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Hot water not working

Lower element on hot water not working replaced it twice still not heating

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Got 5 minutes of hot water then cold. replaced both elements and thermos. still 5 minutes of hot water. power bill increased nearly 400% in 30 days. HELP!!! please.


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. You replaced both elements however check that the lower element is coming on after ther upper one cuts out and is acutally working.
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, maybe defective. Another possibility is a broken dip tube. Check for a broken dip tube and replace if necessary.

If the dip tube is broken, the incoming cold liquid can mix with the out going hot liquid and cause it to seem as though you are running out.

Nov 04, 2011 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

2 Answers

I have a GE hot water heater, SE40M12AA01, dual element w/'smart lights'. 7 days ago a licemsed plumber replaced the lower heating elemnet. Today after having no hot water I checked the breaker, &...


1) You posted under Rheem-GE electric water heater.
If upper element is burned out, then water heater will not heat any water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

2) Replace upper element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

3) Open following link for complete troubleshoot:
This troubleshoot assumes you have standard thermostats and elements.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

4) Manuals and links. I do not see 'smart lights' in the manual.
http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/html/GEAResults.htm#Category=Standard_Water_Heaters
Troubleshooting starts page 15.
http://products.geappliances.com/MarketingObjectRetrieval/Dispatcher?RequestType=PDF&Name=AP12168-7%20%28GE%20Elec%29.pdf

5) Add a comment with your experience so other with same-similar problem can benefit.

Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Mar 25, 2011 | General Electric Water Heaters

1 Answer

Hot water runs out to quickly. Replaced bottom element but did not help.


If dual element water heater has some hot water, that says certain things.
-Water heater is getting 240V from breaker.
-Upper element is working
-Neither element is shorted to ground
-Factory insulation and covers are in place and thermostat not exposed to cool air.
-ECO reset is not tripped and there is not overheating event.
-Water pipes and heater are not clogged.

Here are remaining suspects:
1) Leaking faucet or TP valve is leaking hot water continuously. Check for leaks.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-TP-valve.html

2) Loose wire/ bad wire between upper and lower sections of water heater: remove covers and check for loose wire and signs of high heat and burning.
Also do full troubleshoot:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

3) Bad lower element
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

4) Sediment build up bottom of tank:
Sediment build-up causes lower part of tank to heat slowly, so upper part of tank can cool, and tank has less hot water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Clean-sediment-out-of-water-heater.html

5) Bad upper or lower thermostat: Replace both thermostats for $28.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

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

Add a comment for more free help.
Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you via e-mail while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Feb 20, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Hi...I have a Whirlpool water heater and the water only stays hot for a few minutes. How do I adjust the temperature or settings so that I can have hot water all the way through the shower instead of...


I am guessing this is an ele water heater and the temp setting are not the problem.
Problem: Not enough hot water or water temperature too low. 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.

The dip tub is located under the fitting where the hot water comes out.

Feb 03, 2011 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

1 Answer

Rheem 49 gal model 81V400B - hot water lasting only 5-10 minutes then takes an hour to heat back up.


Ordinary tank-type electric water heaters are fully repairable by homeowner.

A) Basic info on Rheem
Rheem electric water heater website:
http://www.rheem.com/products/tank_water_heaters/electric_water_heaters/
Find age of Rheem: look 2nd and 3rd digit of serial number, for example 06 is 2006

B) Water heater has some hot water.
That says certain things: upper element is working, water heater electricity is working, reset button is not tripped, and heater is not experiencing run-away overheating event.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

C) That leaves 4 suspects that cause lower amount of hot water.

1) TP valve is running hot water out of tank -or- leaking faucet is running hot water out of tank.
Check for leaks
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-TP-valve.html

2) 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:
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

3) Burned or shorted wire located between upper and lower sections of tank.
Turn off power. Open covers on side of tank. Remove insulation. Inspect parts for signs of high heat and burning. Especially check 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.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

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.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Feb 03, 2011 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

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

Water is not hot, doesn't last long. Thermostats turn elements on when turned up. Elements show 230 when on.


Lower element can be burned out and still read 230V across screws

1) We know thermostats are working because elements test 230V.
2) We know upper element is working because tank has some hot water.
If upper element is burned out, tank will have no hot water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

3) Here's how to test lower element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

4)Here's how to replace element
Rheem element is 4500Watt bolt-in type
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

5) Rheem manual says: Heaters furnished with standard 240 volt AC, single phase non-simultaneous wiring, and 4500 watt upper and lower heating elements.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Rheem-spec-sheet.pdf

geno_3245_94.jpgRheem 4500Watt element

Nov 21, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Water Too Hot


needs new thermostat(s) If the whole tank is heating( next time it trips, before using any hot water check the lower tank thru the lower element access(breaker off) If the lower tank is hot-you need a new lower thermostat. if just the upper part of the tank is heating -you need an upper thermostat.

Jan 18, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

2 Answers

Whirlpool temp control on electric water tank


Most electric water heaters have 2 heaters - an upper and a lower, each with it's own thermostat. These are readily accessible by removing the screw covers on the side of the tank. Careful - the thermostats have 240VAC on the terminal screws (unless you have a small 120VAC heater) if the circuit breaker or fuses feeding the heater are still on - turn them off before proceeding. After removing the two screw covers and pulling back the insulation you will see temperature (screw) adjustments for the upper and lower thermostats, with a temperature indicating pointer attached to each screw. Set both thermostats to 125 degrees or so. Push the insulation back in place, replace the covers and turn the circuit breaker back on that feeds the water heater. You should have warm water within 15 minutes and hot water within a hour or so.

If the water still does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Nov 16, 2008 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

No hot water


If the water does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Take care here - a defective circuit breaker can give a false 240 volt reading - check for the 240 volts across the upper element (i.e. when the 240 volts has a live load on it, not just an open circuit test).
Also, remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Nov 15, 2008 | Water Heaters

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