Question about Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC 82VH402

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How do i replace bad heating element? - Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC 82VH402

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It's necessary to drain at least some of the water from the tank in order to keep the floor surrounding the water heater as dry as possible. If the top element is the bad, (non-functioning), one, you'll need to drain off enough water to allow the removal of that element at least. That would be approx. 10 gal.'s. To drain water you must first turn off the feed line valve to the water heater, then attach a good hose to the drain spigot near the bottom of the unit. In order for gravity to help drain this tank, you must find a position for the hose so that the opposite end from the one attached can lay in a spot that's lower than the tank itself. Then open the drain spigot and the brass overflow valve. This allows air to gain entrance into the tank, which helps push the water out. If the lower element is the culprit then you must drain nearly, if not, all of the water from the tank. You'll need an element socket, which you can buy from the home center, or hardware store where you buy your elements. Actually, if you're going to do one, you may as well do both. It doesn't take that much more effort and then you're covered for another while. It's also wise to take at least the top part of one of the old elements with you when you go to get the new ones, to make sure they're a good match.

Posted on Jan 05, 2012


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Replacing a heat element in this model is a good idea if it's bad.. Otherwise I would suggest changing the part that is defective. ;-)

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How do I test the upper & lower heating elements on my Rheem water heater model PE50T9A? I have replaced the thermostat

Use an ohmmeter to compare the resistance of the two. Remove power first of course. And you will also have to remove at least one lead from the heating element before you can get a good resistance measurement. Depends on what you have, but you should get a resistance of somewhere between 8 and maybe up to 50 ohms. If you have a completely failed heating element it is going to have a VERY high resistance, but if it is marginal it might be in the hundreds. If you do have one that is bad or marginal it's going to have something like 10 times (or more) resistance than the good one. You might measure a good comparable one at Home Depot for reference. At difference of maybe 25% (not 25 ohms) is probably OK. Good luck.

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My water is not heating in my Rheem 40 gallon electric. I pushed the reset button, but when I turn off the breaker and then on again, I do not hear the elements heating up.

Electric water heater can be repaired by homeowner
If I understand correctly, water heater is producing no hot water.
Reset button clicks in, but still no heat.

Three initial things can be causing this:
1) No power to water heater. Test across top two screws on upper thermostat for 240V. Red and black wire are attached to these screws. Screws are marked 1 and 3. Upper thermostat is same that has reset button. If power tests 120 across screws, then breaker may be off on one leg. If no power, then start testing at breaker.

2) Upper thermostat is bad. Replace thermostat with generic upper thermostat available at hardware store.

3) Upper element is bad. Test and replace element using Rheem 4500 watt element available at hardware store. Image shown below. Look at label on side of tank for element wattage. Rheem puts 4500 watt elements into all their 240V electric water heaters.

If upper element is burned out the tank will not heat any water.

Rheem 4500Watt element

Upper thermostats are generic and interchangeable:

Nov 23, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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Red reset button keeps kicking out, i reset button and works fine for a day or two then kicks out again

The reset button kicks out because the thermostat detects overheating.
Anything over 150 degrees, the reset kicks out.

This is caused by 4 things.
1) Bad upper or lower thermostat. Thermostat sticking in 'on' position and elements overheating water.
2) Factory-installed insulation and cover are removed
3) Bad element shorted to ground at center of element, and element continues heating with 120V through the ground wire.
4) Loose wire near upper thermostat, that is shorting and causing heat.

Check for missing insulation.
Check for loose and burned wires.
Replace both upper and lower thermostat.

If problems continue, test water heater elements and replace bad element.

If you need more help, add a comment and I will respond.

Oct 29, 2010 | Reliance & 40 Gal Electric Mobile Home...

1 Answer

Top heating element was broke. Replaced got hot water for week. Now have to run hot water for 20 mins before it goes from warm to hot. Top heating element reads 240VAC bottom heating element reads...

look for a badly connected power line ont he bottom element, or any connection upstream of the power terminals. voltage readings usually drop to that range when you only have one side of the 220v circuit connected.

Jun 20, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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The heat control valve appears to have stuck, the water is only luke warm

I do not know what heat control valve you are referring to on an electric water heater. On an electric water heater it has two heating elements in most cases. One at the top and one on the bottom. One of these is more than likely defective. Turn the power to the water heater off at the service panel or at a disconnect switch. Now take the covers off both heating elements. Check each one with a ohm meter to see if you have continuity. If your meter reads nothing that heating element is bad and needs replacing. On each heating element is a thermostat to set the temperature. Set the upper element to 120 degrees and the lower element to 130 degrees.

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We just bought a new water heater and it's not heating up water.

The heating element was bad. It's hard to believe that a brand new water heater would have a burn element, but that's the problem. I replace the heating element and its started working properly.

Dec 01, 2009 | Whirlpool Water Heaters

1 Answer

Newly installed,new heater,won't heat,all wires are right with power to elements

If you are getting proper voltage to the element itself, and ther is no heat, the element is bad.

If there is power to the thermostat, but not the elemsnts themselves then try turning pushing the red reset button on the t-stat.

To confirm that the elemsnts are bad, shut off power, remove the wires from the element, check for continuity through the element. If there is none, it is bad.

But again, if there is proper voltage going into the element, and it is not heating, it is bad.

What voltage do you have going to the element itself?

Oct 18, 2009 | Reliance Water Heaters

1 Answer


Well by replace the top element is proable not the problem.You see the top element heats the water at the top first and then the bottom take over.So, my guess is the bottom element is bad.Replace it and I think your troubles will over.

Mar 15, 2009 | Water Heaters

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