Hot water heater upper thermostat reset
Posted by Neal on February 22, 2004 at 09:54:27:
I have a 40 gallon Rheem electric hot water heater. Abruptly last week, my wife declared that there "was no hot water". So, up into the attic to have a look, the upper thermostat reset button was tripped, reset it and voila, hot water. Except that now, 3 days later, it has done it again.

I have current running through the upper thermostat and heating element. I don't have any current running across the upper thermostat terminals that run to the lower thermostat (and, obviously, no current at the lower thermostat or heating element). However, I am unsure if I should always be able to measure current at the upper thermostat, or only when the lower element is actually supposed to be heating.

After that long and sad tale, my question is: How do I know which part is bad - the upper thermostat, the lower thermostat, or the lower heating element? In reading some of the other posts here dealing with electric HWH issues, I have seen references to "continuity testing", but I have no idea what this means. My preference would be to have someone professional come and look at the unit, but I live in rural Louisiana, and getting someone to come out is not so easy.

Any advice appreciated. Any solutions GREATLY appreciated.


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