electric hot water heater doesnt heat the water

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by lecate, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. lecate

    lecate New Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    own electric hot water heater doesnt heat the water. would that problem be a thermostat or something deeper? i have tried to reset the tank, but i dont think it worked or i didnt do it right, by just pressing the button.

    is it possible to fix it myself? i dont have much experience with hot water heaters but i have very good mechanical skils

    any advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Nov 12, 2005
    While it could be quite a few things it may be the lower element and / or thermostat.

    You can check the ohms on the element which should be around 13.
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    The first thing to check is that the circuit breaker isn't tripped. If you aren't comforatable with working around electricity, the rest can be dangerous. With the CB off, you can check if the heating elements are intact. If they are, then the thermostat is likely shot. Most of these parts are farily easy to replace. Depending on the age of the tank, it might be time for replacement.
  5. cwhyu2

    cwhyu2 Consultant

    Aug 11, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    If the W/H is 10 yrs old or more time for a replacement.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    The "repair" could range from resetting the circuit breaker, to repairing a major hot water leak under a concrete slab floor. They all would have the same symptoms and without being there to test the heater we cannot tell you what the problem is or how to fix it.
  7. lecate

    lecate New Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    i am very comfortable around electricity...i just dont know how to get to the parts on the tank.
    there are two covers on the tank one upper one lower...both look the same. i am not even sure which one reads the actual temp and which i can turn to turn the temp up.
    how can i get a manuel or something?
    its a hotpoint?

    thnx for the help so far!!!
  8. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire

    You should be able to find data for your thermostats at the link above. If not exactly the same model, they will have the same functions.

    You will have to remove the both covers to check it out, and carefully pull away some insulation.

    Both controls measure temperature. The upper control turns on power to the top element when the temperature at the upper control is below the setting. If the upper temperature is high enough, then the upper control provides power to the lower control.

    The lower control applies power to the lower element if the lower temperature is less than the setting of the lower control.

    Since the lower control gets no power when the top control is ON, the two elements are never on at the same time (unless something has failed).

    Many controls have a special "overtemperature" safety element that turns off the power and must be reset by pushing a red button on the upper control.

    You need a meter to work on electrical equipment. It is almost impossible to check out controls and equipment without a meter.
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