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Does anyone know anything about hot water heaters?

flyguy214

Member
Feb 18, 2007
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Hello. I am trying to get my new house up and running and the hot water heater is the last thing I need to get working. I have replaced both elements in it but it still won't heat. I can hear the water running in to it, but there is still no hot water.

Would anyone happen to have some experience in this field?
 

lokiju

Lifer
May 29, 2003
18,536
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Maybe this is a dumb question, but are you sure that the outlet you have the water heater plugged into has power?

Have you tried plugging something else into it to verify?
 

flyguy214

Member
Feb 18, 2007
49
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There are no dumb questions. I am sure that it is just something dumb. I did plug something else into that outlet though just to make sure.
 

Bryophyte

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
13,430
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81
Originally posted by: lokiju
Maybe this is a dumb question, but are you sure that the outlet you have the water heater plugged into has power?

Have you tried plugging something else into it to verify?
It shouldn't be plugged into an outlet. But you have a good point otherwise. OP: check that there is power to the appliance.
 

CPA

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
30,322
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Is it a gas water heater? Have you checked to make sure the pilot is lit?
 

imported_weadjust

Golden Member
Apr 23, 2004
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Two thermostats if there is two elements. Doubt both thermostats would go out at same time. Do you have volt meter or something to check that your getting 220?
 

flyguy214

Member
Feb 18, 2007
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Originally posted by: weadjust
Two thermostats if there is two elements. Doubt both thermostats would go out at same time. Do you have volt meter or something to check that your getting 220?
I do. Am I going to have to drain it to check those?
 

Mark R

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
8,513
13
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Why do you have a hot water heater? Surely, there's no point in heating the water if it's already hot. :)

Seriously though, if you've already replaced the heater elements, then you need to check the thermostats (if they are separate to the elements).

There may be several thermostats - e.g. one for normal temperature control which switches the heater on and off as required, and a backup one that shuts off and stays off until manually reset, if the temperature goes above a safe level.

Next check the wiring back to the wall, and the outlet where the power is taken from. Test to see if there is power at the outlet using a test lamp or multimeter.

If there is no power there, you need to trace the wiring back to the panel, and ensure that the breakers are switched on, working, and that the wiring is intact.

 

imported_weadjust

Golden Member
Apr 23, 2004
1,561
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There is a panel on the front of the water heater. Under this panel is a red reset button. Please be very careful when you reset this button, the current you are dealing with is 220. There should be instructions on the back side of the panel you pull off. There should only be 2 screws holding the access cover on. You may have to remove the insulation covering the thermostat under the insulation. By the way, if the reset button went off, it may mean there is a problem with either the thermostat or the element. Pushing the reset button, may turn on the water heater, but it may go right back off after a few minutes.
Good luck
 

lokiju

Lifer
May 29, 2003
18,536
4
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Originally posted by: Bryophyte
Originally posted by: lokiju
Maybe this is a dumb question, but are you sure that the outlet you have the water heater plugged into has power?

Have you tried plugging something else into it to verify?
It shouldn't be plugged into an outlet. But you have a good point otherwise. OP: check that there is power to the appliance.
Oh, I have a gas one so just figured I'd throw that out there...
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: flyguy214
how do I check the thermostats?
In addition to what weadjust posted above, look around for some documentation on your waterheater.

Did the prior owner give you a file with such stuff?

If not, write down the brand/make/model number and google it. There are plenty of home appliance websites around to help you with instructions & diagrams for trouble shooting and repair.

If you get the instructions and feel comfortable with wiring diagrams and working with current, you can get a couple of wires and put alligator clips on both ends. Then bypass the thermostat. It's sorta like hotwiring it. Just turn off the breaker, bypass the thermostat, turn the breaker back on and listen for the hissing noise of the water being heated (that means the thermostat is either adjusted so low it isn't heating, or they're defective).

On my unit, the upper (master thermostat) went out. Once it was replaced the lower thermostat and heating element started working right away.

Good Luck,

Fern
 

Paperdoc

Golden Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,988
144
106
Are you sure the piping connects the water supply source to the INLET connection on the tank? If those are backwards you could end up with a tank mostly filled with air. It would overheat quickly, then shut itself off to protect the tank.

Similarly, in starting it up, did you open up a hot water valve at a nearby sink to let all the air get pushed out of the tank so it can fill up with cold water to start?
 

flyguy214

Member
Feb 18, 2007
49
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0
Thank you all for your help. It turns out it was just the reset button. I was sure it was something stupid.

Thanks again.
 

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