New water heater taking forever to heat

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Drb1989

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We just bought a home. I bought a new 55 gallon, 240V water heater because the old one was disgusting as far as rust in the bottom and making the water nasty. I also re-wired the new one to the breaker with new 10 gauge wiring and replaced the 30 amp breaker as well. The top element tests at 249V (by touching the probes to the points on the element), but the bottom tests at only 120V (not sure if this is the source of my problem). I’m not sure how to run any further tests. The problem is it takes the tank like 15+ hrs to heat up once it’s used. Any suggestions?
 
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Sarg

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Just a couple inputs:
Learn how the heater functions ( the two elements are never on at the same time. )
The thermostats have a reset button on them.
(It sounds like only one of your elements is heating)
Below is an excellent source of info:
 

hj

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If the water is "cool" only the upper element will have 240v., BUT, depending on how you are testing it, the lower one should have ZERO v., except, if you are testing it to a ground, it will have 120 v. because the upper thermostat only disconnects one leg of the power to the lower element.
 

Reach4

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How much current is going through the top element? Put a clamp-around ammeter around one of the hot wires. You could even measure one of the hots in the breaker panel after pulling the cover.
 

WorthFlorida

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We just bought a home. I bought a new 55 gallon, 240V water heater because the old one was disgusting as far as rust in the bottom and making the water nasty. I also re-wired the new one to the breaker with new 10 gauge wiring and replaced the 30 amp breaker as well. The top element tests at 249V (by touching the probes to the points on the element), but the bottom tests at only 120V (not sure if this is the source of my problem). I’m not sure how to run any further tests. The problem is it takes the tank like 15+ hrs to heat up once it’s used. Any suggestions?
You might have made the mistake by turning on the power before the both elements are immersed water. If you did, the top element is burned out. It only take a few seconds to happen. The only way to test the element is switched off the breaker, remove at least one wire to the element and use the ohm setting on your meter. With a 4500 watt element it should read around 13 ohms.
With a burned out element and power to the element you'll read 240v either way. As Reach4 suggest, if you have a clamp meter it can be used but power must be applied to the element.

At start up with cold water the top element is on first to heat the top half so at least you'll get warm water sooner and when a high demand of water occurs. Once the top thermostat is satisfied it switches off the top element and connects power to the lower element. The bottom element is switched on and off by the lower thermostat.
 
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