Electric Water Heater runs out quickly

Old 01-13-04, 08:53 AM
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Electric Water Heater runs out quickly

I have a 50 gal. electric water heater. In the past, it provided enough hot water for 2 or 3 people in my family to be able to take a comfortable shower. A couple of days ago I drained the water heater without turning off the power to the water heater at the breaker box. After the water heater had been refilled the water was only hot enough for 1 very short shower. I tried draining it again and this time turned off the breaker that supplied power to the water heater. I then didn't wait for it to completely refill and opened a hot water tap which burnt out the upper element. Yesterday I had a plumber come to our house and he replaced the upper element after finding that it was burnt out and the lower element was fine. Now we're back to the situation where there's only enough hot water for a shower of about 10 minutes.

Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?
Old 01-13-04, 09:04 AM
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Perhaps the heat burned the dip tube also. I would check it.

Now you know that anytime water is drained from a water heater the power/gas needs to be turned off first.
Old 01-13-04, 09:05 AM
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Hot water

First you did a BIG NO NO. Turn off the power first. Then drain the tank. If he is sure the bottom element is ok like you say Id check it again. Ill say all the time its the bottom element that goes out first. If you water is hard at all you can have a build up in the bottom of the tank and around the bottom element.You also have to check out the tstats on the tank there first the top one and the bottom one also. The top should turn on first and after its warm then it should turn on the bottom tstat. Thats why I say look at the bottom element and the tstat again . ED
Old 01-13-04, 09:07 AM
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Sounds like the dip tube to me also. Was it giving you problems b4 you drained it the 1st time or were you just doing some pm on it.
Old 01-13-04, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I had the plumber come back to our house and he checked the lower element. It turned out to be burnt out too. The problem has now been fixed.

I really do appreciate all of your responses.

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