How long does it take an electric Water heater to heat up water?


  #1  
Old 12-19-04, 04:58 PM
Devoncroix
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Electric Water heater problems, I added info.. Please help!

Two days ago we stopped getting hot water, today we replaced the heating element, we are not however sure if it fixed the problem... how long does it take the water to start getting hot again?
 

Last edited by Devoncroix; 12-20-04 at 03:33 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-19-04, 05:53 PM
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15-30 minutes from dead cold to quick recovery.
Please describe your problem more, and we'll try to help you.
Mike
 
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Old 12-19-04, 07:31 PM
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Devoncroix,

Welcome to DoItYourself.com and the WH forum.

OK, you suddenly lost your hot water. HOW did you determine that the element was the problem?? (Could have been a tripped breaker, a bad upper thermostat, OR a bad upper element.)

Since you replaced the element, and it seems you still have the problem, I'm guessing that the element was probably good. (Either that, or you turned the power back on BEFORE the WH was full of water!)

Troubleshoot the WH and tell us what's going on. If you remove the upper 'stat cover and use a volt meter, do you have 230 volts between the 2 top screws of the 'stat?? (BE CAREFUL -- you are dealing with enough voltage here to ruin your whole day!!) If not, you have no power to the WH. Go back to the breaker panel and find out why.

If the voltage is OK at the top of the 'stat, check for voltage across the 2 screws of the element. Should read 230 volts. If it does, then shut the power to the WH off at the breaker panel. Disconnect the wires from the element and check the OHMS across the 2 screws of the element. Should be about 100 ohms, more or less. You'll either get that or an infinite reading -- you're not going to get something like 3K ohms!! If you get something around 100 ohms, replace the upper thermostat. If the reading is infinite, drain some water out of the WH and replace the upper element, AGAIN. This tim, fill the WH completely BEFORE you turn the power back on. Open the tub or kitchen sink hot water valve while you are filling the WH, and wait until you have a steady flow of water through that valve before you turn the power on.
 
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Old 12-20-04, 05:48 AM
Devoncroix
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Well we sort of guessed it was the upper element because we don't have a volt reader..... we did wait for it to fill up with water before we turned it back on and this morning we do have slightly lukewarm water instead of cold water, does that mean that the bottom element needs replaced also? I am not sure if the thermostat was shot that we would have lukewarm water. It is electric a Richmond model 8V52-2 B not sure how old it is since we just bought the house a year ago, if I had to take a guess I would say about 4-5 years.
 
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Old 12-20-04, 06:21 AM
Devoncroix
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Ok I am finding things now saying that when water gets warm but not hot it is the thermostat, but would it be the upper or lower? Being this close to Christmas we are working with limited funds and can't afford to replace things that aren't broken so we need to figure this out.
 
  #6  
Old 12-20-04, 08:10 AM
Devoncroix
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Ok now the water is very warm for like a second before it goes back to being lukewarm.... any help would be very much appreciated.
 
  #7  
Old 12-20-04, 05:20 PM
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Turn the power off at the breaker panel, remove the two wires on both elements, and test the element (screws) for continuity with an ohm meter. No continuity, replace the element. I always replace both, if I replace one.
The bottom element does most of the work, because that's were the cold water is directed into the tank.
If both elements test OK for continuity, and this is an old water heater, it may be that the dip tube (that carries the cold water into the tank) has deteriorated. There was a major problem with dip tubes a few years ago, resulting in a class action. You can replace those, too.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 12-20-04, 05:47 PM
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Devoncroix,

You have about 3 choices.

One, you can spend $20 or $25 on an inexpensive multimeter so you can troubleshoot the WH properly, determine what the bad part is, and replace just that part.

Or, you can replace BOTH thermostats and BOTH elements (that'll set you back about $100) at the same time,

OR, you can call a plumber to fix it, which will cost $100 to $200.
 
  #9  
Old 12-22-04, 05:20 AM
Devoncroix
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Just an update... we have hot water again! I suggested my husband swap the upper element he had removed with the lower element I figured we had nothing to lose, if it didn't work we would just get a meter and figure out the problem. When he went to take the lower element out it was obvious that it was the one causing the problem, we don't think it had ever been changed before! It was nearly decayed into nothing and breaking off into pieces, I am surprised it had been working at all.

Well it worked and our water is hotter than ever and gets hot much faster now than before. We are going to be buying a new tankless heater this summer so we just need this to last us until then.

Thanks for all the advice!
 
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Old 12-19-11, 10:39 AM
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Hi, I have s similar problem to above

- 1 hour on the timer used to give enough hot water for 2 showers. Now it suddenly needs 2.5 hours to get the same 2 showers - any less and the water is just luke warm. The boost heats the top part of the tank as normal so I assumed that the problem was with the lower element in the lower tank.

An electrician said that the amp meter on both elements gave approx 12 amps so now I'm totally lost!

Heater is about 4 years old in a new apartment build.
Tanks is approx 30 gallons (120 litres)
Elements are 2 x 3kW

Any ideas would be welcome!
 
  #11  
Old 12-19-11, 05:21 PM
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oscas,

The ohm readings the elecrician gave you tell me that the elements are probably fine. The problem is in one of the thermostats that controls the elements.

If you have an ohmeter, shut the power to the WH off, disconnect the wires from the lower thermostat and measure the resistance across the screws where the wires were connected. That should be a dead short. If so, replace the upper thermostat. If the lower 'stat' reads 'infinite', replace the lower thermostat.

If you DON'T have an ohmeter, replace them both. That will be cheaper than calling the electrician back out.
 
 

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