troubleshooting , mass electricity use

The Tank troubleshooting , mass electricity use

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    After the winter months with high electric bills from heating I was looking forward to getting back to normal, when this month I get a crazy 250dollar bill, using virtually no heat. I start investigating and by watching meter run and switching things off, have come to the conclusion that it could well be my water heater. Now Ive seen some posts on there saying that they do use a good amount even when they are working well, but with the high bill this month I believe something has changed.

    Can some change in an electric water heater cause a sudden overuse of electricity?
    Ive been told numerous things, but still unsure of what I should head towards doing, short of full replacement.
    If I check Ohms, on a digtal meter what should it read?
    The amps at the element and thermostat look good? 242ish.

    This is a very old heater and probably should have been replaced years ago, however Im only kinda borowing the house (Is my father in laws, we dont pay rent) So I dont want to go through that kind of expence if i can get away with it at all.

    Any info you can give me will be appreciated, oh and its a single element(as far as i can tell), and is slightly leaking from the overflow, not a river but more then a drip, and we do stilll have hot water.
    I did try to turn the thermostat down to 120 I think it was, but I didnt notice any change.

    Sorry for long message but I wanted to give you as much info as possible.



    4500 watt element should read 12.8 ohms.

    4500 watt element at 240 volts will draw 18.75 amps.

    The overflow: are you describing the relief valve? This is probably your problem. They are not suppose to leak at all. If you draw out a large volume of hot water and don’t use any more for a while, pressure builds and the slightly leaking relief valve will easily further open to relieve the pressure. With inlet temperature of 50 F and outlet of 120 F a one gph leak will cost you one kWh over a 6 hour period.


    Randy Schuyler

    Also check your water meter when no water is being used. A plumbing leak or an appliance valve stuck open can cause excess hot water use and high utility bills. Search on “slab leak” to see some other posts on the subject.

    Randy Schuyler


    thanks for the quick responce, I will check out other posts for the leak, and watch the meter a little more regular…

    thanks again

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Water Heater Rescue

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