Question about Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

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I replace both elements and still not working, what shall i do next??

I have 808 Reliance model, and i just replace both elements because one of them was burned (bottum one). i reconnect the power on and it didn't kick in still nothing. If i must replace both thermostat where can i get them from?

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Most towns have a plumbing supply. The idiots at the big box places like lowes or home depot dont have them.
Try calling a plumber and ask them where you can buy parts.
One big plumbing supply that sells to the public is called fergusons they are nation wide.

Posted on Jan 12, 2013


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Posted on Jan 07, 2010

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SOURCE: hi i have a reliance 808 electric water heater. I

Check out the upper element and on the side of it should be the same number for the bottom element.
If not write information down and model number along with name and go to a plumbing supply house or Lowes,Home Depoet for a new element.

Posted on Aug 10, 2010

  • 83 Answers


the elements on your water heater are shot..these are found behind the panels and can be replaced there is an upper and a lower

Posted on Dec 09, 2010

  • 43501 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Reliance 501 model # 5 30 2srs4. I had to

No, the top thermostat will always heat first and then it should dwitch the power to the bottom one after the top of the tank heats...this is to get you hot water faster...
The top thermostat is bad and is not shutting off or switching....
Replace the top thermostat/reset combination and you''l be good!!

Check out this tip..

How to replace the Thermostat and Element for
Electric Hot Water Heater


Posted on Jan 03, 2011

SOURCE: My Reliance water heater suddenly produced only

Lower element will always test 120V to ground since thermostats turn off one hot wire.

Listed below are suspects in order of ease.

1) Check that hot water is not running out of TP valve and down into a drain.
This will cause water heater to run all the time but not be able to keep up.

2) Test elements before replacing anything:

3) Test electricity to water heater:

4) Replace both thermostats.

5) Final thing would be full troubleshoot:

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.
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Posted on Jan 30, 2011

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Have a reliance electric water heater model 606; have no hot water. I am having a problem finding the reset switch.

If it was working and recently stopped working, the heating element that heats the water probably went bad, no longer functioning. Check to make sure that there is or is not a reset button, and if there is, press and reset the heater. It's not difficult to remove the old heater element and replace it, but make sure the circuit breaker power to the water heater is off when you remove it. Take it to a water heating supply store, or large hardware store with the Brand and model number of your water heater (Reliance RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER,model 606 ) to buy another one.


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Heater isnt heating up. It's about 10 years old.

1) Check the circuit breaker.
2) Open cover and see the thermostat and element.
3) Press ECO red reset button to see if it is tripped out. And test top two screws on element to make sure voltage is arriving at thermostat.
See photos:
4) If water heater is still not working, Next step would be to replace thermostat. Thermostats are generic, and they work for either 120Volt or 240Volt. Buy thermostat at hardware store.
5) Next step would be to replace element, and clean out tank if necessary.

Sep 24, 2011 | RELIANCE WATER HEATER CO. 6 6 SOM S K...

2 Answers

Water was much hotter this morning, actually steaming when faucet turned to max. I checked thermostat & reset button, seemed to be normal. I shut off power and pushed reset button, waiting for it to...

I would try it again and if water temp is still to high then I would adjust thermostat down to say 120 degrees and see what that does.If problem continues I would replace thermostat. Thank you

Dec 20, 2010 | Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

1 Answer

The reset button has popped more then once.

You have electric water heater.
Electric water heaters are fully repairable by homeowner.

Reliance is AO Smith company

Age of Reliance water heater is shown on serial number located on side of tank:
first digit is letter. Next two digits are numbers: for example C06 means 2006.
Serial number also shows model number & wattage of elements in case you need new element from hardware store.

ECO reset button trips when upper thermostat senses temperatures higher than 150 to 180 degrees.
When ECO energy cut off trips, it turns off power at the reset button, so the tank does not continue overheating.
Tripping reset button says tank is receiving electricity, so we can eliminate that suspect.

There are 4 reasons why ECO will trip.
1) Bad upper or lower thermostat: solution replace both thermostats for about 25$. Steps shown in link below.
2) Loose wire or shorted wire at or near upper thermostat: Open covers on water heater and inspect parts for signs of high heat and burning.
3) Bad element shorted to ground in center of element: Solution test elements and replace defective element.
4) Factory-installed insulation and cover has been removed from tank: thermostat exposed to cooler temperatures, and misreads tank temperature, and then elements keep heating water.

If you want to test all the parts before replacing anything:

Thermostats are generic, and each functions same way and each can replace the other.
Same is true for both upper and lower thermostats


1 Answer


Reliance is AO Smith company

Age of water heater is on serial number located on label on side of tank. First digit is letter, next two digits are the year. So C04 is 2004. Label also shows wattage of elements inside tank.

606 water heater at Reliance

PDF spec sheet below shows your tank takes 4500 watt element.
I buy ordinary screw-in type 4500 watt elements for $20 at Lowes, I can't remember price exactly because they're inexpensive.

Typical 606 manual:
Shows element and cleaning/replacement page 20.
We know your lower element is burned out because plumber checked and said problem is element.
We know upper element is working because you have some hot water.
If upper element is bad, then tank has no hot water.

Photo from manual shows typical element that I buy at Lowes or hardware store:
Manual does not mention special element required.
Your element burned out probably because sediment is built up inside tank, and not because stock elements are inferior.
Is your electrician/plumber also going to clean sediment out of tank?
Changing element and cleaning sediment will restore full efficiency to your tank.

Here are step-by-step images that show do-it-yourself, so you can see if this is correct project for you:
Page shows how to drain tank, replace element, and has links to troubleshooting if you want to test parts and learn more about your water heater.
Also see:


1 Answer

I need to know if i have the right element for my water heater. i have the reliance 501 4500w/240v id # 5 40 2ort0 w i want to know if i need the long 1 or the bent 1. would love a pic if possible. i...

Either element will work ... straight or bent.
4500 Watt element will work, buy you can also substitute 3500, or 1500 Watt.
Stepping up wattage larger than water heater nameplate is not recommended, because wiring may not carry more watts.

Element wattage is printed on end of each element.

Reliance is AO Smith company

Reliance 501 manual is not available on Reliance site.
The 501 used to be standard model, but now it's the 600 series.

600 series manual is similar to your product.
page 22 shows element replacement, and says not to use greater wattage than rating plate on water heater.

Age of Reliance heater is on serial number. First character is letter. Next two characters are numbers corresponding to year. So C05222,,, serial number is made in 2005.

Nov 19, 2010 | Reliance Better Water Heater Element

1 Answer

I have a Reliance 501 water heater, when I take a shower now I only get about 5 min. of hot water is there something on the heater I have to reset? Thnx Mike

Electric water heater is fully repairable by homeowner.
Following information will tell you how.

1) Background on your heater:
Reliance is AO Smith company.

Age of water heater is shown in serial number. First character is letter. Second 2 characters are numbers, which are year of manufacture. For example 05 is year 2005.

The 501 manual is not shown on Reliance website:

2) Two things known for sure:
- electricity is OK
- upper element is working because there is some hot water.

3) Three things can cause problem you describe:
- Loose wire located from upper thermostat to lower element and thermostat.
- Upper or lower thermostat is bad
- Lower element is burned out

4) How to troubleshoot and repair
- Turn off power, open covers and look for loose and burned wiring, especially on lower element.
- When finished, put back insulation and covers so thermostat not exposed to cooler temperatures.
- Burned wire on lower element is evidence that lower element is burned out.

- If you do not want to follow testing steps below, next step is to replace both upper and lower thermostat for about 25$ and see if problem persists.
- If problem persists, replace lower element.

5) Test lower element, before replacing anything

6) Troubleshoot electric water heater

7) How to replace lower element and clean sediment out of tank:

Nov 17, 2010 | Reliance Water Heater #6-50-DJRT 50GAL...

1 Answer

Hi i have a reliance 808 electric water heater. I need a part number for the lower element it appears to be shorting out. I had to disconect because of sparks on the red wire going to the lower element

Check out the upper element and on the side of it should be the same number for the bottom element.
If not write information down and model number along with name and go to a plumbing supply house or Lowes,Home Depoet for a new element.

Aug 08, 2010 | Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

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