Hot water heater electrical problems.

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Old 09-05-11, 01:58 PM
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Angry Hot water heater electrical problems.

We have a new hot water heater, we get enough hot water to take one three minute shower. Always have to hit reset to get element to go on. It seems like the bottom of the tank is always cold. We have checked both elements and there is power going to both. We have checked the connections to the top of the heater and they are connected correctly. What could be the problem?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:08 PM
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Have you checked to see if the elements are bad? Do you have hard water?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:13 PM
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Sounds like the stat is not switching to the lower element. After the upper element if satisfied it should switch to the lower element. When you test across the lower element
post you should get 240 volts. Paul
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:13 PM
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Yes, we have checked them, this is the second water heater we have replaced in one month. We thought the first heater was damaged took it back and are having the same problems. The elements are supposed to work simultaneously and it doesn't appear to be happening. It does not appear to be dividing. We were thinking we were having problems from the main circuit.?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:17 PM
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No it is not showing 240 volts on it. It shows no power. Thank you all so much!
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:26 PM
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they are not designed to have both elements on at the same time. The stat for the upper element must satisfy before the lower element will be turned on. What voltage do you show incoming to the HWH
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:31 PM
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Hi.

The two elements do not work togther or simultaneously. They work independent of one another.

Second thing even if you have voltage at the element does not mean the elements is neccesarly working.

You will need to kill electrical power, and disconnect one lead from each element. Then test both leads on the elemnet for continuity. If you have continuity then the elements are good.

Also did you bleed the air out of the water heater when filling? If any air was trapped and you apply electrical power the elemnet will burn out in no time. This is the most common cause of new water heater install falures.

Let us know.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:32 PM
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Hot water heater electrical problems.

Originally Posted by husker2011 View Post
Yes, we have checked them, this is the second water heater we have replaced in one month. We thought the first heater was damaged took it back and are having the same problems. The elements are supposed to work simultaneously and it doesn't appear to be happening. It does not appear to be dividing. We were thinking we were having problems from the main circuit.?
If they are suppose to work simultaneously then you would have to run
two 240 volts circuits. Did you check your book that came with the heater. Most heaters switch back and forth from upper to lower
elements. See if you have wiring diagrams on the door of unit or in the book. Paul
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:38 PM
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It shows 250
So wouldn't that mean the power supply coming into the house is good.?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:44 PM
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Yes, all of the air was bled out when it was installed. The top element does show power.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 02:58 PM
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OK. You need to test the elemnets for continuty ar descibes.

Also a cause a 3 min shower could be of overheating the inlet port while soldering. Although rare this causes the dip tube to melt and fall into the water heater. Without the dip tube cold water is not forced down to the bottom of the water heater.

Instead cold water only mixes with the top portion of the hot water in the heater. A shower will then go cold quickly.

Another issue with short showers is faulty mixing valves or re circ lines. Do you have a recirc line and or thermostatic shower valves? ( The valves that alow you to adjust temp?)

And you did state the hot and cold ports were plumbed correctly?

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:02 PM
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Mike, we tested it and it shows continuity. The supply of hot water is so limited. I ran the water to do dishes and just filling the sink it ran out. I had to reset it again.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:07 PM
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So what you are saying is the breaker in the HWH is tripping?

What are the t stats set to?

Also it seems like a t stat issue or electrical.

How many amp breaker in the main panel?

How many watt elements are they?

Remember working in the panals of the HWH is high voltage. You can be seriously injured or killed. Just saying because I di=ont know your skill set.



Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:09 PM
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yes possibly. We checked to make sure that the hot and cold were hooked up ok, and according to the diagram on top of the heater they are.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:25 PM
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Thank you to all of you for the replies, we really appreciate the help!
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lawrosa View Post
So what you are saying is the breaker in the HWH is tripping?

What are the t stats set to?

Also it seems like a t stat issue or electrical.

How many amp breaker in the main panel?

How many watt elements are they?

Remember working in the panals of the HWH is high voltage. You can be seriously injured or killed. Just saying because I di=ont know your skill set.



Mike NJ

We need answers to these questions to help you further.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:33 PM
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There are two 30 amp breakers in the main panel. The wattage for each element is 4500/3380.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:42 PM
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both labeled for the HWH? can you post a make and model number of your HWH?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:48 PM
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It is a model # 6EM-40-2 Richmond Brand.
Thank you
Cindi
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:52 PM
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And yes they are both labeled for the HWH
 
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Old 09-05-11, 03:58 PM
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you water heater is non simultaneous. how many wires from the house wiring are going into the HWH?

Are the breakers single pole or double?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:00 PM
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There is one 220 wire coming in to the house for the HWH
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:02 PM
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please see above revised post. And 220 requires 2 wires and a ground.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:02 PM
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I would just like to ask who istalled it? If you had a contractor I would have him back before messing with it. Permits often needed and espeacially with electric water heaters a electrician has to sign off on it.

So if your electrical has issues the contractor needs to fix.

I would think about that befor messing with it.

Now if you installed yourself, let us know.


Also where is the ground wire connected to where the main electric comes into the heater?


Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:04 PM
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My husband installed it and the ground wire is connected to the green screw. Thank you again Mike.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:05 PM
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HVAC You take over. I dont want to cause confusion.

Cindi good luck and follow what HVAC suggests.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:07 PM
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There is one 220 wire coming in to the house for the HWH
That doesn't quiet make sense. You should have 120/240v feed to your house. Is the water heater on a separate electric company controlled off-peak meter?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:18 PM
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No it isn't on a seperate controlled off peak meter. Okay, this is what the wire said NARAX 10/2 with ground type NM 600V E15510. I hope this helps. Thank you.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 04:35 PM
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I'm moving this thread to the proper "Water Heater" forum...
 
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Old 09-05-11, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by husker2011 View Post
No it isn't on a seperate controlled off peak meter. Okay, this is what the wire said NARAX 10/2 with ground type NM 600V E15510. I hope this helps. Thank you.
Ok. the wire you spoke of is romex and contains 3 wires inside the outside casing. 2 wires are hot and one is bare and is the ground.

You state that the High limit (red button on the upper thermostat) has been tripping correct? What is the temp on the upper stat set to?
 
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Old 09-05-11, 06:38 PM
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yes, that is correct. The temp is set to 150 which is what was recommended by Richmond.
 
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Old 09-05-11, 06:57 PM
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i would start by lowering the stat to 120-30F. Temps over 125F can cause instant severe burns..... This should be listed on the HWH labeling......... Not sure where you got 150F from.... that is full blast on my electric HWH.
 
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Old 09-12-11, 05:21 PM
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Well, here I am again! New water heater, same problems. We have had our electrician out here and have also had our electricity out here to check everything. Everything electrically is fine. Service is good, breaker is good, wiring is good, water heater is installed and hooked up properly , everything tests out and still no hot water on the bottom of the tank. Not enough water for a two minute shower. Here is what I discovered today, I turned the water off going to the house, the hot water heater started gurgling and heated to the max, when I turned the water back on, it stopped! What could be going on?
 
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Old 09-12-11, 05:46 PM
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do you live on a slab? You may have a slab leak. (water leak in the lines that are in the slab) Is it just the shower you are having problems with? DO you faucets get hot and stay hot? Could be the cartridge in the shower faucet. Have you had a plumber out to check anything?
 
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Old 09-12-11, 06:38 PM
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Did the old one work before it needed replacing? Are you buying the same brand of water heater every time from the same place? Unlikely but not impossible is a manufacturing mistake.
 
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Old 09-12-11, 07:46 PM
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do you live on a slab? You may have a slab leak. (water leak in the lines that are in the slab)
Hvactech may be on the right path here.

Are you on a slab?

If so and you are on city water, make sure there is no water running in the home. Then take a look at the water meter and see if its spinning. If its spinning and you are sure there is no other water running in the home chances are there is a leak under the slab.

If on a well do the same as above but check for pressure lose.

Or as I stated and hvactech stated what type of shower valves.

Another issue with short showers is faulty mixing valves or re-circ lines. Do you have a recirc line and or thermostatic shower valves? ( The valves that alow you to adjust temp?)


You never answered this question I believe.



Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-12-11, 08:47 PM
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They are recirc, and this is in the kitchen also. We checked the pressure and it is right where it should be at 45. Crazy isn't it.
 
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Old 09-12-11, 08:50 PM
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No we went thru the same thing with the old one so we replaced it, but we had put in a new stat and upper and lower elements and had the same problem. Since the old we have had a Richmond and this one is a GE.
 
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Old 09-12-11, 09:18 PM
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OK back to basics.

You are on a well?
You have a recirculation line at the water heater with a pump? This would pump hot water to the farthest bath in the home??
Do you have thermostatic shower valves?? The kind you adjust the temp with one knob and turn the faucet on and off with another?
Are you on a slab? Meaning no basement or crawl space?

You need to answer these questions properly for us to help you better.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 09-13-11, 08:01 AM
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No, we don't have a pump, I misunderstood you and no we do not have thermostatic shower valves. The House is on a slab and no crawl space. Thank you Mike
 
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