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I have an American electric hot water heater. Model MI80R6DS13 240V 80 Gal S/N YB0849253. Recently, the relief valve blew and I had a big water mess. I have since repaired the water damage. Upon inspection of the unit, I found that the top thermostat was charred (physically burned), at the terminals that connect to the top heater coil. I guessed that was the problem and replaced that thermostat with the same part. I am trying to do this myself due to financial constraints, and my basic competence as an electrical engineer. When I re-connected power, I found that the temperature is still in a run-away situation. The unit heats to scalding hot even with both the top and bottom thermostat on the lowest setting. I have shut off the unit at the circuit breaker, pending advice what to do next. I can't afford to have more water damage in my home. The unit was installed in 2002. Any ideas?

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  • mffoley16 Jun 30, 2009

    The new thermostat I installed was a Camco #07863 240V Up DP Thermostat. This is exactly the same one that was on the original unit that was charred at some point near the overheating incident that caused the relief valve to blow.

    I can't find a Wattage rating for this part on-line.

    Your idea would make sense except for the fact that the new Thermostat does not seem to be working properly, right out of the box. It's hard to beleive that the terminals welded the very first time it was used, if it was the manufacturer's recommended part.

    Any other ideas?

  • mffoley16 Jun 30, 2009

    sounds plausible. I will check it this weekend when we are back at the house. If this is it, I will let you know. I will accept your solution since it seems plausible and I was looking for troubleshooting advice....


  • mffoley16 Jun 30, 2009

    Thanks for the troubleshooting idea! I will check it out.


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Unit maybe full of calcium turn off power drain open relief valve to drain remove bottom element if white crusty stuff thats calcium use coat hanger to pull out chunks then pour white vinegar let sit overnight it will dissolve chunks then completely rinse with hose!!!Calcium will short out bottom element and cause to overheat and burn out parts!!!Best of luck to you!!!!Let me know outcome!!!!

Posted on Jun 30, 2009

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OK. Logicaly thinking It can't be nothing else just thermostat (assuming it was connected correctly). First Make sure that the thermostat you'we just installed is capable to to withstand 4500W power. Or just get the bigger one, lets say the one which could withstand up to 6000W or so. The thing is, as your Heating element is rated 4,5KW so if thermostat is ratet the same, at the point of kick-on the contacts inside the thermostat might stick together (like welded) due to excessive current flow. On this occasion the thermostat is like switch and all the switches should be chosen to be able withstand up to 25 percent of rated wattage. So at this point get a bt more powerfull thermostat and you will definitely be sorted.
I heard tha kenmore heaters has exactly the same problem. So with time some of the ratings just needs to be adjusted as after couple of years all the manufacturers estimations seem not to work as smooth as expected.

Best of luck for you!


Posted on Jun 29, 2009

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