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Thread: Water Heater Woes

  1. #1

    Question Water Heater Woes

    I have a 40 gallon Reliance 606 electric water heater. For the past couple of days, my water heater keeps shutting off where I have no hot water. Each time, I have to take off the top panel and push the reset buttom which then it works properly. There is something that is triggering this shut down but I have no idea what. Any help on things that I need to look for to determine why this is happening would be very much appreciative.

    Thanks!

    Tom

  2. #2

    Default How To Trouble Shoot your Water Heater

    Sounds like you have to replace your thermostats on the water heater.

    Im not recommending you do bu this is how I troubleshoot water heaters.

    If your water heater has stopped heating, begin troubleshooting at the fuse/breaker panel. Check the fuse/breaker to insure that you have current flowing to the water heater.


    Check the fuse/breaker to insure that you have current flowing to the water heater. Next remove the top thermostat cover, and using a volt/ohm meter check for current on the thermostat terminals marked L1 and L2. If you have current there, push the red button labeled "Reset".

    Next check for current on the heating element, if the water in the tank is cold you should have current there. If the water is cold and there is no current, then you have a bad thermostat. If the thermostat is good, turn off the electricity at the fuse/breaker panel and remove the wires from the heating element.

    Using your ohm meter, test for continuity through the element itself by touching your test leads to both element screws at the same time. If you have no continuity the element is bad, however if you do have continuity you still need to do one more test.

    Check each screw separately by touching one lead to the screw and the other to the water tank. You should have no continuity this way, unless the element is shorted out and you are reading through the water.

    If you find all of the upper components in working order, reattach the wires to the element and replace the top cover. Then turn the electricity back on and perform these same checks on the lower components.

    When you find the offending component, replace it.

    If your water heater is more than 10 years old, I recommend replacing it. The efficiency of a new one will save you big bucks on your electric bill.


    Thank You,
    Dominick
    Allied Plumbing and Construction Company
    (804) 715-7155
    Allied_plumbing@ymail.com
    www.alliedplumbingandconstruction.com

  3. #3
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Default

    Most of the time a bad T-Stat would cause this.
    However, an element shorted to ground can also cause it.
    The reset button popping is an indicator the water got too hot.
    Make sure your T&P is functioning properly...
    This water heater is about one or two safety devices away from liftoff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu3FwgIHsQA

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

    THe first thing that has to be done is test BOTH thermostats and BOTH elements. More than likely you have a bad lower element which is heating constantly, (but not because of a bad thermostat), so the safety opens when the temperature is excessive. Call a plumber.

  5. #5
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default

    I cheated and asked Reliance. Here's what "Nikki" said:

    "The reset button can trip on the electric water heater due to high voltage, loose wiring, grounded upper heating element and the unit overheating which would indicate the lower thermostat is bad"

  6. #6

    Smile Water Heater Woes

    I want to thank the ones that responded to my question. The advise was enough to get me started. Thanks again for your help!

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Nikki

    quote; "The reset button can trip on the electric water heater due to high voltage, loose wiring, grounded upper heating element and the unit overheating which would indicate the lower thermostat is bad"

    High voltage will NOT trip it. A grounded upper or LOWER element will cause it. And overheating can be caused by a bad the lower thermostat, OR a bad UPPER one. Nikki had a bad "cheat sheet" and her advice is on a par with what you would get from HD or Lowes.

  8. #8
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    If you can't trust someone named "Nikki", who can you trust?

    Please rank these in order of trustworthiness:

    Mother Teresa
    any politician
    Nikki
    Putin
    Either Clinton


  9. #9
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Mother Teresa
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    any politician
    Nikki
    Putin
    Either Clinton

  10. #10
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Mother Teresa
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    any politician
    Nikki
    Putin
    Either Clinton
    Good call! I didn't see that coming!

    And the asterisks are the people that most of us deal with every day.

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