Power Outage=no hot water


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Old 11-07-08, 07:48 PM
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Power Outage=no hot water

I recently had the power go out during a storm, and after the power was restored, my hot water heater (electric) no longer works. It's a Reliance 100 model. Any ideas of where to start troubleshooting? Is there a fuse/breaker within the unit itself that needs to be reset? Any help would be very much appreciated.
 
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Old 11-07-08, 08:53 PM
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Take the cover off where you go to adjust the temperature and look to see if there is a reset button. You can also check your breaker box to see if the breaker popped.
 
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Old 11-08-08, 03:36 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I did as you suggested and pushed the red button, but nothing happened. It didn't feel like the button "clicked" or reset anything. And still no hot water, no sound from the unit itself. I did check the electrical connections that connect to the red button's contacts and do get 120 volts there as well as at what looks like the element's connection points. I wonder if something as simple as a short power outage could have somehow damaged the unit. Strange.


Originally Posted by twelvepole
Take the cover off where you go to adjust the temperature and look to see if there is a reset button. You can also check your breaker box to see if the breaker popped.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 11:43 AM
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Water Heater

Did the water pressure feeding the heater stay at operating level during the power outage, or did the water level drop in the heater? If the water level drops, the heating element gets fried with the power on.
 
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Old 11-09-08, 05:39 PM
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I didn't notice any change in water pressure, but can't be 100% sure. But for some reason the unit started working again today. I didn't do anything today except turn the power off to check the continuity of the heating element (checked out ok) and turned the breaker back on. I'm wondering if it's an intermittent thermostat problem. Like maybe the original power outage and restoration somehow partially fried one of the contacts within the thermostat or whatever. I'll just have to keep an eye on it for now. Thanks a lot for the advice!
 
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Old 11-09-08, 06:08 PM
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I'm wondering if your breaker tripped enough to shut off the power to the unit, but not enough for you to see it. When you turned it all the way off, then back on, you reset the breaker and restored power to the unit. Breakers will sometimes trip that way. The question now, If that is what happened, why did the HW trip and nothing else?
 
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Old 11-10-08, 07:23 PM
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I think you're right. What initially confused me was the fact that I got a reading of 120 volts at the thermostat contacts when the unit wasn't working. Now it looks like it's a 220 volt unit, with two separate 120 volt lines (from two separate circuits) coming from the breaker box. (It's not a legal dwelling, kind of an in-law cottage in the back of a big house.) This would explain why the meter indicated that power was coming to the unit. But I think it was only getting power from one circuit, not both. Turning the breakers off to test the heating element then switching them back on may have reset the tripped breaker. It's been working fine ever since, so I think that's what happened. As for why only one breaker gave me trouble, I couldn't say. Something I will keep an eye on though. Thanks to everyone for the advice!


Originally Posted by mbct451
I'm wondering if your breaker tripped enough to shut off the power to the unit, but not enough for you to see it. When you turned it all the way off, then back on, you reset the breaker and restored power to the unit. Breakers will sometimes trip that way. The question now, If that is what happened, why did the HW trip and nothing else?
 
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Old 11-12-08, 09:02 AM
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Do you have two separate 110 breakers that are running this unit, or a single 220 breaker?
 
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Old 11-13-08, 07:09 PM
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Looks like two separate 120 volt breakers. Hence my confusion.

Originally Posted by dac122
Do you have two separate 110 breakers that are running this unit, or a single 220 breaker?
 
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Old 11-14-08, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tcreillyor
Looks like two separate 120 volt breakers. Hence my confusion.
Sounds like it was wired up wrong or someone didn't want to go buy a 220V breaker. I would rewire your panel so those separate breakers are a single 220V breaker. That should be pretty easy. I can't imagine why you'd ever want to energize just part of a hot water tank.
 
 

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