Question about Rheem Water Heaters

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Brand new water heater is not heating up. checked the upper heat element and got 240 volts reading, the bottom one is not reading any voltage. Please help

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1) If upper element is receiving 240V, then water heater should have some hot water.
If upper element is burned out, then tank will have no hot water, but element will still test for 240V
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) Keep in mind that upper element heats top part of tank first.
Only when top part of tank reaches thermostatic temperature will power be sent to lower thermostat and element. This is called non-simultaneous operation.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html

3) Non-simultaneous operation is necessary for most water heater installations because both elements are not ON at same time. Either upper element is ON or lower element is ON or both are off.
Each element is typically 4500 watts, which is 18.75 amps.
If both elements were ON at same time, it would consume 37.5 amps, so circuit breaker would have to be 40 or 50 amp with 8 or 6 gauge wire.

4) Add a comment with your experience so others with same-similar problem can benefit.

Also 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.

Posted on Mar 26, 2011

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Should I have power at both elements all the time?


Push circuit breaker fully off and then fully ON
Test for 240 volt across top twp screws on upper thermostat.
If tank was not full of water when breaker was turned on, then upper element burned out.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#new

Yes both elements will test for 120 volt to ground at all times... but it takes 240 volt to heat element
http://waterheatertimer.org/Element-tests-for-120-Volts.html

Gene


Water Heater Timers Save Money

Mar 14, 2015 | Reliance 50 Gal. Electric Water Heater...

1 Answer

Checking ohms on whirlpool dishwasher heating element


http://waterheatertimer.org/images/ohm-reading-for-emements.jpg
Rated voltage squared divided by rated wattage = ohms
Element rated for 240 volts and 3500 watts
240 x 240 = 57600
57600 divided by 3500 = about 16 ohms
Gene

Sep 09, 2014 | Water Heaters

2 Answers

Water Heater Issues


An electric water heater contains two elements (usually upper and lower). Normally hot water is maintained at a certain temperature to assure an immediate supply. When hot water is turned on at the fixture, the second element is turned on to boost the temperature. From your description one of the heating elements may be defective or set to incorrect temperature.

Apr 28, 2017 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I have a GE "SmartWater" Model #GE50M6A It only has 120 volts on the lower element. It is not heating water, but does have 240 volts to the upper element and, as I stated, 120v to the lower element.


1) Test elements,and if elements are good, replace both thermostats
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) Test across top two screws on upper thermostat for 240Volts.
If this test shows 240V, then no more voltage testing is needed.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-water-heater-thermostats-work.html#electric

3) Add comment Feb 2013 and say where you are so far

Feb 09, 2013 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Hot water element


Make sure wires are removed from element when ohm-testing.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html
Watt and voltage rating of element appears on end of each element.
Volts squared divided by watts = correct ohm testing.
Two-element water heaters are rated for 240Volts, but can be wired for 120Volts.
Check that water heater is receiving power from circuit breaker box.
So if breaker is 2-pole 240Volt, then check that heater is receiving 240 V across top two screws on upper element.
Replace upper element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html
Other resources.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Test-electricity-to-water-heater.html

Oct 02, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

I just installed a marathon 50 gallon 4500 watt, hot water heater. I do not have hot water. The wiring to the upper element and thermostat all test at 240 volts. The lower element and thermostat show no...


The top element should be heating if there is 240 volts across the element terminals. I take it that the top element is the booster element. The thermostat for the top element is normally a 2 pole thermostat which switches the neutral to the bottom thermostat once it reaches temperature. Once this occurs then the bottom element will start to heat. The top element will only come on when you use all the hot water. Is this supply on the off-peak rate? When testing always check the voltage across the element terminals.

Mar 20, 2011 | Rheem Water Heaters

1 Answer

I awoke to no hot water, my heater is three yrs old and i just changed my upper and lower element and upper thermostat, still no hot water then i checked to see if i was getting power and i am, is there...


Your water heater has 2 elements so its 240Volts.

1) If breaker is delivering power on one leg of the 240Volt circuit, then water heater can appear to have electricity, but tank is receiving 120V. Both 120Volt legs are needed to complete the 240V circuit. Double check for 240Volts.

2) Review electric Load.
Water heater label shows wattage of tank.
If tank is 4500Watts for example, you installed 3500 or 4500 watt elements.
With 5500 Watt elements you need 30 amp breaker and orange-colored 10 gauge wire
With 4500 Watt elements you can get by on 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire up to 75 feet away.

3) Check ECO red reset button on upper thermostat. If reset is tripped, then ECO is reading high temperatures. Suspects at this point are defective upper thermostat, shorted wire or bad lower element.

4) Also note that insulation and cover must be re-installed over thermostat. Thermostat reads temperature through wall of tank. If outside air circulates around thermostat, that can cause a mis-read and cause tank to overheat and ECO trips.

If you don't want to test the heater, replace both thermostats for about $25. Return the upper thermostat for a refund. Then see of problem persists.

Here's what I would do.
1. Check breaker for 240
2. Check water heater for 240 across 1 and 3 screws on upper thermostat
3. Note wiring and breaker size.
4. Note label on side of tank.

5. Look at end of new element to see wattage printed on each element. Look for sings of high heat and burning. Tighten screws on elements.

6. Check ECO reset button. Look for high-heat and burning. Tighten screws on thermostat.

7. Test upper thermostat as follows:
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Electric-diagram-water-800.jpg
Test left-side #1 screw to right-side middle #4 screw. Test should read 240V at all times. If not, then ECO is tripped, thermostat is bad, or electricity is OFF

8) Water heater is cold so upper element should be ON. Test upper thermostat.
Test right-side #3 screw to left-side bottom #2 screw and it should read 240V
Test right-side #3 screw to right-side bottom #4 screw and it should read 0 volts

8. If upper thermostat checks out. Test upper element for 240 across both screws. If upper element does not read 240 when water is cold, then element is bad or there is a shorted wire between element and upper thermostat.
How to test element:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-element.html

9. Do a full troubleshoot on electric water heater
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Dec 07, 2010 | General Electric GE SmartWater Household...

1 Answer

I just installed a new electric water heater with dual high limit elements.I hooked up the red and black wire, just like the old one and set the limits to 125 and turned on breaker. we waited about 6hrs...


Most water heaters heat the water on top first. This is because the warm water will rise to the top and the hot water is drawn off the top. When the upper thermostat turns the top element off then the bottom one comes on. It makes it sound like there is a problem with the top element. Disconnect electric, and read the resistance on the element terminal to terminal. If it shows open the you have a bad element. Did you make sure the heater was completely full before turning the electric? You must run the hot faucets to remove all the air from the top of the tank before turning on the electric. Elements will burn out quickly if out of the water.

Nov 09, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

2 Answers

I TURNED ON POWER TO MY NEW ELECTRIC WATER 40gal MODEL # GEM402 AFTER FILLING WITH WATER. WATER WOULD NOT HEAT UP. CHECKED THREMOSTATS BOTH WERE PRSET AT 120 CHECKED POWER,BOTH HOT WIRES HAVE 124 VOLTS TO...


The controls of electric water heaters are designed so that at no time are both the top and bottom heating elements energized. Nearly all electric water heaters of this capacity in the US & Canada (other places, too) operate on 240 Volts.

When the water in the tank is below the set point of the thermostat (in your case - 120 degrees), the top heating element is expected to be on - (unless there is an issue with the top thermostat or limit switch). The top most control is the "high temperature limit". It is identified by the reset button on it. Make sure this isn't tripped by depressing the button. If it clicks - it was tripped and should start to make hot water at this point. If not tripped, you should check for the presence of 240 Volts between the heating element terminal screws. Do not measure from ground to a terminal screw and believe 120 Volts is "good". To make heat, you need 240 Volts - not 120 Volts measured across the terminals - not to ground. The amount of heat created running at 120 Volts is only 1/4 of what it will do at the correct voltage.

If you don't measure 240 Volts on the top element, check the bottom element in the same manner described for the top element.

If unable to measure 240 volts on any element, either there is a problem with the power source (blown fuse or circuit breaker), high temp limit switch, or thermostat(s).

If 240 Volts is present on either heating element, and water is not warm / hot in 30 minutes or so, a defective heating element is suspect. You can change controls without draining a tank, but replacing elements will require draining the tank first. Do not power the water heater without first filling it.

You can read a very detailed "how to" article about checking water heaters here.

I hope this helps - and good luck!

Nov 04, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

1 Answer

No hot water


If the water does not heat, then you have to troubleshoot to find the problem. With a voltmeter determine if 240VAC is actually getting to the water heater. Take care here - a defective circuit breaker can give a false 240 volt reading - check for the 240 volts across the upper element (i.e. when the 240 volts has a live load on it, not just an open circuit test).
Also, remember, the upper element has priority over the lower element, and if the water is cold, the upper element will try to turn on and this locks out the lower element (only one element is allowed to heat at any given time). The lower element comes on ONLY after the upper thermostat is satisfied. Therefore if the upper heating element is burned out you will never get any hot water. If you suspect this, TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE HEATER and take a resistance check of the upper element.

Nov 15, 2008 | Water Heaters

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