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I have a 40 gal Whirlpool single element 3500 mobile home hot water heater. I have replaced the element thermostat high pressure valve (because it was leaking) & flushed for sediment. In morning I wash my hair but when my teenager goes to wash hers down the hall in her bathroom the water is already cold. We're not talking 25 minute showers...just 5 minute throw your head over the side of the tub hair washing. What else could it be?

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A 40 gal. electric water heater will give you aprox. 32 gal. of hot water in one setting, since they do not reheat as quickly as gas. So if you are using a newer 1.5 or 2.0 gpm shower head. You could take a 16 minute shower with straight hot water. If you are running 2 new shower heads at once you could get 8 minutes. If you using the tub spout the times decrease. Some of my customers like to turn up the temerature on the thermostat a little so they can mix more cold and get it to last a little longer. Be very careful doing this.
If your water heater has a lot of calcium built up in it the times will decrease.
With out seeing the heater, you mention it is a mobile home heater so I am guessing that it is bottom fed.
I hope this has helped.

Posted on May 11, 2010

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Problem has to be bad element or bad thermostat.

Test elements for short to ground through metal tank wall:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

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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

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http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

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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.
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3) Burned or shorted wire located between upper and lower sections of tank.
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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.

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You may have 2 elements. Make sure both circuit breakers are on.If the heater is old it may be plugged up with sediment. Flush out via valve on bottom. If no water comes out or it is very rusty keep running till clear. If it does not help probably time for a new heater.

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I have a 40 gal Whirlpool single element 3500 mobile home hot water heater. I have replaced the element, thermostat, high pressure valve (because it was leaking) & flushed for sediment. In morning I...


One thing you will want to check is see if the cold water pipe on this heater is installed on the side or the top of the water heater. A Whirlpool Mobile Home Electric water heater should have the cold water pipe on the side near the bottom of the heater.
If it is not installed on the side of the water heater this can cause you to run out fast.
If the water pipes are installed correctly try contacting the manufacturer at 1-877-817-6750 and they can advise you.

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