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Thread: electric water heater is 3.5 yrs and kapuut

  1. #1

    Unhappy electric water heater is 3.5 yrs and kapuut

    Geez, just when I thought it couldn't get worse the hot water packs it in. I recently experienced a fire though the source was the townhouse next door. The fire was in the roof so the hot water tank was far removed from either smoke or water damage.

    We had a cold winter this year with no heat source though by the time the coldest bits came along the restoration company had industrial heaters going. I had turned off the water soon after the fire in Sept but that is all I did. I did not drain it. When I finally got power the end of Jan I noticed the tank gave off hot water but it didn't last long as it soon turned to lukewarm. Now it is not only cold but there is also a bit of water leakage. The dough-head who started the fire said his tank is fine and he neither turned the water off or drained his tank.

    I think the tank is still under warrenty but I somehow get the feeling the company will say it's not their problem b/c of the fire whilst the company restoring my unit said it isn't their problem (originally I was told 3 months restoration and now we're into the 6th month - it really wasn't a big fire at all for it to go on as long as it has). I didn't have content insurance and my strata insurance won't cover it b/c the fire didn't affect it.

    I'd appreciate it if one of you good people could provide some insight as to why it packed it (it was working perfectly fine up to the day of the fire) or how to deal with the company that makes this electric water heater (John Woods); I've learned from this fire, the more you know the more likely you'll get what you want from the people who are "holding the Ace card." So far I've felt I've been screwed.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    A follow up and this is weird to me; I've run the hot water tap since I last posted and cold water is pouring out but when I checked the tank, the copper pipe (hot water outflow) it was hot to the touch. Odd. I checked to see that I flipped the right breaker and from what the electricians identified, it should have been the right one. I have touched nothing on the tank since the fire other than the reset button. So why should it I be feeling the copper pipe leading from the tank be hot but past the elbow joint it feels cold. Yet just a few days ago, it was warm and putting out warm water. What is going on?

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Why don't you call a plumber to check out the unit first and see if you have a fixable problem...John Woods heaters are made in Canada and used to be sold by the big box store HD...If the tank is leaking all you have to do is call John Woods in Canada and they will assign it an RA# and then you will bring it to HD and when they call them they will warranty it from HD.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default heater

    Your description has ambiguities so we are not sure if the heater is operating or not, or whether it even needs replacing. Call a plumber.

  5. #5

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    It is not working properly - leaking slightly and water is cool. Started to drain the tank - water was warm at first which means that the upper heating element is shot? I'm not calling a plumber just yet as there is a whole bunch of plumbing work to be done as I get closer to completing restoration. (It is basically camping in my house - just cold water and flush toilet are running.) I was just wanting to drain it just in case the little leak becomes a bigger problem. So here's 2 questions - could it be the upper element but more importantly, how long does it take to drain a tank (40gal/184 liters)? I've had it draining for just slightly over an hour now. I turned it off thinking it should have been done by now (yes the valve for cold water going in has been shut off but it is the kind least preferred by plumbers - that's what the plumber said last year when the main water valve failed; he replaced it with a lever style valve.) Did I give it enough time to drain?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    To drain the tank you need to do these things:
    - shut off the tank (gas or electric)
    - shut off the water supply to the tank
    - open up a hot faucet and/or the T&P valve to let air into the lines so the water can drain
    - open up the drain on the water heater
    Last edited by jadnashua; 02-26-2009 at 06:36 AM. Reason: error
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member TedL's Avatar
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    open up the drain on the toilet

    I believe Jim meant to write "tank".

  8. #8

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    Did all of the above instructions - but how long should it take to drain the tank? I need to have an idea b/c the cold water valve leading into the tank is old, thus it could have failed to close. Would it take 3 hours? 2 hours?

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    If there is lime / calcium build up in it it might never drain...if it is draining normally it might take 1/2 hour or less...you need a meter with amp draw capabilities to correctly test it...

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