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John 18:33-37
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4,016 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
my hot water heater.

I know, I know - it's not exactly motorcycle related, but my 600RR is parked next to the darn thing . . .

Here's the deal - as of yesterday it's only making warm water, well below the usual temperature.

I'd rather fix this water heater than get a new one, so does anyone know how to troubleshoot? It's gotta be either the thermostat or heating elements, which are relatively inexpensive, but i'd rather know exactly what broke . . .
 

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319 Posts
kerry there is usually two thermostat resets in there they go bad all the time i bet thats what it is. its just a couple of screws to take it off and replace them
 

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I need a 710 cap.
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777 Posts
well you are on the right path then, elements would be the 1st thing I'd check.
 

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www.fixedfocus.us
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2,145 Posts
I did this to mine a couple of months ago. Phil helped me out too. If you have a multimeter you can check the continuity/resistance of the elements without taking them out. Then you can check the upper and lower stats to see if they are kicking on or not. Just dont electrocute yourself.

This pretty much explains it. How to Test a Water Heater Thermostat - wikiHow

I found out that my heater was perfect... It was the damn pinhole leak in the wall behind it that was causing the noises....That was fun...

The heaters are really simply designed once you understand it. The elements can break due to corrosion, if that happens your resistance check will show that. That involves pulling out the bad element and replacing it. Some do it without draining that tank but I wouldnt risk that.

If the element is fine. Its the stats. Replacement stats are about $8 at lowes...

In your case...It could be either one. Only way to tell is with the meter... My guess is a bad stat.

If you find that its a bad element and if its the lower one, you may have limescale built up on the bottom of the tank... If this is happening excessively, it may be time a new tank... How old is your tank?
 

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John 18:33-37
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4,016 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The water heater has been in service for almost 8yrs.

I've got a Fluke multimeter, so I guess it's time to shut off the W/H breaker and test the elements for continuity. If they test out good, then I suppose it's time for thermostats.

Thanks for your advice everyone.
 

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FRB or DFL
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100 Posts
Two elements, one top and one bottom. I'll bet it is the bottom one. The high mineral content of our Florida water lends itself to a lot of condesate in the bottom of the water heaters which cause the lower elements to burn out, causing a lower overall water temp. Just my $.02
 

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Kerry, The best thing to do is shut the breaker off, drain the heater, disconnect the wires and pull out both elements. Then go to lowe's and replace both, because in a few months the one you didn't replace will go bad. In about eight more years go back to lowe's and get a new water heater because the one you have now will develop a leak in the bottom. They just don't make them like they did twenty years ago.

If you want to do it right just replace it now with a tankless water heater and have more room in the garage for things that really matter.

If you want some help give me a call. I have done this a few times.
Remember I told Phil how to fix his garage door for $0.50.
 

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John 18:33-37
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4,016 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Top element showed resistance, the bottom element was an open circuit.

Took Robert's advice and replaced both elements.

$19 later, the parts are on, the tank is full, and the breaker is on. No sparks, no smoke, and no water leaks.

Funny thing is that I pulled the bottom element without fully draining the tank. There was an initial rush of cold water (a lot of it getting on me) followed by nice warm water (which made my feet happy). Further proof that the bottom section wasn't heating.
 

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Sinner & Saint Racing
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651 Posts
If your water heater ever needs to be replaced the tankless one is the way to go!!! I will be replacing ours with that.... Never run out of hot water again, I can appreciate that after one of the wife's long hot showers that leave me with 2 seconds of hot water. We use this system at work and is great.
 

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Two elements, one top and one bottom. I'll bet it is the bottom one. The high mineral content of our Florida water lends itself to a lot of condesate in the bottom of the water heaters which cause the lower elements to burn out, causing a lower overall water temp. Just my $.02
+1

Live in the country, well water does the same thing about every 8-10 years on mine.
 

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If you put a timer on your water heater , it will only heat when you let it, I set mine to 2 hours before the afternoon showers and 2 hours before the morning showers and it does the trick
 

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www.fixedfocus.us
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Pays for itself because its not heating the water untill you use it.
Yea maybe, but the ones I saw in lowes were close to $600... That would almost what, 10 years for it to pay for itself? Not really worth it...
 
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