Question about Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

1 Answer

We had no hot water so we check the elements with a voltage meter and found the bottom element to be bad. We replaced it. Now there is still no hot water. When we test the voltage again there is continuity on the bottom element but no voltage. The top has voltage, but the unit itself is making no noise and we still have no hot water???

Posted by on


1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that gotĀ 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer gotĀ voted for 20 times.


    Uploaded 5 video answers.

  • Expert
  • 119 Answers

The elements never run at the same time, it would take to much energy for a standard residential heater. Instead, they rotate powering up back and forth depending on the hot water demand. If you getting 208 to 240 volts on the top element and nothing is happening, the top element is bad and needs to be replaced. If you can swing 30 bucks, replace both elements and both thermostats at the same time. This way you know that everything is new. Check out this generic water-heater wiring schematic.

Posted on Sep 06, 2010


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017


Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer


Not knowing how old the unit is, it's possible that both elements could be bad, especially if you ru out of hot water quickly. If your sure the breaker is okay and you know how to use a voltage meter. Check the voltage at the thermostats and elements. While you are looking at the thermostat(s), press the red reset button and give it about 5 minutes and see if you hear the water heating up. If you have voltage at the thermostats and the elements. Turn the power off and check for continuity through the elements. If you don not have continuity, the element is bad. If all seems to check out, you probably have a bad upper thermostat. Check all connections and inspect the wires.

Jul 06, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

Bought about fours years ago, and water is not getting hot

How many gallon Heater is this?-- Does it have 2 elements-- one at the top and one at the bottom?

Is your water ;HARD'-- so that there may be alot of scale built up around the bottom element?

Have you ever pulled the bottom element, and flushed out the scale?

One more check-- With a clamp around amp meter-- have yo checked to see if the elements are actually drawing current-- This would mean checking the power to the heater, too- If you have voltage at the elements, but no current being drawn, then it is likely the element is burned out.

Do you need any help in figuring out the above trouble shooting checks?
Let me know-
Mack B


1 Answer

My hot water heater tripped the circuit breaker on the house panel. I reset the circuit breaker but the heater still would not begin to heat. I drained the tank and found one burned out heating element. I...

Tough problem here. Most dual element heaters share one line. if this is the case and you have power on the top and none on the bottom I would check the connecting wires one to another. also check the settings of the thermostats. They may be adjusted all the way down. If the wires and connections are good I would recommend ohm testing the new elements. I have burned elements out by introducing cold water to very hot coils (forgetting to turn the water on after flipping the breaker)
Never forget that calcium buildup will short the element. If touching on the bottom you will burn it up.
If this does not help try borrowing hot water from neighbors ;)
Good luck

Feb 15, 2011 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

2 Answers

I have a 40 gal electric water heater, but have insufficient hot water. The cold water intake pipe on top of the heater is very hot but when I turn on a hot water tap, it gets cold quickly. replaced dip...

You will need an amp meter. I suspect that the lower heating element is out or the thermostat.

Most water heater have a upper and lower element. The bottom is the main work horse.

Take the lower access door off and you can get to the wires to use a clamp on Amp meter. You should get a reading of 10 + amp if it is working. You can check the thermostat with the volt meter also to make sure you are getting voltage to the element . You should have 220 volts across the two wire attached to the element. The elements are not to hard to change. You will need to shut the power Off and the Cold Water off. Drain the tank to get below the bottom element and you will need to get a special wrench to unscrew the old element out of the tank. Hope this Helps


1 Answer

Have a new electric tank,top element wont come on,replaced thermostat 3 times top element comes on once but next morning not enough hot water&top element wont come on,can someone help? thanks

The top element only comes on when the heater is about out of water. The water is directed to the bottom of the tank. Cold water stays on bottom, Bottom heater element heats water. If you use all that water then the top of the tank gets cold and the top element comes. When the top of the tank is warm, then the bottom element comes on. I would susupect the bottom element as it does most of the work. If you have an ohm meter, turn off electric, and remove wires from element. Check element for continuity. If you don't get reading, then that element is bad.

Oct 04, 2010 | General Electric Water Heaters

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...

1 Answer

50 gallon electric heater not working after about 5 minutes in the shower the water gets cold and the rest of the house i do have 240 going to water heater thermostats goood element good

Some elements will read with a meter good until they heat up.

Hot water then going to ice cold top element is working and bottom bad. Luke warm water and then goes cold bottom element good and top element bad.

Elements and thermostats are not to exspensive to replace.

If you have power only two thing's left are the thermostat's and the elements.

May 21, 2010 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

No power to the bottom element

First things first, you are not supposed to have power to both elements at the same time. The top element comes on and heats the top of the tank, then the top goes off and the bottom comes on. Now, check power on the top element, put your meter probes on both screws on the element, you must have 220 to 240 volts between these two screws. If the voltage is good then you have a bad element, if the voltage is not there, then you need to check the voltage at the top 2 screws on the upper thermostat, if it is okay there, maybe the hi limit has tripped, push the reset button on the top thermostat, if it is tripped it will click and start heating right away. If the hi limit is not tripped then you will need to replace the upper thermostat.

Mar 16, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

1 Answer

I had a water heater that stoped heating. I checked and found the top elment to be bad and replaced it. I have since replaced the bottom lement and the top thermostat and the ohm meter to the thermostat...


Dec 14, 2009 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

Hot water runs hot for afew seconds then goes cold

Sounds like one of the heating elements has gone out. There are two elements in Electric Water Heaters. Top and Bottom. You can check them with a volt/ohm meter. Turn OFF power to the water heater FIRST.
Using a volt/ohm meter set to measure ohms check each element for continunity. if none is measured replace the element from your local home supply store.

Dec 06, 2009 | Water Heaters

Not finding what you are looking for?
Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater  Logo

Related Topics:

82 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Reliance Water Heaters Experts

Mack Baxter

Level 3 Expert

381 Answers

Gil Shultz

Level 3 Expert

3368 Answers


Level 2 Expert

170 Answers

Are you a Reliance Water Heater Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides