Hot waterheater not heating enough water


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Old 09-07-10, 07:07 PM
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Hot waterheater not heating enough water

I have a kenmore 30 gallon water heater # 153.316351 I am not getting much hot water. I checked the heating elements and they show continuity. The bottom thermostat reset button will not reset & the lower element is only getting power to one side 120 volts. The line that has no power is fed by the top thermostat. My question is the problem in my top thermostat or my bottom one or none of these.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 12:54 AM
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Tank-type water heaters can only deliver about 70% of their rated volume in hot water and then there will be a noticeable drop in temperature unless you have the temperature cranked up high and blend in a larrge amount of cold. 70% of 30 gallons is only 21 gallons.

Lower thermostats generally do not have resets so that one I cannot answer. The thermostat only cuts off one wire so depending on how you are measuring the voltage the thermostats could be okay. You need to measure across the two terminals of the heating element, NOT from one terminal to ground. If the wire from the upper thermostat does not have power then it is either broken or the upper thermostat is defective PROVIDED the temperature in the upper tank is high enough to satisfy the thermostat.

Test it this way, turn the temperature setting on the upper thermostat down to a point lower than the temperature of the tank by at least 20 degrees. Turn down the lower thermostat setting a like amount. Test across the two thermostat terminals and you should get 240 volts. Test across the element terminals and you should get zero volts. Turn the lower thermostat up to the desired temperature or 20 degrees above the current tank temperature and repeat the tests, you should now get zero volts across the thermostat terminals and 240 volts across the element terminals. If you get zero volts under both thermostat settings then either the upper thermostat is broken or the high-temperature thermostat has tripped.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 02:58 AM
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The top thermostat does not have a temperature setting on it I beleive it is a preset one. The bottom one is the only one with a temp setting.

I will check the voltage again today.
 
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Old 09-08-10, 03:35 PM
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Old 09-08-10, 05:25 PM
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My water heater has two high limit controls one on top and one on bottom. The top thermostat is factory preset no adjustments. The bottom one has a adjustable thermostat and thermal limit control. Last night when I checked the power to the elements I only had power to one side of the bottom element. I pushed the thermal limit control and called it a night. tonight when looked at it the tank was hot top & bottom and I had power going to both sides of the element for 240 volts. This is the third time I have found the bottom H L control tripped.

Before I saw your post I went to the hardware store and bought a new lower thermostat & high limit switch thinking that it was defective. I installed that and will have to waite and see if it helped. If it still trips the high limit control what else could it be?
 
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Old 09-09-10, 04:42 PM
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still not working

Last night the water heater seemed to be working great they took 2 showers and washed the dishes with no problem.

Today today after no one using the hot water all day they went to take a shower and ran out of hot water. I went over and checked the heater and only the top of the tank was warm. 220 going to the top element and only 120 to the bottom. Stumped
 
 

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