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Water Heater: To the Graveyard?


Carbo's Avatar
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FL

04-19-17, 09:22 AM   #1 (permalink)  
Water Heater: To the Graveyard?

GE electric water heater, model 40M6A, approx 10-12 years old. Suddenly stopped putting out hot water. I'm in south Florida. . .I don't mind but my wife and daughter are frantic.
No leaks, and other than checking for a tripped circuit breaker, I don't know what else to do. Worth an attempt at a repair, or send it off to the great beyond and replace it?

 
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04-19-17, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)  
I assume it's an electric water heater. If so it's only got two basic working parts; thermostats and heating elements. First I would check the upper thermostat as they most often fail. Replacements can be bought at any home center and only takes a few minutes to install.

 
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04-19-17, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)  
Yes, it is an electric water heater. No longer in production, however. I'll have to see if replacement parts are still available and at what cost.

 
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04-19-17, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)  
Just to make sure you cover all the bases - did you check the reset button?
While I wouldn't think twice about doing a diy repair on a water heater that old, I wouldn't pay to have the work done but consider replacement instead.


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04-19-17, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)  
Yeah, checked the reset button and it wasn't tripped. Then I went and replaced both the upper and lower thermostats. . .still no hot water. Too much time already spent on this. I think a new water heater and plumber are in my near future.

 
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04-20-17, 03:22 AM   #6 (permalink)  
Odd that BOTH elements would fail at the same time ?

Maybe one failed earlier, and the family adjusted to the lower production of hot water until the 2nd element also failed.

Was everything just fine . . . . and then suddenly NOTHING ?

 
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04-20-17, 03:51 AM   #7 (permalink)  
Yes, that is exactly what happened. Went to bed, all was well. Woke up the next morning and no hot water.
With my limited abilities and knowledge I first checked the circuit breaker to see if it was tripped; followed by the reset button on the upper thermostat. Both were good. So I then replaced both upper and lower thermostats. Nothing. Heater still doesn't fire up. I can change out the elements but now it becomes a question of cost and time to repair a 12 year old water heater, versus biting the bullet and hiring someone to replace it. I'm going with the latter.

 
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04-20-17, 06:03 PM   #8 (permalink)  
If the upper element fails, then the heater will stalemate.

When cool water reaches the upper thermostat, the upper element switches on and the lower element switches off. Things stay this way until the upper part of the tank is heated then the elemnts switch the other way to heat up the lower part of the tank.

Residential all electric heaters do not run both elements at the same time. If they could then you would need a 50 amp circuit instead of the usual 30 amp circuit.

 
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