Bradford white water heater lower element issue


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Old 01-07-18, 09:38 PM
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Bradford white water heater lower element issue

Upper element works fine. Lower element is not working. I put my multimeter on it and I have resistance and voltage. So I am a little confused. If I have 14ohm resistance and the 200volts shouldnt it be heating up? It's the same reading for the upper element which is working fine.

Also. I should note. The lower thermostat was not working (no continuity). So I replaced both upper and lower thermostats. The original was an apcom style thermostat and I replaced it thermodisc. I don't think this a problem as the upper is working fine. This should be okay right?

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Old 01-07-18, 09:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

That should be 240v not 200v.
The brand of the thermostat shouldn't be a problem.

You have a two thermostat - two element water heater.
While the upper one is heating..... the lower one is turned off.
Only one element can be on at one time.

The top element heats until the water in the top of the tank reaches what the upper thermostat is set to. Then it turns off and sends power to the lower thermostat and element. This lower element heats until the temperature of the water at the bottom of the tank reaches what the lower stat is set to. If someone uses hot water..... even before the bottom thermostat is satisfied..... the top thermostat will take over again.

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Old 01-07-18, 10:31 PM
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Thanks for the reply. So I didn't know that the upper heats up first. Then the lower. I just felt my tank and the lower area is now hot. So I guess I didn't wait enough.

I am not sure why the voltage reads 200ish. 200 to 205. But I get the same reading at the breaker panel. I wonder if it's my cheap harbor fright multimeter that is the problem. I got it for free with any purchase.

Lastly. How important are the plastic shields over the thermostats? My old apcom thermostat had a plastic shield and it doesn't fit on the new thermodisc thermostat. Unfortunately the new set did not come with plastic covers. Should I go out and buy these covers?
 
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Old 01-07-18, 10:40 PM
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Yeah.... that meter could be a little inaccurate.
The covers are there for shock protection.
I've never seen them available for aftermarket purchase.
 
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Old 01-08-18, 08:12 AM
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Possible reason for measuring 200 volts more or less instead of 220-240 volts: Your home is powered from an industrial or commercial power subsystem normally delivering 208 volts hot to hot instead of 240 volts (technically a 3 phase symmetric or "wye" system). The 120 volt hot to neutral is still 110-120. This is more likely in an apartment complex as opposed to separate dwellings.

(reminder) Before doing a resistance or continuity measurement, label and unhook all of the wires from the two places you will touch the meter probes to. (Some experienced persons can identify situations where they can get accurate resistance readings without unhooking things.)
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 01-08-18 at 08:44 AM.
 

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