# Have power at top element but not bottom - Water Heaters

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• Water Heaters Master

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.

Posted on Jan 07, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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## Related Questions:

### Replaced both elements and tstats now there is 240 at both elements at once and only the top one is heating the bottom is coldreplaced bottom sgain thinking maybe bad from factory but still cold will i...

Electric water heaters never power BOTH the upper and lower elements at the same time.

If the water in the tank is cold, either the top OR bottom element will be powered through the upper thermostat (t-stat), never both at the same time. The upper t-stat will send power to the upper element until the temperature of the water in the top of the tank reaches the set point of the t-stat say 140 degrees. When the water temperature in the top of the tank reaches 140 degrees, the t-stat is "satisfied" and disconnects the power from the top element and sends it to the lower t-stat.

IF the temperature of the water in the lower half of the tank is lower than the set point of the lower t-stat, the t-stat closes to send power to the lower element. The lower element REMAINS powered by the t-stat until EITHER the water in the lower part of the tank reaches the set point temperature of the lower t-stat again, say 140 degrees; OR the temperature of the water in the upper part of the tank drops, at which point the upper t-stat "calls" and switches the power away from the lower t-stat and sends it to the upper heating element instead. When the top t-stat is satisfied, it switches power back to the lower t-stat. The process will continue back and forth for as long as needed to bring the temperature of the water in both halves of the tank to 140 degrees.

You must wait until the top of the tank is heated - before the lower element will be powered to heat the water.

I hope this helps you understand how the switching happens in these water heaters. Good luck! Please rate my reply. Thank you.

Mar 24, 2011 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

### My new heater stopped working after 3 months upon inspection I had 240 volt to the heater and top element and nothing to the bottom element. I replaced the bottom element and both thermostats and their is...

The elements do not operate at the same time. They are designed to take turns coming on. Try setting the temperature of the top element 10 degrees lower than the bottom one, turn the hot water on in the bathtub. The bottom element should come on first. When you are done checking, turn the top element 10 degrees higher than the lower for normal operation.

Aug 28, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

### I have 240 volts at thermostat and conection on the tank but nothing at the bottom element. no hot water either

Thermostat may be bad and not suppling power to lower thermostat and element.

Sounds like Thermostat not working properly if no power there..

Do you have power to top element and power going into top of bottom thermostat if it has one.

May 12, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

### No power to the bottom element

First things first, you are not supposed to have power to both elements at the same time. The top element comes on and heats the top of the tank, then the top goes off and the bottom comes on. Now, check power on the top element, put your meter probes on both screws on the element, you must have 220 to 240 volts between these two screws. If the voltage is good then you have a bad element, if the voltage is not there, then you need to check the voltage at the top 2 screws on the upper thermostat, if it is okay there, maybe the hi limit has tripped, push the reset button on the top thermostat, if it is tripped it will click and start heating right away. If the hi limit is not tripped then you will need to replace the upper thermostat.

Mar 16, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

### The water heater seems to not be heating. The bottom part of the tank is cold and the top is warm. I did reset the breaker this morning. Do I replace the bottom element?

Hi,
Yes that may be the problem. To know for sure you need an electrical test meter to see if the top thermostat is sending the power down to the bottom element after the top one is satisfied.
If you have power at the bottom element and there is no power draw then you have a bad element. Drain the tank and replace it. Make sure to completely purge the air from the tank before turning thepower back on.

Heatman101

Dec 30, 2009 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

### Wiring for dual 30 gal heat element. changed both elements. need to put wiring back

Hi,
Go to this link and page down, it gives you the wiring diagram for a dual element hot water heater.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/element-installation-instructions.html

Thanks for using Fixya!!

Heatman101

Dec 09, 2009 | Element Water Heaters

### Model-88h-300-top element works no power to lower

Check again. Is there power to it but it's not working? If so, the bottom element is the one that always fails first because the sacrificial anode gets used up and deposits collect on the bottom creating a blanket of "insulation", making it not heat water and causing it to overheat (elements MUST be submerged, or they will burn up.) Chances are your element is bad. Replace, or if the water heater is more than 15 years old, get a whole new water heater. Good luck.

Nov 30, 2009 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

### I installed a now 40 gal. electric water heater, made by Reliance, problem: I have power going to the top thermostat and element, but there is no power going to the bottom element.please help, thanks Mike...

How they work. First you need to know that cold water goes into the tank near the bottom (because of the "dip tube" inside the tank) and hot water is taken out at the top. Also hot water naturally rises.
so... when the tank is full of cold water the top element will come on and heat up the top 1/3 of the water then the bottom element will come on and finish heating the rest of the tank.

Apr 19, 2009 | Water Heaters

### I have an old rheemglas fury 22v40 that's leaking from the bottom. What could be the cause? Also, it DOES need replacing, Who does installs at no cost at the time of purchase?

my top element to the hot water heater is working but my bottom element isnt there both brand new elements and im just not getting power to the bottom element but i have power to the top element is it possible that the top heats first and the bottom heats later running out of options!!!

Dec 06, 2008 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

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