Question about Rheem 80 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC 82V802

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Limited hot water

Can I use a multimeter to check for a bad thermostat or heating element in my Rheeem Fury hot water tank

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  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2014

    replaced both thermostats, both elements, flushed tank, inspected annode and dip tube

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Some checks are surely possible but PLEASE make sure that the 220VAC is absolutely shut down.
In a home we built in 1977, circuit breakers were improperly marked and I, with decades of experience, believed I had turned off the power to our water heater only to find that it was still 'hot' and blew away a screwdriver tip before thinking to check across terminals to see if the voltage was in fact OFF.
You may have the same problem I had twice over ~30 years; that the lower heating element is open/failed. These typically will gather a coating of mineral deposits and eventually be unable to transfer their heat to water fast enough to avoid overheating and failing.
The limited hot water comes from the fact that the thermostat is checking for temperature at the exit point of the heater; the top. The thermostat turns on both elements but with only the top one still working it heats 10-15% of the tank capacity and then shuts off.
With your meter set to the lowest Ohms scale (typically 200 Ohms), measure across the element terminals. You should measure pretty much a short since the elements have an extremely low resistance; on the order of 10-20 ohms, if you measure anything that goes 'off-scale' on the 200 ohm range (normally blinking), the element is shot.
Don't forget to drain the tank before pulling out the element!      
If you are in the US, near any city, check your white pages for: Johnstone Supply or check their website to see if one is near you.You will pay 1/3-1/2 hardware store prices for the replacement element - buy two, store the second one. They are 'wholesale' to the trade but have never been refused.
If you don't feel like wading through their extensive website, you can take the element with you and they can give you what you need.

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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If you have limited hot water then it is probably one of your heating elements to accurately check an element you will need to drain the heater and cut off the power to it. remove the wires from the element and check resistance across terminals. If it is open then the element is bad .

Posted on Jan 25, 2009

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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...

1 Answer

The water want stay hot very long


You have electric water heater.
Electric water heaters are fully repairable by homeowner, excluding hybrid type.

Rheem electric water heaters:
http://www.rheem.com/products/tank_water_heaters/electric_water_heaters/
Rheem fury series manuals and models
http://www.rheem.com/product.aspx?id=09DF2BDD-5E11-4D32-B574-84ACFB8A4619

Age of Rheem
water heater is first 4 digits of serial number located on side of tank: for example 0705 means July 2005.
Serial number also shows model number & wattage of elements.

A) If your water heater receives very cold incoming water, it may not heat fast enough to keep tank warm.
Add a tempering tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Tempering-tank.html
Add insulation over entire water heater except TP valve. Insulate pipes completely.
Read more information:
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

B) If cold outside temperatures are not to blame, your water heater may have a bad thermostat or bad lower element.

C) 40 or 50 gallon water heater is 240Volts and tank will have 2 access panels on front.
Rheem ships all water heaters with 4500 Watt elements.

Narrow down the suspects:
D) Water heater has some hot water.
This tells us upper element is working.
And that water heater electricity is working.
And that reset button is not tripped.
And that heater is not experiencing run-away overheating event.

That gives us 3 solid suspects.
1) lower element is burned out. Test lower element using inexpensive multi-meter from Home Depot.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Replace element with same wattage shown on label, and clean out sediment:
This will restore water heater to full 99% efficiency.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html

2) Upper or lower thermostat is bad. Replace both thermostats for about $25.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
If you want to test thermostats and all parts before replacing anything:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

3) Burned or shorted wire. Turn off power. Open covers on side of tank. Remove insulation. Inspect parts for signs of high heat and burning. Especially lower element. Tighten any loose wires. Replace part that shows signs of burning.
Put insulation and cover back over thermostats so cooler outside temperature doesn't cause thermostat to misread tank temperature.
geno_3245_183.jpgRheem element

Dec 14, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Only about five minutes of hot water, both elements and thermostats are good?


A] First of all, we know your upper element is working because you have some hot water:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html
It says tank is not overheating.
It says tank is getting 240Volts.
It we know water heater is 240Volts because you have 2 elements.
And it says reset button is not tripped.

B] That leaves 4 suspects:
Suspect 1) Bad Upper thermostat or Bad Lower thermostat: solution replace both thermostats for about 25$. Steps shown in link below.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
Suspect 2) Burned out Lower element: solution take out element, clean sediment out of tank, put in new element. Steps shown in link below
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html
Suspect 3) Loose wire or connection: solution open covers and remove insulation and look for signs of burning and high heat. Tighten all screws very tight. Replace burned part. Put insulation and covers back over thermostat so thermostat not exposed to cool air which will cause thermostat to misread tank temperature.

C] Before replacing anything, you can test water heater parts and determine exact cause of problem. Testing requires $5 multimeter from Lowes or Home Depot:
Install battery in multimeter.
When test calls for testing voltage, rotate multimeter dial to 240 or 250 or 277 Volts.
When test calls for testing continuity, rotate multimeter dial to ohms (upside down horseshoe symbol is ohms)
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html
After doing 30 minutes of testing, you will be expert in water heaters.

If sediment builds up inside tank, it will reach lower element and burn out the element.
That could be problem.
Restore full efficiency to tank by cleaning out sediment and replacing lower element.

E] More reading to preserve tank and save money long term
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Dec 10, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

We just recently replaced both heating elements in our water heater. Now the water is just barely getting warm and not hot. What's wrong??


Electric water heater if fully repairable by homeowner:

A] First of all, we know your upper element is working because you have some hot water:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html
That says tank is not overheating.
It says tank is getting 240Volts.
It we know water heater is 240Volts because you have 2 elements.
And it says reset button is not tripped.

B] That leaves 4 suspects:
Suspect 1) Bad Upper thermostat or Bad Lower thermostat: solution replace both thermostats for about 25$. Steps shown in link below.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
Suspect 2) Burned out Lower element: solution take out element, clean sediment out of tank, put in new element. Steps shown in link below
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html
Suspect 3) Loose wire or connection: solution open covers and remove insulation and look for signs of burning and high heat. Tighten all screws very tight. Replace burned part. Put insulation and covers back over thermostat so thermostat not exposed to cool air which will cause thermostat to misread tank temperature.

C] Before replacing anything, you can test water heater parts and determine exact cause of problem. Testing requires $5 multimeter from Lowes or Home Depot:
Install battery in multimeter.
When test calls for testing voltage, rotate multimeter dial to 240 or 250 or 277 Volts.
When test calls for testing continuity, rotate multimeter dial to ohms (upside down horseshoe symbol is ohms)
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html
After doing 30 minutes of testing, you will be expert in water heaters.

D] You replaced elements for a reason
.
Did you test elements before replacing?
Was tank producing some hot water before you replaced elements?
If tank producing some hot water, then lower element was bad, and upper element was good.

And when you replaced lower element, did you also clean sediment out of tank?

If sediment builds up inside tank, it will reach lower element and burn out the element.
That could have been original problem, and it could be same problem again.
Restore full efficiency to tank by cleaning out sediment and replacing lower element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html

E} More reading to preserve tank and save money long term
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/9-ways-to-save-with-water-heater.html

Dec 10, 2010 | Rheem Water Heaters

2 Answers

Rheem 83xr52-2 50 gal residential water heater. Water temp was low. I cut power at electric panel, removed upper panel on water heater, turned up thermostat, replaced panel and switched power back on at...


You can open the top up again. I would not turn the temp higher than 130 degrees, maximum. However, there should be above the thermostat a red button. This is where the power wires connect to the thermostats and heating elements. Sometimes this button needs to be reset, press it and discern if you hear a click sound. This means that the high temperature safety switch has tripped open and you had to manually "reset" it. There are two thermostats by the way. The water heater usually works this way. There are two thermostats and two heaters. The upper tank heater turns on first and it heats the top half of the tank. Then when the thermostat above is satisfied it then allows the bottom heater to come on and heat the bottom half of the tank. You might want to set the bottom heater thermostat as well. This is made this way because it is actually faster and more efficient to heat the top half first and the bottom half secondly. Try this first with the reset button. We could check voltages, but that requires a level of knowledge and safety that I am not sure that you are comfortable with. Pictures of the upper and lower thermostats and connections will help if the "reset" does not do the trick. By the way, not meaning or implying anything, but did you move the thermostat in the right direction? Sometimes the dials can be confusing.

Nov 28, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

2 Answers

I TURNED ON POWER TO MY NEW ELECTRIC WATER 40gal MODEL # GEM402 AFTER FILLING WITH WATER. WATER WOULD NOT HEAT UP. CHECKED THREMOSTATS BOTH WERE PRSET AT 120 CHECKED POWER,BOTH HOT WIRES HAVE 124 VOLTS TO...


The controls of electric water heaters are designed so that at no time are both the top and bottom heating elements energized. Nearly all electric water heaters of this capacity in the US & Canada (other places, too) operate on 240 Volts.

When the water in the tank is below the set point of the thermostat (in your case - 120 degrees), the top heating element is expected to be on - (unless there is an issue with the top thermostat or limit switch). The top most control is the "high temperature limit". It is identified by the reset button on it. Make sure this isn't tripped by depressing the button. If it clicks - it was tripped and should start to make hot water at this point. If not tripped, you should check for the presence of 240 Volts between the heating element terminal screws. Do not measure from ground to a terminal screw and believe 120 Volts is "good". To make heat, you need 240 Volts - not 120 Volts measured across the terminals - not to ground. The amount of heat created running at 120 Volts is only 1/4 of what it will do at the correct voltage.

If you don't measure 240 Volts on the top element, check the bottom element in the same manner described for the top element.

If unable to measure 240 volts on any element, either there is a problem with the power source (blown fuse or circuit breaker), high temp limit switch, or thermostat(s).

If 240 Volts is present on either heating element, and water is not warm / hot in 30 minutes or so, a defective heating element is suspect. You can change controls without draining a tank, but replacing elements will require draining the tank first. Do not power the water heater without first filling it.

You can read a very detailed "how to" article about checking water heaters here.

I hope this helps - and good luck!

Nov 04, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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

Rheem glas fury water heater rattling


Thermostat may be heating element hotter than normal causing a change in temperature causing the noise. You could try adjusting temp down a little on thermostat. It sounds like it's getting the water very hot and thermostat may not be working correctly.

May 21, 2010 | Rheem 81VP6S/430126 Water Heater

1 Answer

The water gets too hot and trips the reset on the thermostat.


Two possibilities. 1 failed upper or lower Tstat 2 Shorted element
To test element: disconnect both wires to element terminals. use continuity tester to see if there is continuity through element (one probe on each element terminal) If no continuity element is bad. Then test for continuity between each element terminal and the water heater itself.( one probe on element terminal and one probe grounded on bare metal or inner tank.) If there is continuity from terminal to ground, element is bad and also can cause tank to continue heating even when thermostat shuts off. This is because the thermostat only shuts off one pole of the 220 and a shorted element can continue heating from the 2nd pole.
If both elements test OK and water heater heats the full tank( tank feels hot at bottom element access panel when no hot water for 2 hours) most likely the lower thermostat is bad.

Jan 25, 2010 | Reliance Water Heater #6-30-DORT 30GAL...

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...

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