Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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How do I change the heating element on my 50 gallon electric Reliance 501 hot water heater? Where can I get the heating elements?

Posted by hoagcm on

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1 Answer

Anonymous

Buy elements at local hardware store or home center, like Lowes
Look at label on side of tank.
Label shows element wattage.
Element is also printed on end of element in tiny letters-numbers.
Typical elements are 4500 and 5500 watts.
Tank needs 10 gauge wire and 30 amp breaker for 5500 watt element.

Water heaters are fully repairable by homeowner.

1) Have you tested water heater to see if element is problem? You need cheap multi-meter from Home Depot.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

2) To change element
a) turn off power
b) drain water from drain valve ... once it starts draining, loosen element slightly while tank still has weight to hold against you turning element wrench.
Here's what to do if water heater won't drain:
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-will-not-drain.html
c) open covers on tank, remove element using element-wrench from hardware store or home center.
If element won't come out:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-remove-old-water-heater-element.html
d) Clean out tank if needed.
e) Replace element.
f) Fill tank entirely with water before turning on power or element will burn out.
g) Once tank is filled, and water flows steady out of tub spout, turn on power.
Each steps above is shown on following link:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

3) You need to buy some things:
Screw-in type (not bolt-in type) Element that matches wattage on tank label. New Element comes with washer.
Inexpensive Element wrench.
Inexpensive multimeter if you are going to test parts first.
Some pieces of pipe and hose if tank sediment needs to be cleaned out.
Washing machine hose if tank will not drain (return after job is done).

4) Also:
You need flat tip and phillips screwdriver.
Lighting to work on tank
Some WD-40 if element is stuck in place.
Garden hose to drain tank.
Shop vac and duct tape if you need to vacuum out sediment.
Tarp to protect floor and carpet
Maybe a knife to cut back insulation on wire if wire is burned at element.

Web links above go through entire process step by step.
Add a comment if you need more help, I'll be back around 5 CST

Posted on Nov 30, 2010

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1 Answer

My reliance 501 is leaking at both entry hoses ports and also is very hot to the touch near the electrical connection port on the top of the water heater.


Emergency steps:
Turn electric power off.
Release tank pressure by opening bathtub faucet on hot side.
Turn off water supply to heater.
You can turn water heater ON for short periods (1/2 hour) to make some hot water until repairs are made.

It sounds like runaway heating caused by shorted element, possibly caused by leaking water. But I cannot tell for certain what the problem is. Read following links and/or call plumber.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Leaking-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html

Over-amping:
Look at watt rating label on side of tank.
For example 4500 watt water heater requires 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire.
If you have 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire, then change elements to max 3800 watts. Tank will heat more slowly.

You have to fix leaks, and I cannot see that problem. Call plumber or repost question with clear description of leak.

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Jul 31, 2012 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

Reliance 501 Hot Water Heating element for 30 gal tank, where to purchase


You do not need special parts.
Wattage is printed on end of each element.
Buy generic elements at hardware store.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Apr 21, 2012 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

I have Reliance electric water heater 501: 40 gallon, 2x4500w. Where do I buy the bottom heating element? I went to the plumbing store and get one but it is a little smaller than the old one. why? I am...


Your water heater has two 4500 watt elements so water heater is 240Volts, and water heater is rated 4500 watts. Both elements are not ON at same time, and this is called non-simultaneous operation.

The element might have been smaller in length, but it will work fine.
Why is it smaller. I don't know. Elements are different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
The 501 does not use a special element.

Local box stores and hardware stores sell elements in water heater department.

The wattage of element is printed on end of each element.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-replace-water-heater-element.html

http://waterheatertimer.org/Figure-Volts-Amps-Watts-for-water-heater.html

Upvote the help.
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.

May 20, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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

1992 Reliance electric water heater model 501 has two 4500 watt heating elements , there is no hot water.


Check the breaker and top thermostat and make sure they are not tripped. Move onto replacing elements if above is not the problem.
Turn water and power off to heater and attach a water hose to bottom of heater to drain down tank. May have to open hot side on a facuet to get it to drain.
Once drained remove elements with 1 1/2" found at local hardware stores. once elements removed and new ones in place. Turn water on and get the air out of the system. Once water is flowing from the hot side from all of facuet's in house.
Once all air is out now yaou are resady to turn power onto heater.

Oct 09, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

New Rheem electric 50 gallon not heating


Check the elements, if you have access to a meter to check them. If they are getting power to elements and you have no hot water.
The elements are not working correctly. I had some elements check out ok till the thermostat's turned on and the elements didn't heat.
Sounds like the elements are bad.

Jun 01, 2010 | Water Heaters

2 Answers

I have a reliance 501 electric hot water heater and i cant find the reset button. Where is it located?


it is located on the thermostat. Take the cover off the side and you will see a little red button in the side of the themostat.

Jan 10, 2010 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

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