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Raven

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This is a new one on me. Hopefully someone else has some thoughts what to look for. In the recent freeze, we lost hot water. It froze so fast didn't even get a chance to do all the prevention steps. But when it thawed, there seem to be no busted or cracked pipes. Yet there is no hot water. We've gone through the big 3: changed breaker, drained heater and added new elements, and today bought new thermostats. Still nothing. I'm stumped. Is there even a fourth thing? Could it have anything to do with the heavy iron content of our well water? Please any help is appreciated. Been without hot water 4 days now and dishes are piling. TIA
 

Onokai

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Ok did you check if the power is on to the elements? You Need a meter for that. My be a broken wire?
If the water is hot and not flowing out to house then its a pipe issue. No power its an electrical issue.
Why do you put in new elements and breaker-You test those for power 1st always.
Iron in water should not be the issue -if you put new elements in you had to drain the tank was the water super rusty looking?
 

Terry

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When I turn the breakers back on for a tank that is cold, if I put my ear up to the top location for the element, I will hear a humming noise. If I don't hear that humming, then something isn't working.

The top element turns on first, and heats the top portion of the tank. When the top part reaches temperature, then the power shifts to the bottom element.
Anytime power is turned on with an empty tank, the element will burn out, only takes seconds.
There was one time I was in too much of a hurry, I was running hot water from the bathtub and as soon as I saw water coming out, I flipped the breaker on, then I heard air coming from the faucet. I quickly turned the breaker back off, but it was too late. The top element was toast. I had to replace it. And this was on a brand new water heater. After that I made sure the tub ran water from the hot side for at least a minute.

I would check the top element to see if it's good. It all starts from there.
 
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WorthFlorida

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As Terry suggest, it all reads like burned out heating elements. What cannot be explained is why there was no hot water to begin with. I'm leaning that the red button on the thermostat tripped and it was not realized? I had a lightning storm trip one out on me.

If you need to buy a meter, do get a clamp meter. It will also allow you to check current draw. HD and Lowes have one between $50-$60 for a basic unit. Harbor Freight less than that.

For electric residential water heaters all thermostats work identical. Using a meter to test is a bit tricky of you do not know how to use one. With power on at L1 & L3 (others might be tables at L2), 240 volts would be present. at L4 and the non labeled screw terminal above T2 should also read 240 volts. If not press the red button to reset the breaker.

Turn off power completely and disconnect the wire at T2, With the meter on the Ohm scale measure the resistance across the
heating element. It should read about 12-13 ohms. If no reading, it burned open. Check the lower element also by removing one wire. Note, with power on with burned out elements or good ones, you'll read 240 volts on the top one. Zero on the lower one since the upper thermostat is not at the set temperature to switch power to the lower one.

With good heating elements, tank filled with water, using the clamp meter you'll read about 18 amps of current draw when the element is powered on. Place the clamp on L1 or L3 or a wire to the heating element.

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