Question about Kitchen Ranges
You should have an access plate on top and at bottom. Before removing the covers, turn off the breaker that controls the water heater. Now unscrew the top cover. There may be some insulation covering the thermostat (the control that shows the temperature to heat the water to). Move any insulation out of the way and you should see a red button on the front of the thermostat. Press the button. You may feel a click, you may not. Now go over and turn the breaker back on and listen to the heater. KEEP HANDS AND EVERYTHING CLEAR OF THE THERMOSTAT IN THE OPENING.
Do you hearing gurgling or whining? This would indicate it is heating water. If you hear it, turn the breaker back off and put any insulation back in and replace the access cover. Go back and turn on the breaker and you are done. If you didn't hear anything now it is time to pull the lower access cover. Make sure the breaker is off and remove the lower cover. Repeat by removing insulation and pressing the button. Test by turning on the circuit breaker REMAINING AWAY FROM THE ACCESS.
If this time you hear hissing/gurgling/whining sounds it is on. Turn off the breaker, replace the insulation and replace the access. Now turn the breaker back on and you are done. If after all this you get nothing. It is time for a voltmeter and caution.
YOU ARE GOING TO WORK WITH HIGH AMPERAGE AC-IT IS DEADLY. RESPECT EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH AS IF IT WERE HOT.
HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOU WHO CAN FLIP THE BREAKER IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. THEY SHOULDNT TOUCH YOU UNTIL THE BREAKER IS OFF OR THEY COULD ALSO BE ELECTROCUTED.
You will need to remove each access door (with the circuit breaker off) and make it to where you can test for voltage on the power connections to the elements. Start at the bottom as this is the initial element powered by the unit. Put your voltmeter on a high scale (500VAC is good but it must be set to minimum 300VAC-High is fine-lower is bad) and put your probes on the 2 phillips head screws/bolts that the electrical wires connect on. You should see apx 220-240 VAC. If not, test from one screw to the metal fame of the tank where you see the green wire bolted to. You should see 110-120 VAC. If no voltage is at the bottom, the top reset isn't working. Try resetting the top thermostat again. Test for voltage at bottom. No luck? It may be time to replace the top thermostat/control. All major hardware stores sell them. Disconnect the wires and it should slide up and off the unit. Replace it.
If there is voltage at the bottom then the element is most like gone bad. To test this, turn off the breaker and unhook one of the screws that holds the power wire to one side of the element. Put your voltmeter on Ohms and test for a connection (continuity). If it shows a reading the element may be working or it may just have a small connection internally and fail when it is powered up. This is a tough one to diagnose outside the tank but if you see no connection (no reading) the element has broken in the tank and removal and replacement is in order. Turn off the water to the tank along with the breaker. Connect a garden hose to the valve at the bottom of the tank and drain the water out. Disconnect the wires and with a large element removal tool (you might get away with a large channel lock but if you round off the element you will hate yourself) remove the element. You can get the remover at the hardware stores for $8-10. The elements usually have their wattage on the end so replace it with the same wattage element. Reverse the process and lastly turn on the water, check for leaks then turn the circuit breaker back on. You should hear a hissing/gurgling/whining sound as the element heats up. good luck and BE SAFE!
Posted on Apr 01, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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