Re: elec. hot water heater woes...
Posted by K. D. O'Mara on September 10, 2001 at 09:10:49:
In response to Re: elec. hot water heater woes...
: No, whatever the problem was two days ago, bad element(s) or thermostat(s), it overheated the water and you have been able to operate on that extra hot water since then. You will be able to get hot water again by pressing the red reset button, but you should have a plumber service the heater because it will just overheat and shut down again.

: : I've been in my new (new to me) home for three months. I have a 50 gal. Reliance water heater. Two days ago, the water was hotter than normal. This morning, the wife calls and says not hot water (she stayed at home today with the kids to do laundry!). Yesterday, the top of the tank felt warmer than the bottom. Did the thermostat for the upper element go out and apply full voltage to the element, then the element lasted for two days than kicke

I did as stated in my previous message and fixed the problem this weekend. I had exactly the same problem that you were experiencing. I found that the lower element had burned out. Instead of simply being an open circuit however, one side of the element (the side that is not switched by the thermostat)internally shorted itself to its sheath (and grounding it). This meant that this portion of the lower heating element always had 110 VAC applied across it. Thus, even when the two (properly operating) thermostats tried to shut off the two heating elements, the shorted lower element would continue to heat the water. Eventually, the over heating protection button (built into the upper thermostat assembly) would pop and shut off all power to the water heater.

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