing may be off here. Or you might have special order 'simultaneous' wired water heater.

Water heaters with two elements are 240V.
Elements test for 120V at all times, but with ordinary non-simultaneous water heater, only one element at a time has 240. This is called non-simultaneous operation.
Open links below for understanding of water heater operation.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/B220C.html

If both elements were drawing 240 at one time, then upper thermostat is bad, or else your water heater is wired for simultaneous operation, and one of the elements is burned out.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Your tank might be wired for simultaneous operation, if water heater was special order from Rheem, or if somebody changed wiring and set lower thermostat-and-element on a separate circuit breaker.

If you have simultaneous operation, then you would have 2 circuit breakers and 2 wires going to water heater or one 50 amp breaker with 8 gauge wire to heater. If this is the case, then both elements could test for 240V and one of the elements is bad, and thermostats are ok.

If you have ordinary Rheem water heater, then it is wired for non-simultaneous operation where only one element is ON at a time. This is called non-simultaneous operation and you can check because water heater has one circuit breaker rated for 20 or 30 amps.

Rheem elements are 4500Watts.
If both elements were ON at same time, that would be 9000Watts, which would trip typical water heater 20-30 amp circuit breaker.
9000Watts divided by 240 volts = 37.5 amps
So if upper thermostat is bad, and it is turning on both elements so they both test for 240, then thermostat is bad, but also one of the elements has to be bad.
Or test is inaccurate.
Interesting puzzle.

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya phone service.
For a price, expert speaks with you over phone while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Dec 09, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Reset button needs to be hit then water gets extremely hot and reset button needs to be hit again.


The reset button or ECO (emergency cut-off) is a safety device.
The ECO trips and cuts off power to entire water heater when it detects temperatures over 150 degrees.
This prevents overheating and eventual explosion of water heater.

You have 1 of 3 problems:
a) Factory-installed insulation and cover have been removed and thermostat is receiving cool air and not reading correct temperature
b) Bad thermostat. Thermostat is sticking in ON position -or- thermostat is misreading temperature.
c) Element is shorted to ground near center of element and not tripping breaker, and the element is heating off 120 circuit that is flowing through ground wire.

Steps you can take:
1) Inspect water heater and see if factory insulation is present behind each cover.
2) Turn off power.
Disconnect ground wire for a couple days and see if problem persists.
If problem stops, then test elements and replace bad one. See below for how to test element.
Caution: Do not touch this water heater with ground wire disconnected unless power is OFF
3) Replace thermostats and see if problem persists.
For around $25, you can buy generic upper-and-lower thermostats at Lowes or hardware store > then replace the thermostat(s) and see if problem persists.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

Problem should be resolved.

4) If problem continues after steps above
You will need to test water heater parts to track down the exact problem: for example a shorted wire.
You need a inexpensive multimeter from Radio Shack, and the steps are simple, and afterward you will know nearly everything about electric water heater.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

How to test element:

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Turn off power.
Remove both wires from lower element.
Test across both screws with a continuity tester.

d18ee07.jpg
The continuity tester has a battery and when light comes on, it says the circuit is complete.
Test1) Test across both screws on lower element with continuity tester.
If the light comes on then the element is good so far, but element has to pass one more test.
Test2) Test each screw on element to any bare metal part of water heater.
If the light does NOT come on with the second test, then element is good.
Light ON first test. Light OFF second test. Then element is probably good.
This is not 100% fail-proof test without a meter but it is a good indicator.

If you are still having a problem, answer back and we'll give you more details.


Oct 25, 2010 | Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

1 Answer

Reset button seems to be stuck down and run out of hot water to soon


If I understand correctly, you have an electric water heater.
The water heater is dual element and has 2 access panels on water heater.
You run out of hot water quickly.
And the reset is stuck down.

First of all, if the reset button is tripped, the water heater will produce NO hot water.
The reset, or ECO (electricity cut off), is designed to cut off all power to water heater.
So if you have some hot water, then ECO reset is fine.
The thermostat may be bad, but the ECO is fine

Next in line:
If your upper element is burned out, then the water heater will not make any hot water.
So if you have some hot water, that tells us the upper element is working.

The three remaining suspects are upper thermostat, lower thermostat, lower element

Let's test the lower element.
Turn off the power.
Remove both wires from lower element.
Test across both screws with a continuity tester.

d18ee07.jpg
The continuity tester has a battery and when light comes on, it says the circuit is complete.
Test1) Test across both screws on lower element with continuity tester.
If the light comes on then the element is good so far, but element has to pass one more test.
Test2) Test each screw on element to any bare metal part of water heater.
If the light does NOT come on with the second test, then element is good.
Element has to pass both tests. Light ON first test. Light OFF second test. Then element is probably good. This is not a fail-proof test but it is a good indicator.

I'm betting the lower element is burned out and you need to replace lower element. And you may need to vacuum out the sediment.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

Now if lower element is good, then the easiest thing is to do is replace both thermostats. After replacing both thermostats, the water heater will probably work. If there is still a problem, then the lower element was not as good as the test showed, and it should be replaced also.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If you are still having a problem, answer back and we'll give you more details.

Oct 23, 2010 | Reliance & Electric Water Heaters

1 Answer

Installed new upper & lower elements & thermostats, only top htr works


If original problem was caused by sediment burning out lower element, did you clean sediment out of water heater when changing lower element?
Two element water heaters are 240V.
Thermostats cut power on one hot wire, but 240V circuit has 2 hot wires. So lower element has power at all times coming from the red wire.
1) Use ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> test each screw of lower element to bare metal part of water heater. Each screw should show 120V. If there is no power, then upper thermostat is defective, screw on upper thermostat is loose, or red wire between upper and lower parts of water heater is bad.
2) Remove wires from lower element. Use continuity tester or multimeter set to ohms <> test across both screws of element to see if power travels through element <> if element is bad, then continuity tester will not light up and multimeter will show no ohms. Put wires back on element after test.
3) Start with cold water in tank. Turn on water heater & upper element will turn on. Put ear on side of tank to hear if upper element is heating water. Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 240V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 0V.
Put ear on side of tank. When upper element turns off: Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 0V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 240V. If this test shows 0V and 0V, then upper thermostat is bad. If reading is correct, immediately move to next test.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Thermostats-numbered-divided-500.jpg
4) Turn temp on lower thermostat to 150. Using ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> Test across both screws of lower element. If there is no reading, and you know element is good from step 2, then lower thermostat is bad, or wire is bad between lower element and lower thermostat, or wire is bad between lower thermostat and top part of heater.
5) Test across both lower thermostat screws, should read 240V.If this test is good, it means wires are good. Put jumper wire across both screws of lower thermostat, and test lower element again. If element finally turns on with jumper wire, then lower thermostat is bad.
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http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

If wire is bad between upper and lower parts of water heater, and water heater has tight-fitting 2" foam insulation, it usually indicates water heater replacement.

Sep 20, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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