ANOTHER Water Heater Prob - electrical

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  #1  
Old 12-05-06, 05:27 PM
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ANOTHER Water Heater Prob - electrical

I tried posting this to the plumbing/water heater forum, but since it is an electrical problem I thought it would be wise to cross-post it here as well:

I have a Rheem 40 gallon electric water heater. About a week ago, we noticed that the water was exceptionally hot. A day later, the thermostat kicked off. I reset it, only to have the problem reoccur. The second time, the breaker was tripped, as well. I replaced both thermostats, only to have the water get too hot yet again. I then drained and flushed the tank and replaced both elements. Same problem - scalding hot water. (The thermostats are set at factory 120, by the way.) I took the upper thermostat back and told them it must be faulty and exchanged it for another. AGAIN, tremendously hot water. A friend thought a wire may be grounded, but neither red nor black was at fault. We are completely stumped. Both the original and replacement thermostats are ThermoDiscs. They look identical but perhaps the wiring should be different? I am certain we wired them exactly the same, because we drew a diagram in advance - and futhermore certain colors only reach certain areas. I just don't know what to do next?? Obviously, I am not a plumber or an electrician, but I thought a water heater only had so many functioning parts! The breaker is shut off now, but I know that if I go back down and supply power, I will discover water coming out of my faucet at 200 degrees. Any suggestions would be sincerely appreciated.

Thanks, john
 
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Old 12-05-06, 07:17 PM
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John the thermostats back must be flush on the surface of the tank. If they are not then they can not determine the temperature of the water and will continue to call for heat because as far as they are concerned the water isnt at 120 degres yet. You possibly have a grounded heating element also. I'm surprised the relief hasnt opened.

Roger
 
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Old 12-05-06, 07:53 PM
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The thermostats are flush. We made sure of that, as my friend has encountered this problem in the past. Not sure how to determine if an element is grounded? The element (both, in fact) are brand new and the wires leading from upper therm to lower element are fine. Please advise. Thanks!
 
  #4  
Old 12-05-06, 09:37 PM
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well that leaves a thermostat problem or high limit problem. Can you view the below and determine which one is correct for your tank? Is the disc a snap action or adjustable temperature control. See below links. Which thermostat wiring diagram fits your heater,those diagrams are on page 16 of first link.

http://www.americanwaterheater.com/support/manuals/res-elect.pdf

http://www.thermodisc.com/productdetail.asp?ProductID=86

Roger
 

Last edited by Roger; 12-06-06 at 06:42 AM.
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