Lawrence, Assuming the heater is electric, the problem could be one of a few things. Either the upper or lower thermostat may be faulty or there may be a slight ground fault in one of the immersion elements. An electrician could check using a clip on ammeter. With the tank up to temperature, clip one of the wires for the upper element and take a current reading. If the element is on the reading should be around 15 amps depending on the wattage rating of the element. Then clip both wires, the reading should be 0, any amount other than 0 is going to ground through a break in the immersion element. Repeat for both elements. To check the thermostats the electrician would clip one of the wires in his ammeter and (assuming the element was on) turn the thermostat down until it clicks the reading on the ammeter should go to zero. Repaeat for the lower element: Even though my water heater is set very low the water gets to hot, and we have to reset it every time it happens.
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