The Tank › warm water
- May 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm #6594
I have an electric water heater with upper/lower thermostats and elements. I’m assuming either one of the thermostats or elements are defective but how do I troubleshoot to efficiently solve this problem? I can chsck the elements with an OHM meter but how do you test the thermostats?May 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm #6595Randy SchuylerKeymaster
There is a complete troubleshooting walk-through for electric water heaters at Tanklets, reachable from the link in the top line of The Tank or from the site map on the home page.
Randy SchuylerMay 23, 2007 at 2:19 pm #6597
After visiting the Tanklets section, I now understand how a dual thermostat/element heater works. How do you check to see if the upper section of the tank is heating enough to switch to the lower section? Please keep in mind that the reset button is not “tripped” nor or there any obvious water leaks around the thermostat or element.
5 yr old Rheem, Model 71-40D, 40 gallon.May 24, 2007 at 8:45 am #6603energyexpertParticipant
The top thermostat (master) acts like a 3 way switch. If the top of the tank is cold, power is supplied to the top element. When the top of the tank reaches the setpoint, power is switched from the top element to the bottom (slave) thermostat. If the top thermostat is switching off but the bottom is not heating, then you probably have a bottom thermostat or bottom element problem. There might be a remote chance that there is enough burn on the contacts in the top thermostat that power cannot be transferred to the lower thermostat.
DavidMay 25, 2007 at 9:14 am #6608
Thanks for all the helpful tips. The culprit was indeed the bottom element and has been replaced. Thanks again!
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