The Tank › Rheem electric water heater (4yrs old)….not heating….popping noise › Reply To: Rheem electric water heater (4yrs old)….not heating….popping noise
Hello: It’s a bit ominous 😕 It’s never good to mix power and water, which was happening with a water leak at the lower element. Now, the running sound suggests a water leak someplace. Why not start with a look at your water meter and see if there is any flow with everything shut off? If there is, shut off the water supply to the heater and see if the meter stops. If it does, try this test. Open a hot tap. It should run only a few seconds. Now turn power on to the heater and listen/wait. Does it sound and act normally, or is there popping, flames and explosion? 😯 If it acts nicely, it may be that a water leak in the plumbing is the cause of most of the trouble.
There is still the leak you saw at the lower element to deal with and no mention of the age of the heater has come up. It may be beyond repair, but checking the anode will let you know. The lower thermostat may be damaged from getting wet, but let’s see about a leak out in the plumbing first. Do let us know what you find.