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Electric Water Heater not heating water

The water heater stopped working.  I do not know if the thermostat has gone bad (I think there are two, one for the upper element, and one for the lower), or if the elements are bad.  Is there a way to tell?  Should I simply replace both the thermostats and the elements?

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  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    i replace the lower element in my water heater and now am not getting any power when i had power before.

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Most likely it is not your thermostats. First check your circuit breakers in your electrical box. It should be a double 30 amp breaker. PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN WORKING A ELECTRICITY! Next above your upper thermostat you will see a red reset button, push it and it should reset. It will take a little time for your water heater to heat again. If you keep having this problem it may be your elements!

Posted on Jan 31, 2009

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GE SmartWater Hot water tank. Water heater will not stop heating.


Hello Anita:

1) For gas water heater: Turn off gas to heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Gas-water-heater-89-valve-2.jpg

2) For electric water heater: Turn off circuit breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#veryhot

3) For gas: Copy following link to identify gas control valve thermostat, and troubleshoot by type of gas control.
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4) For gas: Gas control valve thermostat has probably gone bad.

5) Add comment and give clear description of water heater.

6) Call plumber.

Feb 17, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

GE Smart Water Hot water heater 40 gal will not stop heating water.


1) For gas: Turn off gas to heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Gas-water-heater-89-valve-2.jpg

2) For electric: Turn off circuit breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#veryhot

3) For gas: Copy following link to identify gas control valve thermostat, and troubleshoot by type of gas control.
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Feb 17, 2013 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

2 Answers

50 gal. reliance electric heater. Water is getting way too hot and the settings were not changed. elements must be working for the water to be so hot. My guess would be the thermostat(s) since it won't...


Thermostats is in need of replacement and sounds like they are sticking. So it would be best to change both out. Turn power off to change them out it would be best for safety issues to change out as soon as you could. I have seen thermostats burn up in compartment on water heater.

Sep 20, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Themostat is bad


If water heater thermostat is bad, buy a generic thermostat at hardware store and install it according to instructions shown on link below:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
I usually replace both upper and lower thermostats for about $28.
Lowes sells thermostats and elements.
If your water heater is a single-element/ single-thermostat, you can buy any thermostat with red reset button.
Technically a single-element thermostat has 1 less screw, but either thermostat will work.
If your water heater is 120V or 240V, the same thermostat will work of either voltage.
This is true because the thermostat is a simple bi-metal heat-reading device that does not operate on electric current.

That being said, you might want to test parts before replacing anything, in case problem is element.
To do comprehensive electric water heater troubleshoot:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Image below shows generic thermostat with reset button. Each of these will work for single-element or dual-element tanks with either 120V or 240V. Wires connect just as they did on old thermostat. Tighten wires very tight. Press in reset button to make sure ECO is set. Put insulation and cover back over thermostat when finished.
geno_3245_194.jpg

Dec 22, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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...

1 Answer

My water is not heating in my Rheem 40 gallon electric. I pushed the reset button, but when I turn off the breaker and then on again, I do not hear the elements heating up.


Electric water heater can be repaired by homeowner
If I understand correctly, water heater is producing no hot water.
Reset button clicks in, but still no heat.

Three initial things can be causing this:
1) No power to water heater. Test across top two screws on upper thermostat for 240V. Red and black wire are attached to these screws. Screws are marked 1 and 3. Upper thermostat is same that has reset button. If power tests 120 across screws, then breaker may be off on one leg. If no power, then start testing at breaker.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) Upper thermostat is bad. Replace thermostat with generic upper thermostat available at hardware store.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

3) Upper element is bad. Test and replace element using Rheem 4500 watt element available at hardware store. Image shown below. Look at label on side of tank for element wattage. Rheem puts 4500 watt elements into all their 240V electric water heaters.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

If upper element is burned out the tank will not heat any water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

Rheem 4500Watt element
geno_3245_98.jpg

Upper thermostats are generic and interchangeable:
geno_3245_99.jpg

Nov 23, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

I have a model 71-408 B which just stop heating


If I understand correctly, you have electric water heater.
Heater suddenly stopped heating.

Four things cause sudden loss of water heater.
1) Reset button located under the top cover is tripped > turn off power, remove cover, press reset button > if reset keeps tripping, go to the troubleshooting link shown below.
2) Electric power to heater is interrupted > check circuit breaker > test for voltage > look for loose wire on breaker
3) Upper element burned out > test and replace element
4) Upper thermostat bad > replace upper thermostat

Reset button is best suspect.
Here is a link for complete troubleshoot and homeowner repair of electric water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

Nov 19, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

My water is not getting hot just warm


There can be a variety of reasons.
And there can be a combination of causes.
Does your tank have 1 access door or 2?
There is a heating element and thermostat behind each door.

The one thing we know for certain is that the upper element is producing some hot water.

The problem can be the thermostat.
For example if your thermostat is bad, that can cause the symptoms you describe.
If you have 1 element, it might be covered with sediment and ready to burn out.
If you have 2 thermostats, the lower thermostat can be bad.
The lower element can also be burned out
Or there might be 2 problems combined.

If it was my heater, I would test all the parts because I know water heaters.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

You many not want to test the water heater.
In this case, you can replace both thermostats and see if that corrects the problem.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

Nov 4.
I will be here all night.
Add a comment and I will get back to you.
Or we can work together over the next days or weeks and get your water heater working.
Set your schedule and add a comment when you need more assistance.

Nov 04, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Red reset button keeps kicking out, i reset button and works fine for a day or two then kicks out again


The reset button kicks out because the thermostat detects overheating.
Anything over 150 degrees, the reset kicks out.

This is caused by 4 things.
1) Bad upper or lower thermostat. Thermostat sticking in 'on' position and elements overheating water.
2) Factory-installed insulation and cover are removed
3) Bad element shorted to ground at center of element, and element continues heating with 120V through the ground wire.
4) Loose wire near upper thermostat, that is shorting and causing heat.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Solution:
Check for missing insulation.
Check for loose and burned wires.
Replace both upper and lower thermostat.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If problems continue, test water heater elements and replace bad element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

If you need more help, add a comment and I will respond.
e5788c4.jpg

Oct 29, 2010 | Reliance & 40 Gal Electric Mobile Home...

1 Answer

Water heater will not work unless i push reset button will work for 24 hours or so then will stop working and i have to go out and reset it


The reset button or ECO (emergency cut-off) is a safety device.
The ECO trips and cuts off power to entire water heater when it detects temperatures over 150 degrees.
This prevents overheating and eventual explosion of water heater.

The ECO will trip for 4 possible reasons:
1) Bad thermostat. Water temperature inside tank exceeds 150 degrees F because thermostat is sticking in ON position, and thermostat does not turn off element correctly.
2) Loose wire inside or near upper thermostat that causes ECO to sense higher temperature
3) Bad element shorted to ground near center of element, and short does not cause breaker to trip
4) Factory-installed insulation and cover are removed from water heater >>> cooler air causes thermostat to read wrong temperature, and thermostat keeps heating water inside tank

Steps you can take:
First thing is to check if factory-insulation-and-cover are present.
Next look for signs of burning at or near screw terminals. Tighten loose wire if found.
Especially check the lower element screw terminals.
Take a photograph of the parts so you can see the parts larger on your computer, and compare parts more easily when buying new parts.
Next most likely suspect are the thermostats.
For around $22, you can buy generic upper-and-lower thermostats at Lowes or hardware store > then replace the thermostat(s) and see if problem persists.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If problem continues after steps above
You will need to test water heater parts to track down the exact problem:
You need a inexpensive multimeter from Radio Shack, and the steps are simple, and you will know everything about an electric water heater afterward.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

Answer back if you encounter something not covered above, and I will help.

Oct 25, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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