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I want to replace the upper and lower heating elements on an older modle water heater, MOR-FLO Model SD50. However when I removed the old theromstats expecting to see the screw out elements underneath the thermostat, there wasn't any there. I am at a loss as to what to do to repair this old tank. Any suggestions? Thank you.

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There are two types of elements. One uses a 1-1/4" socket and the other used 4-bolts. If your water heater is so old that you can not find replacement elements, do yourself a favor and replace the whole heater with something more efficient.

Posted on Dec 30, 2007

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1 Answer

Shorting out an electric water heater


The heating elements in most electric heaters for water are sequential. That means that both are not on at the same time in some cases. There are individual thermostats for each set of heating elements. So you should check the integrity of both the heating elements with a meter and the thermostats.

Jul 02, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a GE "SmartWater" Model #GE50M6A It only has 120 volts on the lower element. It is not heating water, but does have 240 volts to the upper element and, as I stated, 120v to the lower element.


1) Test elements,and if elements are good, replace both thermostats
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) Test across top two screws on upper thermostat for 240Volts.
If this test shows 240V, then no more voltage testing is needed.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html#electric

3) Add comment Feb 2013 and say where you are so far

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Feb 09, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

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

How do I wire around upper heating element until I can get an other one to replace it?


Question posted under marathon electric water heater.
Marathon is 240Volt dual element non-simultaneous water heater.
Non-simultaneous means that upper part of tank has to reach temperature before power is sent to lower thermostat and element. So if upper element is bad, then water heater has no hot water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Replace-anode-rod.html#audibleBW

1) You need to by-pass upper element without by-passing upper thermostat.
2) You should never by-pass upper thermostat because it has ECO-reset protection.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html

3) Open following link for image of wiring:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Marathon-wiring-700.jpg
4) Take photo of your wiring in case color code is different on your specific model

5) Look at upper thermostat.
Remove yellow wire from terminal 2 on upper thermostat, and cap off temporarily.
Remove red wire from terminal 4 on upper thermostat, and move it to terminal 2 on upper thermostat.
6) For more effective operation, look at lower thermostat.
Remove black wire from lower thermostat terminal 1 and move wire to terminal 2 on lower thermostat.

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Sep 03, 2011 | Rheem MR105245 Marathon Electric Water...

2 Answers

LOWER ELEMENT IS NOT GETTING ANY VOLTAGE ON MODEL 65220RS


Short answer: Thermostats may be bad. Replace both thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

Long answer:
1) If water heater has some hot water, then upper element is good and water heater has 240Volts, and best suspect is burned out lower element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

2) If water heater has no hot water because 240volt circuit breaker is tripped on one leg, and only 120Volts is arriving at water heater, then upper part of water heater can appear to have voltage and lower part of water heater can appear to have no voltage.
Open following links for troubleshoot steps:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Test-electricity-to-water-heater.html

Add a comment for more help

Jun 14, 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

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 replaced the heating elements(2) and switiches(2) on my Rudd electric hot water heater. Model PES 40-2. The switghes came with several wiring diagrams.(universal) Can I get a diagram specific to my...


Residential water heaters USUALLY follow same diagram unless water heater is wired for other purpose. Multiple diagrams on instructions show available options. Take photo of wiring before removing wires on any electrical device.
Upper element.
Black wire from top of heater connects to #1 top left screw.
Red wire from top connects to #3 top right screw.
Blue wire from upper element connects to #4 middle screw on right side
Red wire from lower element connects to #4 middle screw on right side
Yellow wire from upper element connects to #2 lower left screw
Black wire from lower thermostat connects to #4 lower right screw
Upper element: Yellow and Blue wires connect to either screw
Lower element: Red wire from top connects to either screw
Lower thermostat: Black wire from top connects to top screw
Short wire between lower thermostat and lower element

http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Water-heater-wiring-w-numbe.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Thermostats-numbered-divided-500.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-wire-water-heater-thermostats.html

Sep 18, 2010 | Whirlpool 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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