Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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I had a bad lower element changed it then water heater wouldnt work at all so i changed the thermostat still nothing when i wire it up correctly but when i jump from one side to the other it works but i dont think it will shut off

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Take 30 minutes and do complete troubleshoot:
Buy multi-meter from home center.
When testing for voltage, rotate multi-meter dial to 240-250-277 VAC
When testing elements and continuity, rotate dial to to Ohms
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Follow steps from top of page to bottom.
Page has photos of correct thermostat wiring to double check wiring.
If your wiring varies, connect wires as shown or add a comment.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010

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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.

Take a moment and rate answer:
And 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.

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

1 Answer

Called and was told to change lower thermostat but yet again I had to go push red reset button on top panel to get it back on to get hot water. what should I do now?


You have electric water heater.
You have top and bottom panel, so water heater is 240Volt.
No hot water because ECO reset button tripped.
Water heater works correctly when reset button is reset, so electric power and circuit breaker are good. Water heater wiring is probably good.

Problem is most likely bad thermostat.
I usually replace both upper and lower thermostats.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If problems continue after replacing thermostats, then test and replace elements.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

Aug 05, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Brand new heater seems to run out of hot water when ran for awhile and seems to take long to recover. also is it supposed to be noisy when running it almosy sounds like water running but its not


You have some hot water so that says specific things:
-Upper element is working.
-Electricity to water heater and circuit breaker are good
-You don't report a leak so TP valve is good
-You are not experiencing overheating event
-ECO reset button is not tripped
-Insulation and covers are in place so thermostat not exposed to cooler temperatures that would cause thermostat to misread temperature and cause overheating.

That leaves 6 suspects listed in order of ease:
1) Leaking faucet or broken water line that is running hot water all the time and tank cannot keep up.

2) Thermostats set too low. Turn power OFF, open covers and check each thermostat setting.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-adjust-temperature-on-water-heater.html

3) Loose screw or loose wire at upper thermostat, lower thermostat, or lower element. Turn power OFF and tighten screws, and look for signs of high heat and burning, especially on lower element.

4) Upper or lower thermostat is bad. Replace both thermostats for $28 and see if that corrects problem.
Parts available at home center, hardware, or plumbing supply
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

5) Defective wire between upper and lower sections of tank: If this is the case, and water heater has 2" foam insulation, then tank usually replaced since insulation is too dense to drop another wire. Call for manufacturer for warranty information. Do a full troubleshoot using multimeter.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

6) Lower element is burned out. Test lower element. Replace lower element. Rheem elements are 4500 Watts and are available at home center, hardware, or plumbing supply
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-element-and-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-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.

Jan 22, 2011 | Rheem 80 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

I've replaced the top heating elememt to my water heater and reset it, the hot water runs out quickly. Why?


You have 2-element tank, so that is 240V heater.

If you have some hot water, then that says specific things.
-Upper element is working.
-Electricity to heater is good, and circuit breaker is good.
-You are not experiencing overheating.
-Reset button is not tripped
-TP valve is good
-Insulation and covers are installed correctly and thermostat is not receiving cool air that will cause thermostat to misread tank temperature.

That leaves 3 suspects:
1) Upper or lower thermostat. Replace both thermostats for $28 and see if problem persists.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html
2) Loose wire or bad wire between upper and lower parts of heater. Open covers and look for loose wire and signs of burning especially on lower element. Do full troubleshoot:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html
3) Bad lower element. Test and replace element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

4) 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 any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

Jan 21, 2011 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Replaced both lower and top elements and upper thermostat still no hot water. proper elec. going to unit.what could it be?


You need to take 1/2 hour to learn basics and then test water heater parts before replacing anything.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html
Follow the troubleshooting steps, and it will tell you exactly where the problem is.
Otherwise we can guess at 20 different things.

Water heater is 240V because you have more than 1 element.
Did you test for 240V across top two screws of upper element?
Breaker can be tripped off on one leg and 120V arrives at water heater so heater looks like it has electricity, but circuit is not complete.

The problem can be loose wire, bad 240V circuit breaker, sediment reaching lower element, bad thermostat, bad upper element, tripped ECO reset button.

Did you replace factory insulation and cover over thermostats after replacing elements?
Did you vacuum out sediment when replacing lower element?

How long ago did you replace elements? If you turned power ON before tank was completely filled with water, then you burned out the element. If upper element is burned out, the tank has no hot water, even if lower element is good.
Test the upper element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
See how a water heater works:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

And finally, why so many folks write to fixya saying they replaced both elements and upper thermostat, but they never replace lower thermostat for another $6? I have been puzzled about that since lower thermostat turns on and off each time tank temperature drops and is responsible for keeping water warm during standby hours. Lower thermostat cycles more times than upper thermostat.

Add a comment if you need specific assistance with any of the testing steps.

Dec 14, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Rheem 40 gal. elct. have 220 at both elements all the time but only one drawing?


Your testing may be off here. Or you might have special order 'simultaneous' wired water heater.

Water heaters with two elements are 240V.
Elements test for 120V at all times, but with ordinary non-simultaneous water heater, only one element at a time has 240. This is called non-simultaneous operation.
Open links below for understanding of water heater operation.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/B220C.html

If both elements were drawing 240 at one time, then upper thermostat is bad, or else your water heater is wired for simultaneous operation, and one of the elements is burned out.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Your tank might be wired for simultaneous operation, if water heater was special order from Rheem, or if somebody changed wiring and set lower thermostat-and-element on a separate circuit breaker.

If you have simultaneous operation, then you would have 2 circuit breakers and 2 wires going to water heater or one 50 amp breaker with 8 gauge wire to heater. If this is the case, then both elements could test for 240V and one of the elements is bad, and thermostats are ok.

If you have ordinary Rheem water heater, then it is wired for non-simultaneous operation where only one element is ON at a time. This is called non-simultaneous operation and you can check because water heater has one circuit breaker rated for 20 or 30 amps.

Rheem elements are 4500Watts.
If both elements were ON at same time, that would be 9000Watts, which would trip typical water heater 20-30 amp circuit breaker.
9000Watts divided by 240 volts = 37.5 amps
So if upper thermostat is bad, and it is turning on both elements so they both test for 240, then thermostat is bad, but also one of the elements has to be bad.
Or test is inaccurate.
Interesting puzzle.

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.

Dec 09, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

I have a Reliance 501 water heater, when I take a shower now I only get about 5 min. of hot water is there something on the heater I have to reset? Thnx Mike


Electric water heater is fully repairable by homeowner.
Following information will tell you how.

1) Background on your heater:
Reliance is AO Smith company.
http://www.aosmith.com/OperatingUnits/Detail.aspx?id=138&ekmensel=c580fa7b_12_0_138_3

Age of water heater is shown in serial number. First character is letter. Second 2 characters are numbers, which are year of manufacture. For example 05 is year 2005.

The 501 manual is not shown on Reliance website:
http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/prod/elec.html

2) Two things known for sure:
- electricity is OK
- upper element is working because there is some hot water.

3) Three things can cause problem you describe:
- Loose wire located from upper thermostat to lower element and thermostat.
- Upper or lower thermostat is bad
- Lower element is burned out

4) How to troubleshoot and repair
- Turn off power, open covers and look for loose and burned wiring, especially on lower element.
- When finished, put back insulation and covers so thermostat not exposed to cooler temperatures.
- Burned wire on lower element is evidence that lower element is burned out.

- If you do not want to follow testing steps below, next step is to replace both upper and lower thermostat for about 25$ and see if problem persists.
- If problem persists, replace lower element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

5) Test lower element, before replacing anything
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

6) Troubleshoot electric water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

7) How to replace lower element and clean sediment out of tank:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

Nov 17, 2010 | Reliance Water Heater #6-50-DJRT 50GAL...

1 Answer

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.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Solution:
Check for missing insulation.
Check for loose and burned wires.
Replace both upper and lower thermostat.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If problems continue, test water heater elements and replace bad element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

If you need more help, add a comment and I will respond.
e5788c4.jpg

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

1 Answer

Hot water runs out after one shower


You say the hot water runs out after one shower.
You posted under electric heater.

In case you have a gas heater:
With gas heater
, the flame quality could be bad because of restricted air flow or dirty burner, the control valve and thermostat could be bad, the air intake could be clogged, or the water heater is full of sediment and the flame is burning all the time and unable to heat much water.

With electric heater, the lower element is probably burned out and bottom filled with sediment, but thermostats could be bad, or you could have shorted wire.

Narrow down the suspects
If water heater makes some hot water then upper element is working.

Three remaining suspects are upper thermostat, lower thermostat, lower element, and possibly a loose wire

Check screw terminals for signs of burning and loose wires. Especially check lower element.

Let's test lower element.
Turn off power.
Remove both wires from lower element.
Test across both screws with a continuity tester.
Continuity tester is available at hardware store, or you can make one with battery, wire and a flashlight bulb.
d18ee07.jpg
The continuity tester has a battery and when light comes on, it says the circuit is complete.
Test1) Test across both screws on lower element with continuity tester.
If light comes on then element is good, but element has to pass one more test.
Test2) Test each screw on element to any bare metal part of water heater.
If light does NOT come on with second test, then element is good.
Light ON first test. Light OFF second test. Then element is probably good. But test is not fail-proof without using a meter.

I'm betting the lower element is burned out and you need to replace lower element. And you may need to vacuum out the sediment.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

Now if lower element is good, then the easiest thing is to do is replace both thermostats. Buy generic thermostats at hardware store for $25. After replacing both thermostats, the water heater will probably work. If there is still a problem, then the lower element was not as good as test showed, and it should be replaced also.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-thermostat-on-electric-water-heater.html

If you are still having a problem, answer back and we'll give more details.

Oct 25, 2010 | Rheem 50 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

Installed new upper & lower elements & thermostats, only top htr works


If original problem was caused by sediment burning out lower element, did you clean sediment out of water heater when changing lower element?
Two element water heaters are 240V.
Thermostats cut power on one hot wire, but 240V circuit has 2 hot wires. So lower element has power at all times coming from the red wire.
1) Use ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> test each screw of lower element to bare metal part of water heater. Each screw should show 120V. If there is no power, then upper thermostat is defective, screw on upper thermostat is loose, or red wire between upper and lower parts of water heater is bad.
2) Remove wires from lower element. Use continuity tester or multimeter set to ohms <> test across both screws of element to see if power travels through element <> if element is bad, then continuity tester will not light up and multimeter will show no ohms. Put wires back on element after test.
3) Start with cold water in tank. Turn on water heater & upper element will turn on. Put ear on side of tank to hear if upper element is heating water. Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 240V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 0V.
Put ear on side of tank. When upper element turns off: Test #3 screw to #2 screw on low left side of thermostat, should read 0V > Test #3 screw to #4 screw on low right side of thermostat, should read 240V. If this test shows 0V and 0V, then upper thermostat is bad. If reading is correct, immediately move to next test.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Thermostats-numbered-divided-500.jpg
4) Turn temp on lower thermostat to 150. Using ordinary tester or multimeter set to 240V <> Test across both screws of lower element. If there is no reading, and you know element is good from step 2, then lower thermostat is bad, or wire is bad between lower element and lower thermostat, or wire is bad between lower thermostat and top part of heater.
5) Test across both lower thermostat screws, should read 240V.If this test is good, it means wires are good. Put jumper wire across both screws of lower thermostat, and test lower element again. If element finally turns on with jumper wire, then lower thermostat is bad.
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http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-water-heater.html

If wire is bad between upper and lower parts of water heater, and water heater has tight-fitting 2" foam insulation, it usually indicates water heater replacement.

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

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