Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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Which element? only have hot water for a very short time. upper or lower heating element. Can elements be checked while still in the tank and full of water?

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Turn off power then remove covers then check with ohm meter should have same reading on both elements but remove both wires from each element before you test

Posted on Sep 26, 2009

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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...

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Brand new water heater is not heating up. checked the upper heat element and got 240 volts reading, the bottom one is not reading any voltage. Please help


1) If upper element is receiving 240V, then water heater should have some hot water.
If upper element is burned out, then tank will have no hot water, but element will still test for 240V
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) Keep in mind that upper element heats top part of tank first.
Only when top part of tank reaches thermostatic temperature will power be sent to lower thermostat and element. This is called non-simultaneous operation.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

3) Non-simultaneous operation is necessary for most water heater installations because both elements are not ON at same time. Either upper element is ON or lower element is ON or both are off.
Each element is typically 4500 watts, which is 18.75 amps.
If both elements were ON at same time, it would consume 37.5 amps, so circuit breaker would have to be 40 or 50 amp with 8 or 6 gauge wire.

4) Add a comment with your experience so others 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 26, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

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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

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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

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

I awoke to no hot water, my heater is three yrs old and i just changed my upper and lower element and upper thermostat, still no hot water then i checked to see if i was getting power and i am, is there...


Your water heater has 2 elements so its 240Volts.

1) If breaker is delivering power on one leg of the 240Volt circuit, then water heater can appear to have electricity, but tank is receiving 120V. Both 120Volt legs are needed to complete the 240V circuit. Double check for 240Volts.

2) Review electric Load.
Water heater label shows wattage of tank.
If tank is 4500Watts for example, you installed 3500 or 4500 watt elements.
With 5500 Watt elements you need 30 amp breaker and orange-colored 10 gauge wire
With 4500 Watt elements you can get by on 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire up to 75 feet away.

3) Check ECO red reset button on upper thermostat. If reset is tripped, then ECO is reading high temperatures. Suspects at this point are defective upper thermostat, shorted wire or bad lower element.

4) Also note that insulation and cover must be re-installed over thermostat. Thermostat reads temperature through wall of tank. If outside air circulates around thermostat, that can cause a mis-read and cause tank to overheat and ECO trips.

If you don't want to test the heater, replace both thermostats for about $25. Return the upper thermostat for a refund. Then see of problem persists.

Here's what I would do.
1. Check breaker for 240
2. Check water heater for 240 across 1 and 3 screws on upper thermostat
3. Note wiring and breaker size.
4. Note label on side of tank.

5. Look at end of new element to see wattage printed on each element. Look for sings of high heat and burning. Tighten screws on elements.

6. Check ECO reset button. Look for high-heat and burning. Tighten screws on thermostat.

7. Test upper thermostat as follows:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Electric-diagram-water-800.jpg
Test left-side #1 screw to right-side middle #4 screw. Test should read 240V at all times. If not, then ECO is tripped, thermostat is bad, or electricity is OFF

8) Water heater is cold so upper element should be ON. Test upper thermostat.
Test right-side #3 screw to left-side bottom #2 screw and it should read 240V
Test right-side #3 screw to right-side bottom #4 screw and it should read 0 volts

8. If upper thermostat checks out. Test upper element for 240 across both screws. If upper element does not read 240 when water is cold, then element is bad or there is a shorted wire between element and upper thermostat.
How to test element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

9. Do a full troubleshoot on electric water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Dec 07, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

1 Answer

What is the energy factor for the mod.82V80-2? I have two seperate 30amp circuits, one for the top element and one for the bottom element, if that changes anything.


http://www.rheem.com/product.aspx?id=09DF2BDD-5E11-4D32-B574-84ACFB8A4619
http://globalimageserver.com/fetchDocument.aspx?id=052c9e32-ce37-48d7-8990-9e430f23fef3

82V80-2 Energy factor is .86 according to water heater industry self-regulated standards.

Rheem pdf says these water heaters are wired for non-simultaneous operation.
Except special order water heaters.
Non-simultaneous operation uses single 240V circuit as described below.
If your water heater is wired for simultaneous operation, and each element is on a separate circuit, that makes your water heater special order. I would guess the reason is for higher first-hour delivery, which implies rapid heating and would likely affect energy factor.
You might want to get serial number off model and call Rheem for specs on that special order.

Your water heater energy factor may be the same because 'energy efficiency is based on the amount of hot water produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day.' This means an aircraft carrier can be considered highly efficient despite overall cost. And naturally the guys making the aircraft carrier are also doing the rating.
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/water_heating/index.cfm/mytopic=13000

Non simultaneous operation means the upper thermostat controls heating functions.
240V goes to upper thermostat first.
When water inside tank is cold, thermostat reads temperature through tank wall.
Upper thermostat turns on upper element until top 2/3 of tank reaches thermostat set point.
Once set point is reached, upper thermostat turns off upper element and sends power to lower thermostat and lower element.
Lower thermostat reads temperature through tank wall, and turns on lower element until bottom 1/3 of tank reaches thermostat set point.
As water cools inside tank, lower thermostat is first to respond since hot water rises.
Lower thermostat turns on lower element until tank again reaches set point.
When hot water faucet is turned on, hot water exits top of tank.
At same time, cold water enters bottom of tank through the dip tube.
The heating cycle repeats.
At all times, the electricity flows through upper thermostat. And upper thermostat is powered by one 240V circuit.

With simultaneous operation, the upper and lower thermostats work in same manner.
Except thermostats are wired separately.
Lower thermostat does not wait for upper part of tank to be heated first.
Lower thermostat turns on whenever lower part of tank cools.
The advantage is more hot water available rapidly when demand is high. This is called first hour recovery.

One method for reducing electric consumption is to set lower thermostat so it only turns on during certain times of day. For example Whirlpool Energy Smart operates in this manner and shaves a few bucks off the bill each month. This says that simultaneous operation is not an energy saver, unless that circuit controlling lower thermostat is set on a timer.

Dec 06, 2010 | Rheem 80 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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

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

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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