HWT Repair

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    • #273917


      I Posted earlier today, but wasn’t registered then, & I don’t see my Post, so I’ll try again!

      I lost hot water several days ago. I checked the HWT controls. 0V at top & bottom elements. After pressing the red reset button on top controller, I got 240V at top element, but still 0V at bottom element. Should it be this way, or is top controller defective? (water in tank was cold).

      I think “breaker” on top controller may have tripped due to minor water leak at top element.
      Should I replace element, or does that depend on what it looks like? If element looks OK, should I just re-install it, with new gasket (or silicone?)? BTW, both elements passed continuity test.
      Are elements fairly Universal, or will I need to take old element in to get exact replacement?

      If I need new parts, is there a good on-line store? (with top element working, I did have hot water this morning, so I can wait a bit before fixing).



    • #288831

      The bottom element will have 0 voltage until the top thermostat is satisfied and transfers control to the bottom thermostat. If the transfer does not take place when the upper element stops heating then the thermostat is defective.

    • #288832

      Thanks a lot for your reply, Fourth Year.

      After resetting thermostat several days ago, only top element was working, so only water at top of tank was getting heated. In between my Post & your’s, I changed thermostat, & as you say, only top thermostat was getting power, with water in tank cold. This was the same as before, except hopefully this time bottom element will kick in after top is hot! I’ll check that this morning.

      BTW, I took out top element, since it had a minor leak. I looked OK, so I cleaned it (including sanding both seating surfaces) & re-installed it with a new rubber gasket. I’ve tightened it a few times, but it’s still leaking (even worse than before!!). Any suggestion? Silicone or some other liquid sealer, before final tightening?


    • #288833

      Look closely at where the water is leaking from, is it leaking from behind the element (at the gasket), or through the element where the element terminals are?

      If it is leaking behind the gasket, is the tank seating surface rusted and pitted from leaking?

      If the element seating surface is rusted and pitted, or if leaking through the element, you will need to be place the element.

    • #288834

      Sorry for delay in responded, but tank is not where I live.

      Thanks for this suggestion Jerry.

      I’m not 100% sure, but the leak appears to be coming from the weld. A friend said I can use a product such as epoxy or duro-weld (I think he called it) for stopping the leak. Anyone know if there is a product available, or should I replace the tank?


    • #288835

      If the weld is leaking, check the serial number for the date of manufacture. If it is within the warranty period, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, or 12 years depending on the model, then the manufacturer will supply a new tank. I would guess that it is a State water heater and if so, the first letter is the month a= Jan b= feb, etc, except i is not used so j=Sept.

    • #288836

      Thanks again Fourth Year,

      The tank serial # starts 8405, so does this mean May 1984 manufacture? I know it’s older than 1989, which is when I took possession of it (along with rest of house!). Tank isn’t top-of-the-line, so I’m sure it’s past warranty.

      Do you think tank can be fixed, or is it garbage? Leak is fairly minor (1 drop every minute).


    • #288837

      That would be the fifth week of 1984 (84 is the year, 05 is the week). That puts it at the end of January or begining of February in 1984 or 16 1/2+ years old.

      Your water heater is almost assuredly out of warranty. How long is the warranty period stated on the water heater? You would need to have a warranty longer than any I’ve seen before on a residential water heater.

      I would say it is time to have a new water heater installed.

    • #288838

      The small leak will continually get worse and fail at the most inconvenient time. Do not attempt repairs on welds. Replace unit.

    • #288839

      Sorry for delay in repying.

      I did change HWT, as you suggested.



      Originally posted by robala:
      The small leak will continually get worse and fail at the most inconvenient time. Do not attempt repairs on welds. Replace unit.

    • #288840

      Thanks, Jerry, for the info on dating HWT’s, & for the recommendation. I did replace the HWT.


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