Question about Intermatic WH40 - Water Heater Time Switch - NEMA 1 Indoor Steel Case - DPS

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No constant hot water...

Okay I just installed a new water heater last month from sears, its connected to a timer that u can manually switch to on/off setting. the new water heater has 2 heating elements, one on the top & one on the bottom to ensure you'll get hot water everytime.. okay heres the problem, the timer is set from 5am-11pm, inbetween those times there should have hot water constantly until the cutoff time.. okay when I used the shower in the morning around 8am there is hot to warm water for a short peroid of time then its starts to come cold, this also happens around lunch time & sometimes in the afternoon.. what could be the problem to this? also can this be the cause of having a high electric bill??

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  • gtstoenvy Jan 23, 2009

    ^^ okay Sears technicians checked out the water heater yesterday, said that the upper/lower heating elements are ok but the thermostats had to be change.. he change them both... upper is set to "A" & the bottom is set to "B".. the problem still stays the same after 30 min of waiting for the hot water, it sames like its not heating up like it suppose to. what else should I do, get another water heater installed since its still under warranty or try to figuire out whats wrong with this one?

  • gtstoenvy Jan 24, 2009

    ^The technician checked for proper voltage & said it was reading correctly, as far as leaving it on for 24hrs, do i take the trippers off the timer wheel off? the timer that is connected to the WH is a Intermatic model # T104R which has that yellow wheel to set your on/off times..

  • gtstoenvy Jan 24, 2009

    ^ on another note, should both thermostats upper/lower be @ the same degrees or should the lower one be higher than the upper one...

  • gtstoenvy Jan 24, 2009

    okay imma take the trippers off 1st thing in the morning tomarrow, as far for setting the upper and lower thermostat, sears technician told me the lower thermostat should be a lil higher than the upper thermostat?? I also read some articles on the web saying it should be kept the same, & u said the upper should be a lil higher than the lower..i'm kinda confused??? which one is the right setting..the tech set the bottom thermostat to 130 degrees & the upper to 120 degrees factory setting!! lmk thanks

  • gtstoenvy Jan 24, 2009

    ^imma try adjust the thermostats, i'll make the top @140 & the bottom @ 125-130 & i'll see what happens..

  • gtstoenvy Jan 26, 2009

    I took off the on/off trippers on the timer to run it for 24hrs and adjusted the thermostat to 140 degrees top & 125 degrees bottom, still dont got constant hot water, it goes from warm then to cold... dunno but I think theres a leak in the main piping somewhere to cause this just a thought beacuse my brother in law had a similar problem where they change the WH 3x & come to find out there was a leak in the pipe...

  • gtstoenvy Jan 27, 2009

    ^^^ I already turned off the cold water shut off valve on the top so no water is entering the tank, the tank is already full but we won't be able to use the hot water becuase the cold water valve is shut close.. what do u mean by crack a hot water valve somewhere in the sink??

  • gtstoenvy Jan 27, 2009

    ^ n/m its a leak in the pipe, after shutting down the cold water valve going to the WH for a few hours, i did a different test if it will work, I open the hot water faucet from the sink then open the cold water valve from the WH just so that hot water will come out & next thing u know hot water did come out this time!! damn wasn't the WH all alone it was a leaking pipe... thanks for your help though..



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Only two things come to mind. Either the clock is not set to the correct time (which I'm sure it is) or one of the elements most likely the bottom one is not heating for some reason. I would start by leaving the heater on 24 hrs by removing the trippers and switching it on. See if the problem goes away. If it does then focus on the timer settings, give it more warm up time etc. Make sure the clock is set to the right time and keeps time. If the problem persists on a 24 hrs running schedule then focus on the elements. --Turn the power off at the breaker-- and remove the access cover for each of the elements and or thermostats. Check the thermostat settings on each element for reasonableness. Sometimes the thermostat is covered by insulation material. If you need further assistance please write back with more detail. I can walk you through an element checkout if you have an AC volt / ohmmeter but since its new it should been under warranty.

Posted on Jan 19, 2009

  • 3 more comments 
  • Ty Parcher
    Ty Parcher Jan 23, 2009

    If its set to be on 24 hrs a day and still is cold make sure you have voltage to the heater all the time. I should think the Sears man would have checked for proper voltage. Caution. Its probably 240 volts which is deadly if you don't know how to measure and verify voltages safely don't try to do this. Get Sears back. If the hot water heater is on a timer set it to allow 3 hrs to heat up the water all the way from the top to the bottom before expected use. Since you are having trouble I recommend you leave it on 24 hrs a day until the problem is resolved. Once the heater reaches temperature it will shut itself off anyway. All the timer can save you is the very small amount of energy otherwise lost through the heater's insulation and connecting pipes to maintain the water temperature during periods of none use.

  • Ty Parcher
    Ty Parcher Jan 24, 2009

    Just unscrew and take the trippers off. Leave the timer disk with the pointer pointing to the current time.
    Push the on - off lever below the disk to the right "on" position. Your done.

    The temperature at the top of the heater will always be higher that at the bottom because hot water rises in the tank. The top element should be set to the temperature you want for use. The higher the temperature the less hot water you need to draw at any time but if you make the water too hot you or someone in your home can get scaled by accident and the efficiency of the heater will be worse. I like to set the temperature to an amount that is as high as I can tolerate without getting burned. Somewhere around 140 degrees F Should be right. The lower element I would set to be about 125.

    Write back if you need more help.

  • Ty Parcher
    Ty Parcher Jan 24, 2009

    The cold water that enters the hot water heater goes down through a tube inside to the bottom of the tank. Therefore the bottom will get cold first. When the bottom element heats the water it rises in the tank to the top by a process called convection. Therefore the top will always be hotter than the bottom. Therefore I set the top element a little higher. Otherwise it tends not to run very much and most of the heating load is taken up by the bottom element. I set for a more balanced heating load to get a faster recovery. Hot water is drawn off the top so the top element heats a small quantity in the top of the tank and cuts off. That's why I set it higher, so I get more work out of the heater over time. If I wanted a more even temperature at the outlet I might set the bottom higher than the top but the total recovery time would be a bit slower. Its not real critical. If you want more capacity out of your heater 120 degrees is a little low. 140 degrees mixed with cold water at the tap will have the effect of extending the tank capacity as the hot water draw (gallons per min) will be less for the same working temperature at the tap or shower head.

  • Ty Parcher
    Ty Parcher Jan 26, 2009

    Yes a leak would do it if the leak was bad enough. The hot water heater could never catch up if there is too much constant flow. If you think its a leak then you can try turning off the cold water supply line to the tank and then crack a hot water valve in a sink somewhere so that as water heats up in the tank it can expand. That way the water in the tank will stay there and get heated. Let a few hours pass and then turn everything back on again. If you have plenty of hot water then there is a leak. Of course, if the cold water shut off valve does not close tightly (because it doesn't get used much and corrodes) this will method not work.... but its a thought.

  • Ty Parcher
    Ty Parcher Jan 27, 2009

    "crack a hot water valve in a sink" figure of speech "crack" open a valve means open the value just slightly. Glad to be of service.



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