GE hot water heater.

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Old 03-24-08, 01:10 PM
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GE hot water heater.

Hi, I have a GE hot water heater and the water comes out plenty hot and plenty of it for the first shower and a half. Then it tapers off quickly. It didn't used to do this. There are 2 heater elements. One at the top and one lower. What is the process for testing the elements and thermostats? I am pretty handy but just not sure where to start or what to look for. It is a 50 gallon unit.

Thanks,

nathan
 
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Old 03-24-08, 02:05 PM
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Wink

Sounds like the bottom element is out. take the wires off it and with a meter Ohm it out. Might check the top tstat also to see that it turns on the bottom element when it is hot up on top. When the heater is cold . The top element should turn on first then should turn off and turn the bottom element on next. When you know its a element. Turn the power off Open the drain valve on the bottom of the tank after water comes out turn the cold water to the tank off. open a hot water valve up in the home and let tank drain. Be sure and fill the tank before you turn power back on.
 
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Old 03-24-08, 04:10 PM
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Well, I checked the elements and they both came in between 12 and 13 ohms. I was hoping for the bottom one to be way different. As for checking the thermostat, how does one do that? What would I be looking for? It is a GE smartwater heater. GE50T6A made in 01/2003

Thanks,

Nathan
 
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Old 03-24-08, 04:21 PM
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Another thing I did not expect was that the lower element was hot at 240V but the top was dead. Is it set up backwards?

Thanks,

Nathan
 
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Old 03-24-08, 05:38 PM
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The elements are only powered one at a time. The top one comes on, and when the water in the top of the tank is hot, then it switches the bottom one on to heat the rest of the water. The thermostats take care of the swicthing.
 
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Old 03-24-08, 08:49 PM
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Has anyone ever had to clean the elements? I want to pull them out and see how they look but I don't want to find out that there is some seal that I can't reuse. Do they get covered with scale?

Thanks,

Nathan
 
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Old 03-25-08, 08:19 AM
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There is a seal on the element, which you should not try to reuse. If you are going to the trouble of taking an element out, plan to replace the element. They are not expensive.


Elements do get a mineral coating, which affects efficiency, and can cause hot spots and eventual failure.
 
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