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Steve Foss

Another water heater thread

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We've got a two-year-old electric water heater that heats just fine but kicks off after heating a load of water, meaning that if its been a couple days since the last hot water, when we want to be SURE we've got hot water for the dishwasher, laundry or showers, we have to press the reset button and wait an hour or two.

Bad thermocouple? I should add that, even with the water heater on the lowest setting, the hot water that comes out of it after it's finished heating will scald your skin.

I can't tell you how many water heaters I've carted up and down stairways over the years. It gets old in a hurry, so if there's a part I can replace, like a thermocouple, instead of having to do the whole rigamarole, that would make me a (relatively) happy man.

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One of your T-stats are bad or a T-stat isn't tight against the tank.

Your top T-stat has a high limit switch. The red reset there is what you've been hitting.

In a nutshell.

Reset/ Let it heat up but not to the point the HTS trips/Turn the T-stats to Minimum/ Check for voltage at both upper and lower elements. Which ever element has voltage would be the one that with the bad T-stat.

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Tough to tell which thermostat is bad, so just change both. They're fairly inexpensive.

Not necessarily.

If you get scalding hot water rather quickly but also run out of hot water quickly then your lower unit is likely the culprit. If it takes a while to get hot water but then you have a decent amount of hot water available then I'd suspect the upper unit.

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Thanks, guys. I'll do what Frank said to check voltage and figure out which Tstat is bad. Bob, it does take awhile for the water to heat up, and it seems like we get a whole tankful of hot water then, so it sounds like the upper one is most likely.

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