No hot Water :(

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by pumfe, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. pumfe

    pumfe New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Hello everyone,

    I have a whirlpool 45 gallon electric heater (E2F40LD045V) that has been working fine since 2004, until yesterday. It worked as usual in the morning, but I got home from work and I had no hot water at all.

    The only thing I have noticed that is diferrently is in the past 3 months, the water pressure in the shower changes when a toilet is flushed or the kitchen sink is turned on, and if hot water is used, the water in the shower gets cold. It wasn't always that way.

    So here is what I have done:

    Ive checked the Ohms on both elements; top is 12.3 and the bottom is 12.6. Both have continuity.
    When I crank the top thermostat all the way up to 150, it turns on and the bottom element registers 240V. When I turn that one down, and turn the bottom thermostat on, the top element registers 240V.
    I went to Lowes and explained this to the plumbing guy, and he insisted it was the elements and sold me two of them. Im not convinced, so I didnt open them.

    Anyone have any ideas? I will be moving in a couple of months and really want to spend as little as possible just to get by.

    Thanks!!

    Update: after having the bottom thermostat set to 150, we had hot water... I turned it back down to 125... hopefully its still hot tomorrow. Maybe the thermostat is going bad?
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,820
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Did You disconnect 1 wire from each element when you measured the elements resistance ?

    If not then you may not be getting a good measurement, because of the elements being in the circuit with each other.

    Elements can also work intermittently, right before going out completely.

    Enjoy Your day.


    DonL


    P.S Welcome to Terry's Forums pumfe. Terry is the Man...
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,819
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Normally, the top element heats the top of the tank first.
    Then when the top of the tank has been heated, the power shifts to the bottom element.

    If you have "some" hot water, that means the top element is still working.
    If the top element does not work, then you won't have any hot water. That is because the top element must satisfy first before the lower comes on.

    The two elements take turns. When the bottom isn't working, then you get just the upper half, but at least that is something.
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Electric elements break in odd ways, and an ohmmeter often is not enough. Best to use an ammeter and check the draw on the wires to each element when hot. Even then, you can get readings close to norm as the water admission to the internal may be less that required to trip a breaker.

    Easier to change a cheap element if any doubts at all about its condition. And I do it without draining the tank if its not in the attic or closet.

    Record the NEW elements amp draw and write it on the heater for reference.
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,843
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Is that like Moses parting the Red Sea?
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,819
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    As long as the hot taps are off, it's like holding your thumb over the top of a straw.
    If someone opens up a faucet, it can get a little dicey.
    It's not for the faint of heart.
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,820
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I do it without draining the tank...
    Not sure what that meant, But it should only be left to the pros.

    You should not try it.


    DonL
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,820
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Ballvalve's way is best, measuring the current is better that measuring the resistance of the element, Or the voltage.

    If it is drawing current, then it is making heat.

    A ohmmeter can tell you if something is bad, but it won't tell you for certain if something is good...
    Does that make any sense ? Well it is true.

    Terry's post on the sequencing was nice, and could help you trouble shoot.

    Be careful working with electricity...

    Have a Great Day.


    DonL
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Yes, if all the outlet valves are shut, you might change an element and lose much less than a gallon of water. Make sure the power is off either way.
  10. Whirlpoolwaterheaterhelp

    Whirlpoolwaterheaterhelp New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    TN
    Sorry to see you're having problems! Can you contact me directly so I can help?
    www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/help
    Thanks! ~ Chris
    American Water Heater, authorized licensee for Whirlpool Water Heaters
  11. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades

    Messages:
    3,820
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Why can't you just help on the Forum Chris ?

    How much do you charge ?

    Most help here is free, And shared.

    Watts Up ?


    DonL


    P.S. Welcome to Terry's Forums
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,315
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Your voltage tests should be backwards. If you turn the upper t'stat to 150 it should turn the top element ON so it would register 240 volts and the bottom zero. When you turn it down and the bottom is activated IT should read 240 v. and the top ZERO, exactly the opposite of what you wrote. Having resistance and/or continuity is not a good test. You need to know the amperage the elements are using and whether they are shorted to ground. I thought only Lowes sold Whirlpool water heaters.
  13. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    Hey, thanks for moving the factory to Mexico. Great incentive for my purchase and fine help for America's crisis. Also thanks for closing the INCREDIBLE Amana or maytag factory in Iowa. How do you guys sleep at night?

    Immediately when I buy your low ball heaters, I pull the aluminum anode which is half size in diameter and length, put in a .9 magnesium full length, and change that .29 cent "drain valve" to a real valve.

    At least you make a few refrigerators here yet, but one must actually get inside to find out. I suspect a Mexican factory is being tooled up right now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maytag read it and weep

    Soon the Korean LG fridges will be made in the usa and the whirlpools in Guatamala or Uganda.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
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