50 gal electric help me please

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Lavell, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. Lavell

    Lavell New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    Screenshot_2017-01-26-22-03-41.png 20170126_100650.jpg I can get about 3 inches of hot bath water with this heater, til it would go cold. So I installed a tune up kit, similar to the one pictured, because everything I had read said the bottom element eas probably bad.
    But after replacing the elements and the thermostats and emergency cut off button the problem remains the same still.

    Also wondering if you had to wait til the tank filled up ALL the way before turninf power back on to the heater. Because I turned the power on probably before the top element was submerged in water. Not sure If that would ruin a brand new element or not.

    Any help would be appreciated. Can't really take a warm bath at this point.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Normally if you turn the power back on before the top element is submerged in water, it will burn out in seconds. If the top element burns out you normally don't have any hot water, as the tank thermostat satisfies first, then it switches to the bottom element.

    If the top element is good, the top heats up, then switches to the bottom, if the bottom is out, it stays cold down there, and you only wind up using the top half of the tank.

    If the tank is very old, it can start filling with sediment, decreasing the amount of usable water that is heated.
    How old is the tank?
     
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  4. Lavell

    Lavell New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    Made in 95. At least I think, because the serial number. It's on the photo. Anyway, I still have hot water, just very little, still about the same as before. Maybe 10 gallons. I doubt the bottom one burnt out and the top one didn't. So not sure what's going on. I emptied the tank and very little sediment came out but maybe just because the release valve had a small opening.
     
  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    you burned out your top element if you turned it back on before it was full..
    you also installed cheap, shitty copper elements which burn out easily...


    the bottom of the unit is probably full of lime and sediment that needs to be removed
    or you are just burying the new bottom, cheap shitty element, in mud and it will die fast too...

    do the math...if the heater is a 1995 that means its 22 years old 2017-1995 = 22....
    the heater is much too old to be fooling with unless you have nothing better to do with
    your time get a new one .... just be sure to fill up the new one completely full before
    turning on the power......
     
  6. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Consider yourself lucky to have your old water heater last this long. Save your money on parts and get a new water heater.
     
  7. Lavell

    Lavell New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    Since I have nothing better to do with my time then, if I replace the top element and flush the tank a bunch of times with a bigger spout I should be ok? More about budget than time here. Also I like fixing things.
     
  8. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Sensitivity trainer and plumber of mens souls

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Occupation:
    Sensitivity trainer.. and plumber of mens souls
    Location:
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of
    I say knock yourself out.... if its not in a pan and it is near anything that it can damage when it
    breaks and floods you out someday soon,--like a carpet or nice stuff stored near-by in boxes.....

    then you will have whole lots more to do.....
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Condo management will make their homeowners replace the electric tanks at ten years.
    You are at twenty-two years now. It could go at anytime.
     
  10. hj

    hj Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You do NOT "change" anything until you test EVERYTHING to find out IF there are any defective components which DO NEED to be changed. R-Tech elements may be resistant to failing for a short time without water around them. If you have ANY hot water the upper element is probably functioning, but miswiring the thermostats could keep the heater from heating properly.
     
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