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I have a rheemglas standard electric 40 gallon water heater and the hot water in the shower or any where in the house only last 3 maybe 4 mins.....?

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You should have two panels on the front of your water heater most likely painted blue. Each of these panels contains a heating element. The top panel contains the reset switch. Unscrew and remove the top panel and you'll see the reset switch - it is the red button. Press it to see if it clicks. If so, your hot water should last longer.

If it does not last longer than you stated, then you most likely have a bad heating element. The problem is that unless you remove both elements, you won't know which one is bad. If you don't feel comfortable turning off the water valve to the heater, turning off the power to your water heater at the circuit breaker box, draining the heater of it's water using a garden hose, removing the wires from the elements, removing the elements and installing new ones from your home improvement store then you may want to hire a plumber to do it.

The process is fairly easy but time consuming. The most time is draining the water heater. If you do choose to do it yourself, you will need to get a special "wrench" from your home improvement store to remove the heating elements first. The store can help you with the element(s) you need once you take them in.

Regards

Posted on Apr 05, 2011

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Open following link to troubleshoot cause and solutions for leaking water heater:
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For money-saving water heater information:
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