disabling the lower heating element

The Tank disabling the lower heating element

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    I have a type Type 59T DOUBLE ELEMENT NON-SIMULTANEOUS WITH 4 WIRE OUTLET water heater. I am trying to disable the lower heating element and keep only the upper one for heating the water heater. The reason being the tank is large and I don’t want to waste money heating all the tank.
    I already disabled the lower element by disconnecting the wires. However, the upper thermostat seems to trip and I have to reset the upper thermostat in order to heat the tank for another shower.
    Did anybody try this before? Do I need to keep the lower thermostat in the circuit loop? I am attaching the electrical diagram
    please advise

    Attached files

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: It’s common that when the lower element fails, the upper element continues to work as it should. I’d be tempted not to make any major modifications to the heater, rather simply disconnect wires from the lower element screws and wire nut them.

    This doesn’t explain tripping at the upper thermostat, which is most likely the high limit. It suggests there is some other problem to look at. Do have a look in “Tanklets” for info on electric heaters.

    Others here have lots of experience with electric heaters and hopefully will weigh in. Whatever you do, make sure you, or the person you use to play with the wiring understands 240 volts!

    Yours, Larry


    Thanks Larry


    Yes Larry is right. Have a look at the Tanklets. I suspect you will find a short or grounded upper element. Make sure you somehow haven’t pulled the upper thermostat away from full contact with the tank. This is how it senses temperature.

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