Question about Reliance Water Heater #6-50-DJRT 50GAL Electric Water Heater

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I have a Reliance 501 HWH, 15 yrs old. Nary a problem until now. Yesterday, HW was very hot. Today, no HW. I'm thinking of replacing both elements and thermostats due to the age. Sound reasonable?

Apparently, the excessive water temperature dripped the heaters reset button. I reset it and could hear the heating element begin to work but it didn't sound all that great. Usually, it should sound like a rapid ticking but this one is very slow sporadic tick, tick, etc. Rather than spend time testing, since the heater is 15 yrs old, probably just as well replace both elements and thermostats. Agree?

Posted by Anonymous on

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At fifteen years of age it would be less cost over time and labor to replace the whole tank. How efficient is your old one and being it runs hot all the time you could have a tank that will not last very long anyway. Mine sprung a leak at 18 years and made a big mess.

Posted on Dec 17, 2014

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 122 Answers

SOURCE: I have a reliance 606 electric water heater. This

you need to replace the thermostats. the elements are working, as your water is getting hot.

I would replace both upper and lower thermostats. be sure to set the temps the same for both.

the thermostats sit against the tank and read the tank temperature. if one is malfunctioning, they will over heat the water, causing you to get severe hot water.

also as a precaution, I would replace the temperature and pressure relief valve. if your water is getting that hot, and this has not "popped" then it is time to replace it.

Posted on Sep 08, 2010

  • 349 Answers

SOURCE: 1992 Reliance electric water heater model 501 has

Check the breaker and top thermostat and make sure they are not tripped. Move onto replacing elements if above is not the problem.
Turn water and power off to heater and attach a water hose to bottom of heater to drain down tank. May have to open hot side on a facuet to get it to drain.
Once drained remove elements with 1 1/2" found at local hardware stores. once elements removed and new ones in place. Turn water on and get the air out of the system. Once water is flowing from the hot side from all of facuet's in house.
Once all air is out now yaou are resady to turn power onto heater.

Posted on Oct 10, 2010

SOURCE: Reliance 40 gal hot water heater. Model 54020RS960

Hello Bill The temp stat is a square box clipped in under the elements .Can be replaced in 5 minutes.Need a large flat screwdriver.

Posted on Oct 15, 2010

SOURCE: how do I change the

Buy elements at local hardware store or home center, like Lowes
Look at label on side of tank.
Label shows element wattage.
Element is also printed on end of element in tiny letters-numbers.
Typical elements are 4500 and 5500 watts.
Tank needs 10 gauge wire and 30 amp breaker for 5500 watt element.

Water heaters are fully repairable by homeowner.

1) Have you tested water heater to see if element is problem? You need cheap multi-meter from Home Depot.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) To change element
a) turn off power
b) drain water from drain valve ... once it starts draining, loosen element slightly while tank still has weight to hold against you turning element wrench.
Here's what to do if water heater won't drain:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-will-not-drain.html
c) open covers on tank, remove element using element-wrench from hardware store or home center.
If element won't come out:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-remove-old-water-heater-element.html
d) Clean out tank if needed.
e) Replace element.
f) Fill tank entirely with water before turning on power or element will burn out.
g) Once tank is filled, and water flows steady out of tub spout, turn on power.
Each steps above is shown on following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

3) You need to buy some things:
Screw-in type (not bolt-in type) Element that matches wattage on tank label. New Element comes with washer.
Inexpensive Element wrench.
Inexpensive multimeter if you are going to test parts first.
Some pieces of pipe and hose if tank sediment needs to be cleaned out.
Washing machine hose if tank will not drain (return after job is done).

4) Also:
You need flat tip and phillips screwdriver.
Lighting to work on tank
Some WD-40 if element is stuck in place.
Garden hose to drain tank.
Shop vac and duct tape if you need to vacuum out sediment.
Tarp to protect floor and carpet
Maybe a knife to cut back insulation on wire if wire is burned at element.

Web links above go through entire process step by step.
Add a comment if you need more help, I'll be back around 5 CST

Posted on Nov 30, 2010

FirsLonewolf
  • 186 Answers

SOURCE: Reliance 501 electric water heater with 4500 watt

likely the elements are corroded you should turn off the power to the heater, then turn off the water supply to it and the exit shut off as well. Then drain the tank, remove the old elements take one with you to a local hardware store which should have replacement elements or will tell you where to get new ones.
once you have replaced the elements be sure to fill the tank and open the exit valve before turning the power back on.

Posted on Sep 21, 2011

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