Leaky Water Heater Top Element


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Old 02-01-13, 01:56 PM
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Leaky Water Heater Top Element

Have slow leak out of top element from what I can see. Checked lower element panel and it is wet along with insullation. I think it is from the top element leak. Did a check with multimeter top element reads ok but bottom is bad. The reset button was tripping. When I reset water would get real hot until breaker would then trip. Hoping to God I don't have to replace this thing. It seems like I should replace top gasket and lower element. Don't know anything about these things except what I read. Don't ever mind trying to "do it yourself". Has anyone had this problem? Any expert advice would be great. Thanks!
 
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Old 02-01-13, 02:40 PM
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Welcome to the forums! How old is the water heater? Guess. Yes, you can replace the elements, but since the bottom thermostat is tripping, they may be bad as well. Cost is mounting. You will need to drain the water heater with the power off. After the water gets below the level of the bottom element you can remove all the elements and thermostats. Take a picture of the wiring before you get your screw driver close to the screws so you can put it back together like it came apart. Replace the elements and thermostats and wiring, fill the water heater and turn on the power.
If you have more than a dozen years on the water heater, you may consider a pending farewell party for it. Once things start going south they don't get better.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 03:31 PM
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I'd have to think long and hard about fixing a WH that leaks. Unless the heater is less than 10 yrs old, I'd seriously think about replacing it. It isn't all that difficult of a job although the new ones will be bigger in size than the older ones were. I replaced my 52 gallon water heater last year with a 40 gallon [kids are all gone] and it's almost the exact same physical size - hopefully more insulation equals better efficiency.
 
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Old 02-01-13, 04:23 PM
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Took out elements. Lower one is split. Sitting in calcium deposits just about. Mftg. in 2004. The leak intrigues me. If it was just a bad seal on the upper it's a 35.00 fix for a kit at HD vs. $350+. Thanks for the replies.

Ed
 
 

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