Help GE water heater - luke warm water only. Cannot figure out


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Old 03-08-15, 06:56 PM
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Help GE water heater - luke warm water only. Cannot figure out

I have a GE50M06AAG electric water heater. The manual says its licensed by Rheem. This is a link to the manual. It is a two element 50 gallon heater.

My problem is that I am getting warm and not hot water. Any help will be appreciated. I cannot figure out what the problem is. Everything seems to be working. Elements, Reset switch, thermostat.

I have tested using my multimeter
1. The main power coming in = 240V
2. The power past the reset switch = 240v
4. Upper thermostat works and switches off when set temp. is screwed to lowest. I tested this by measuring 240V across upper element.
5. Lower thermostat switches on when upper thermostat switches off. And also lower thermostat turns off when when set temp is screwed to lowest
6. Both elements read 12.9 ohms when disconnected (one wire) and measured.

What seems to be happening is the upper thermostat never switches off. Even after running for an hour or so with no usage. Only when I use a screw driver to turn it almost all the way to a low set temp does it switch off, and the lower element switches on.

The heater also does not have an anode rod. Its made in 2005. Also, this might be coincidence but the past three days have seen a spike in our electric usage through the night. The water heater only stopped working yesterday.Name:  IMG_0291.jpg
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Old 03-08-15, 07:50 PM
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4. Upper thermostat works and switches off when set temp. is screwed to lowest. I tested this by measuring 240V across upper element.
When you have 240 volts across the upper element, what is the current draw?


When you manually cycle the thermostats and get 240 volts across the lower element, what is the current draw?
 
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Old 03-08-15, 09:14 PM
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I just tried that and got a bit of a spark. My multimeter measures only upto 10A. Seems like the element might be drawing more than that... assuming say 4500W will put the expected draw at 18.75A. Do I have this right? How much do you expect a properly functioning element to draw.

Also, could it be something called a dip stick. I just learnt of this possibility and will check it out further tomorrow.
 
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Old 03-09-15, 04:17 PM
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assuming say 4500W will put the expected draw at 18.75A. Do I have this right? How much do you expect a properly functioning element to draw?
A correctly functioning element should draw 18.75 amps or close to that reading. You measure it with a clamp around amp meter sometimes called an amprobe.

could it be something called a dip stick. I just learnt of this possibility and will check it out further tomorrow.
No such thing as a dip stick in a water heater, but maybe you meant dip tube. I doubt it's a dip tube because you have said you never get hot water at all. A sign of a broken dip tube is getting good hot water for a short period.
 
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Old 03-10-15, 07:38 AM
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So just to round this out for anyone reading this...

Turns out it was a leak. The lukewarm temperature was simply because the water heater could not keep up. The high energy usage was a tip off. Confirmed it by looking at our water meter while all taps in the house were off... it was still spinning!

Right now, I have the line to the kitchen that was leaking cut off as I figure out what to do. Rest of the house now has piping hot water. So problem postponed.

Thanks CasualJoe for your help.
 
 

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