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My hot water controller indicates a lower element failure. However, after replacing the element the same fault keeps being indicated. What next?

I can keep reseting the controller and it may be ok for a day or a few days. But then it eventually plays up again. If it is left with out resetting there is not much hot water.

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  • Water Heaters Master
  • 5,245 Answers

Test lower element.
Replace lower element using generic element from hardware store, and clean sediment out of tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

Replace element with lower density or with lower wattage such as 3500 watt
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#listen

Read troubleshoot guide
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Energy-Smart-troubleshooting-guide.pdf

Posted on Nov 30, 2012

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: no hot water

If the water does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Take care here - a defective circuit breaker can give a false 240 volt reading - check for the 240 volts across the upper element (i.e. when the 240 volts has a live load on it, not just an open circuit test).
Also, remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Posted on Nov 17, 2008

  • 25 Answers

SOURCE: Bosch PowerStar125 won't heat and I can't get one element to work

It sounds like you have a copper canister unit. Ohm out the elements in that one canister. the directions are on the websight for bosch, or I can walk you through it. But you will need a digital multimeter to do this. If you have a blown element in that one canister, then the tco will not reset.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • 408 Answers

SOURCE: Rheem Hot Water Cylider Thermostat keeps tripping

Sounds like you have a faulty thermostat.  This is the unit that detects the water temperature, and if it is not where it is set, will kick the switch to allow electricity to flow to the elements you replaced. The thermostats are relatively cheap and if you have the knowledge to change the elements, changing these thermostats should not be a problem.

Posted on Mar 07, 2009

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Every few days our hot water boiler keeps turning

If you have to push the reset button it suggests that the boiler/water heater is over heating.What boiler is installed?

Posted on Apr 14, 2009

  • 105 Answers

SOURCE: reset button keeps tripping, water gets too hot

replace the thermostats, be very careful!!!! thats 220volts for elec water heaters, 220volts kills you if you touch it wrong,.....it is one thermostat but it's best to match them, so you'll need both,...not expensive. good luck, cracklin joe

Posted on Jan 08, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank you. Replacing both thermostats solved the problem. The heater is working well."

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1 Answer

Have power at top element but not bottom


1) Copy following links:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

2) Upper element is good because you have some hot water.
Circuit breaker and power to water heater are probably good.
Step 1: Test lower element. Replace if needed.
Next step, If lower element is good: Replace upper and lower thermostats.

Jan 06, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

The unit is no longer heating the water. The red light comes on indicating that the unit is heating the water, but only cold water comes out of the faucet. We've tried raising and lowering the...


This will be a thermostat or element problem. The red light tells us that you have power to the unit. If you are handy you can test the thermostat and the element with a continuity tester. A voltmeter may also be used. This will tell you where the fault lies.

Mar 06, 2011 | Stiebel Eltron Tempra 24 Electric Hot...

1 Answer

I'm getting hot water for 2 minutes , then it gets cold


Most electric hot water heaters have two thermostats, one near the top of the tank and one near the bottom, and are covered by removable metal cover plates. The thermostats are pressed firmly against the bare metal wall of the hot water heaters tank.

The top thermostat usually has a high limit switch that will trip if the water gets too hot. When it trips it shuts off the electricity to both the upper and lower heating elements.

To reset the high limit switch there is usually a red button that you must press. When the upper limit switch trips it is often an indication that something else has gone wrong with the heater.


When the top of the tank is hot the upper thermostat removes power from the upper heating element and transfers the power to the lower thermostat and heating element. If the lower thermostat is defective, then the lower portion of the tank will not be heated and the supply will be greatly reduced.
Check for power at the upper thermostat terminals where the power is sent to the lower thermostat and heating element. If there is no power then the upper thermostat should be replaced. If there is power then check for power at the lower heating element. If there is no power at the lower heating element then replace the lower thermostat.
If there is power to the lower heating element then it should be getting hot. If it is not, replace it. Another possibility is a broken dip tube. Check for a broken dip tube and replace if necessary.

Hope this helps out

Feb 02, 2011 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

2 Answers

Hot water runs out in 5 minutes it use to last 20minutes


Electric water heater can be repaired by homeowner.

Water heater has some hot water.
We know 3 things for sure:
- electricity is ok
- upper element is ok
- tank does not have overheating problem

Here are the suspects:
- Burned or loose wire
- Upper thermostat not working
- Lower thermostat not working
- Lower element not working

What to do:
1) Turn off power, open water heater covers and look for signs of burned or loose wire, especially on lower element. Burned wire on lower element says lower element is burned out.

2) Test lower element.
Lower elements burn out when sediment builds up inside tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

3) If wires are ok. And you do not want to test parts, then replace upper and lower thermostat for 25$. If problem persists, replace lower element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

4) If you want to test thermostats and elements before replacing anything:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

5) When finished, be sure to put insulation and covers back on tank so thermostats don't receive cool air and misread tank temperature. This will prevent overheating of tank that causes red reset button to trip.

geno_3245_101.jpg

Nov 23, 2010 | RELIANCE 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...

1 Answer

Warm water only


You can eliminate the shower control knob possibility by turning on your hot water anywhere else in the house. If you get hot water in other places, then it could be the knob causing it. A substantial lime buildup in the tank can also cause poor heat transfer from the elements to the water.

Sep 16, 2009 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

3 Answers

Thermostat and reset button (GIANT 152ETE) - no hot water


I have the smae problem but my element on top works fine it is the element on the bottem that does not go on so what is it that i have to change the element or the thermostat. on the bottom or the one on top. I have voltage on the top but none on the bottom element and are they suppose to go on the same time.

Jun 15, 2009 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

2 Answers

Whirlpool temp control on electric water tank


Most electric water heaters have 2 heaters - an upper and a lower, each with it's own thermostat. These are readily accessible by removing the screw covers on the side of the tank. Careful - the thermostats have 240VAC on the terminal screws (unless you have a small 120VAC heater) if the circuit breaker or fuses feeding the heater are still on - turn them off before proceeding. After removing the two screw covers and pulling back the insulation you will see temperature (screw) adjustments for the upper and lower thermostats, with a temperature indicating pointer attached to each screw. Set both thermostats to 125 degrees or so. Push the insulation back in place, replace the covers and turn the circuit breaker back on that feeds the water heater. You should have warm water within 15 minutes and hot water within a hour or so.

If the water still does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Nov 16, 2008 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

No hot water


If the water does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Take care here - a defective circuit breaker can give a false 240 volt reading - check for the 240 volts across the upper element (i.e. when the 240 volts has a live load on it, not just an open circuit test).
Also, remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Nov 15, 2008 | Water Heaters

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