Plumber visit gone bad

The Tank Plumber visit gone bad

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    We just moved in a month ago. We had a plumber come out to run hot water line off the existing line to the washing machine. Previous owners had a leak under the slab and ran a new hot water line but didn’t run it to the washing machine. We wanted one so we had someone come out. In order for him to run the line he disconnected the water heater (electrical and all) and moved it. He ran the line and then reconnected the water heater.

    We didn’t have hot water for very long. I checked the electrical panel and it had tripped. They sent someone else out to to look at it and checked the connections. The plumber seems to be under the impression that there is a problem with the elements. They are refusing to replace them at their expense. In talking with the owner, he is assured that there was nothing they would have been able to do to cause this situation (but they disconnected it and moved it). My point is that they touched it so they probably broke it (or did something that is causing the problem).

    How do I refute their point that there was nothing they could have done to cause this?

    Randy Schuyler

    Frankly, what you are asking is beyond the scope of this bulletin board. We’re happy to tackle problems with water heaters, but most reluctant to tackle disputes between people.

    Randy Schuyler


    I’ll rephrase…

    I just ran a line run off the hot water line direct to our washing machine. In order to complete the job, the water heater had to be disconnected (including the electrical). and moved to access the wall behind the heater. Once maintenance was complete, I had hot water only temporarily. I checked the electrical panel and it appears that it has tripped.

    Two thoughts: (1) a bad connection when I reconnected the electrical or (2) there is a problem with the elements.

    Are these the only two issues that are likely causing the breaker to trip? Could I have done damage to the elements by moving the water heater or reconnecting the elements incorrectly?

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: If power to the heater was turned on before it was completely refilled with water, the upper element could have overheated and burned out. I’d check that element. It is not difficult to see if it was “dry fired”. Under tanklets, a test with an ohm meter is described that will let you know the element’s condition without removing it.

    Yours, Larry

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