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Diagnostic meter on my water indicates that the lower element is bad but I am still getting hot waterm Bobby Becker

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Are you sure you posted question in correct catogory. Found it in AC problem section. Sounds like your talking about electric hot water heater.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

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The bottom thermostat is tripping out on my 315 litre vulcan everhot water heater (not immediately) worked for a couple of days and then back to working only on the top element. Please indicate the most...


you can check the element with an ohm meter. Just check it for continunity. If you have restistance prob about 12ohms or more them the element is good if you have an infinate amount the element is bad. Most likely it 's the element . Be timely the constant tripping of the the safety will cause the t-stat to fail as well

Aug 07, 2011 | Air Conditioners

2 Answers

On our AE125, the thermal cut-off is tripping AFTER the water is turned off. The heating element is getting so hot you cannot touch it


The elements are getting over heated then set temperature.You have a defective thermostat. The elements will continue to heat until they reach the set point of the thermostat. Try to lower the temp setting first. If that does not fix it, you'll need to repalce the thermostat, located very near the element, under the screwed cover on the side of the tank.------------- To know how this heater works, read as follows:---

Because electric tankless water heaters have to instantaneously raise the temperature of incoming water to a selected hot water temperature, they require very powerful heating elements. To power the heating elements of this 27,000 Watt model, you will need to upgrade the electrical service you were using for your storage tank water heater. The PowerStar AE125 will require a 240V, 200 Amp service. In addition you will need to install three 40 amp dedicated double pole breakers in your electrical box. In Canada, you will require one 120 Amp breaker.

The PowerStar AE125 electric tankless water heater incorporates a very sensitive flow sensor, and three heating elements. The heat from the electric elements is electronically modulated on the basis of the flow rate of the water entering the water heater, and the temperature rise that the water heater must achieve. Through its electronic modulation system, the AE125 maintains a very precise hot water temperature. As a safety precaution, each of the three heating modules is protected by an electro-mechanical thermal cut-out. This device will cut power to a particular module if the temperature gets too hot.

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This will help.Thanks.Helpmech.

Jul 02, 2011 | Air Conditioners

4 Answers

I am looking for reset code for AO Smith GPVH50 1000 water heater.Valve installed is Intellivent White rogers 184960 000, and 184960 002 on another boiler at the same location. After disconnecting Flamable...


Hi,not too sure what really prompted the problem. But you will need to still check for more posible places on your water heater to really know what causes it not to respond.

How Do I Troubleshoot My AO Smith Electric Water Heater

Troubleshooting and repairing an AO Smith electric water heater only takes a few minutes, and can save you hundreds in service calls and plumbing bills. The main indications of electric water heater problems are; no hot water, not enough hot water, slow hot water recovery, overheating and loud or unusual noises. Each of these problems has its own cause and repair requirements. We recommend calling a professional; however, you can repair most hot water heater complications yourself. Remember, if your water heater is still under warranty, or you are not sure, call the 1-800 number on your AO Smith water heater and ask for help and parts free.

Make sure the main electric circuit breaker(s) or fuses are in their "On" position inside the home's main electric panel. If a breaker(s) looks to be half on and half off, close the breaker and open it rapidly. If the breaker does not stay in the on position, replace the water heater breaker(s) and/or inspect the wiring from panel to heater. We recommend contacting a licensed, bonded and insured electrical contractor to troubleshoot the problem. In some cases, a bad breaker is a sign of trouble within the wiring system or water heater itself.
Testing AO Smith Electric Water Heater Thermostats

Turn off all circuit breakers and/or disconnect the fuses. Remove the thermostat cover plate(s) with a Phillips screwdriver. Turn the power back on.

Check for incoming power using a voltmeter. Set the meter to read 250 Volts. Touch and hold one lead wire to each of the top left and right screws of the top thermostat (or top two screws of the lower, if only one thermostat is present.) The meter should read approximately 210 to 230 volts of electricity. If no voltage is present with the breakers and fuses on, contact an electrician.

Turn on all the hot water faucets in the house until the water runs cold. This will ensure that the thermostat(s) will call for heat. Turn the faucets off.

Place one lead of the voltmeter on the top left thermostat screw and one lead on the second screw down on the right side of the thermostat. There should be 210+ volts of power. If not, turn the power off to the heater and push in firmly on the red reset button in the middle of the thermostat. You should here a click (but not always.)

Turn the power back on and check for voltage again. If no power, or limited power- fewer than 210 volts are present, check the top water-heating element for proper operation. If full power is present, but you still have no hot water after an hour or two, replace the top heating element. If no voltage, replace the thermostat.
Testing the AO Smith Electric Water Heater Heating Elements

Turn the power off to the water heater; remove the cover plate(s).

Test for incoming voltage with your voltmeter. Do not proceed until you verify that no voltage is present.

Loosen the two screws on each side of the heating element with a Phillips screwdriver.

Wearing heavy, electrical certified gloves remove each wire from the heating element and bend it slightly back out of the way.

Set your multi-meter to the Ohms position.

Place one lead on each screw of the element. The Ohm or resistance should read 12 to 16; averages are 13 to 14. If the reading is below 12 ohms of resistance, replace the water-heating element.

Reinstall the element's wiring.

Turn the power back on and test the circuit again. Reset your voltmeter to 250V. Full power should now be present. Turn the power off and replace the front cover(s).

Turn the water heater power on and wait an hour or two to check the hot water temperature at several faucets. The recovery time of an average AO Smith residential elect water heater is around 22 gallons an hour. It may take a while to reheat, depending on the size of your unit;

20 gallon 1 hour

30 gallon 1-1/2 hours

40 gallon 2 hours

50 gallon 2-1/2 hours

60 gallon 3 hours

80 gallon 4 hours

120 gallon 6 hours
Not enough Hot Water:

Calcium and other mineral buildup on a gas water heater control-valve thermostat probe will limit the heat detectable. You can clean the thermostat by removing the control valve and soaking the probe in a tall glass of white distilled vinegar and a little backing soda. Do not immerse the control valve itself; you will ruin it. Soak it for about an hour, and then rinse will with tap water before replacing.



Pilot light will not stay lit:

The most common issue with pilot lights is the thermocouple. The thermocouple is the thin copper wire, that when heated at its tip, creates a small electric charge that opens the magnetic safety valve inside the main gas control. Gas, water heater thermocouples do fail from time to time and need replaced. Older water heaters with accessible burner chamber doors are the easiest to work on. New water heaters are required to have sealed inner chamber doors and are not readily accessible. Only certified brand technicians should remove these doors. Each time the doors opened, you must replace an airtight seal. Failure to replace the seal could lead to carbon monoxide leaking from the water heater causing carbon monoxide poisoning.



The water heaters gas control valves and thermostats can also go bad. Replacing the control valve is just as critical a safety concern. If the pilot tube, and main burner tube, is not attached to the control valve correctly, gas leaks can occur.


Electric Water Heater Troubleshooting



Trouble shooting electric water heaters requires a bit of electric know how. Learning how to use a voltmeter, or multi-meter and becoming acquainted with your home electric system is most important when fixing an electric water heater. Failure to follow safe electrical practices can cause injuries and property damage.



When troubleshooting an electric water heater, keep in mind, there are only a few parts to its operating system: the heating element(s), thermostat(s), the main wiring connection junction, anode rod(s), water connections, T&PR valve, drain valve and the tank.



The most honest recommendation when repairing an electric water heater is this. Replace the thermostat(s), and the element(s), both upper and lower, if applicable, at the same time. Replacing one element or one thermostat of an electric water heater at a time causes a mismatch in the operating capacity of each part. Kind of like only replacing one battery in and electric device, it puts more of a strain on the older parts and causes premature failure. This leads to more frequent and costly repairs. Replacing all the parts at one time will help prevent future hot water heater problems and unnecessary water heater maintenance.


Water Heater Leaking



Water heater leaks are also an issue when troubleshooting a hot water heater. In most cases, you will need to replace the water heater. However, there are times when the leak is no coming directly from the water heater's tank. Leaks can also occur at a number of the water heaters connections. Before you replace your water heater, take the time to check of these locations:



Temperature and Pressure Relief valve (TP&R)- The brass safety valve usually located on the top, or near the top of water heater.

Finding Water Heater Repair and Replacement Parts

Finding water heater repair and water-heater replacement parts is not always so easy. Electric water heater repair and replacement parts are at most hardware stores, home centers and online retailers. Residential electric hot water heater repair parts are generally generic in by nature. New high efficiency, water heater parts like the ones for hybrid electric water heaters will only be available from their respective manufacturers until there is a need in the market place.



Hot water heater parts for gas hot water heaters are harder to find and often-difficult purchase. Many wholesalers will not sell gas repair parts or equipment to none licensed nonprofessionals. They feel there is a safety risk involved. However, there are online retailers whom do not see a need to limit their water heater parts sales. This is good for us, not so good for water heater companies.

Or you could simply contact them from the below link:



AO Smith Water Heater Phone Number and Contact Information

A. O. Smith Water Products Company

500 Tennessee Waltz Parkway • Ashland City, TN 37015

1-800-527-1953 • www.hotwater.com


Hope that helped

Jun 05, 2011 | Air Conditioners

1 Answer

Geno, Thanks for the reply. Ironically I found the website this afternoon that you sent me links to later. Thanks for your kindness. If I get someone else the problem is continuity test on both...


Hi Tom,

I'm not Geno-- But maybe I can pick up where he left off?

First you say you did a continuity test on the heater elements-- What was the Ohms on each?

Now to the Voltage measurements:
You say you have voltage to the upper-- but not the lower--
That is normal on a cold tank-- That way you can get HOT water faster, that waiting for the whole tank to heat (as from the bottom element-- Make sense?

Until we know if the elements are OK-- the voltage checks are a bit pre-mature.

So-- With power shut OFF, and the wires lifted from the heating elements,
What are the ohms across the heater elements themselves?
(It should be low-- in the 3 or 4 ohms?-- but NOT OPEN! (which is infinity..)

What do you get?

Mack B

Jan 15, 2011 | Air Conditioners

1 Answer

Bought reliance 602 50 gallon electric hot water heater 4 years ago and it stoped heating bought new upper and lower elements and new upper and lower thermostat and still no hot water power goes to all...


did you turn the breaker on ? before filling the tank ?the water tank must be completly full before turning on. the new elements will blow if not submerged in water ..if you have 240 volts at the element and its not heating one is out .only one element can be on at a time so you really need an amp prob to test element .try an ohm meter an check resistance ,sounds like one element is out .hope this helps good luck /P/Swhen filling tank. open a hot water valve, on tub or faucet to remove air while filling the tank. you will hear the air coming out of faucet. when water comes out its filled..

Aug 23, 2010 | Air Conditioners

1 Answer

I would like to replace the cathode rod from our electric water heater. It is a 6 year tank and was new in 2003. I have located the rod at the top of the heater. It has a hard foam cover covering the nut....


rip that foam off and get yourself either a gigantic socket or just get a water heater element removal tool. there are many sizes so make sure you get model number off the heater and check that out. are you sure you have a bad heating element? test it with an electric amp meter if it has power and draws no amps its probably bad. could be the thermostat which is much easier to change

Oct 08, 2009 | Air Conditioners

2 Answers

Water heater


With amp meter check amps on element wire . If no amps check Voltage and terminals on element. Should be 240 volts. Only one elements heats at a time. Top element heats up first then lower element heats up. Amps should be about 18 amps if working properly. One other problem could be a leak in hot water pipe or dip tube may be off. Dip tube carries cold water to bottom of heater so incoming and heated water are not mixed at top of tank

Jan 23, 2009 | Air Conditioners

1 Answer

Water heater problem (no leak on floor)


shut off the power to the hot water heater wait 5 to 15 min. If the noise stops it is the water heater eating up electricity. Turn it back on if noise starts again feel about 5 or so feet down the hot water line. If this line is hot you have a leak beyond the hot water heater. If you still hear it when the power is off to the water heater. next turn the water off on the cold water line at the water heater with the power off also Look at the water meter and see if the hand or wheel on the meter is moving and it should no be. Also think if the breaker to the hot water is off the electric meter should practically stop if no refrig oe anything else on. Have someone watch the electric meter and switch 1 breaker at a time leaving the one you just shut off in the off position until you cut them all off. Should the meter still be moving you have a main service cable shorting somewhere call the power company to advise you further if this is the problem.. Should just cutting the circuit breaker for the hot water heater stop the noise and down the hot water line is not hot then you are probably wasting power due to a thermostat or element inside the hot water heater.. Thank you j




Nov 23, 2008 | Ruud Central System Air Conditioner

3 Answers

We have a rheem electric hot water system which is suddenly not producing hot water. We have checked the electricity supply, the valve and both these were OK. We are at a loss to explain why this is...


Electric water heater are designed with two elements for heating the water. The upper element is what is called the quick recovery element which is control by a thermostat. The thermostat has a reset button that will open in an over temperature situation. If the reset is NOT tripped it is possible that the upper element or thermostat has failed. Until the upper element is satisfied ( up to set temperature) the lower element does not get any power through the circuit.

Jul 22, 2008 | Air Conditioners

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