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Thread: High Limit Question

  1. #1

    Default High Limit Question

    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    So I ran to the store today and came home and my wife said she smelled something burning in my daughters room. I went in, checked everything I could and I could not find the source of the smell. For some reason, I decided to check the hotwater tank in the closet behind a false wall. The smell was coming from there. I took off the top cover where the "high limit" is and there is melted and burned plastic. Yes I turned off the breakers and tested to make sure no power was still flowing to it before I did anything. Do you think I should just replace the high limit and if so where would I go to buy one. Thanks for any help! What a time for the tank to not work! Merry Christmas!

    Shawn
    Olympia, Wa

  2. #2
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shawninolympia View Post
    Merry Christmas Everyone!

    So I ran to the store today and came home and my wife said she smelled something burning in my daughters room. I went in, checked everything I could and I could not find the source of the smell. For some reason, I decided to check the hotwater tank in the closet behind a false wall. The smell was coming from there. I took off the top cover where the "high limit" is and there is melted and burned plastic. Yes I turned off the breakers and tested to make sure no power was still flowing to it before I did anything. Do you think I should just replace the high limit and if so where would I go to buy one. Thanks for any help! What a time for the tank to not work! Merry Christmas!

    Shawn
    Olympia, Wa
    Replace high limit and the thermostats.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default high limit

    The replacement "upper" thermostat will come with the high limit. You must have had a loose wire which created high resistance and heat to melt it. You will probably have to shorten, or replace some wires, to eliminate the melted portions.

  4. #4

    Default Thank you

    I will give that a try tomorrow! I don't think many places are open today! ) Again, thank you for what you do and if I don't think I can handle the job I will be calling a professional. Merry Christmas!

  5. #5
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking change it all

    usually the high limit fails due to a problem in
    the system, a shorted out element....

    I suggest you take a good look at the elements...

    It really dont cost much more to
    change out everything both upper and lower
    t-stats and elements just to be safe

  6. #6

    Default Question

    I build computers for a living. I'm not a plumber. I do have alot of mechanical ability so I know I can do this and if I don't think I can I will call someone. I do have one question. In order to change everything like you say, I have to drain the tank correct? Thanks

  7. #7
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    If you are changing elements the tank has to be drained.

    It does not have to be drained to change the ECO and Thermostat.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking yes drain the tank

    its wise to drain the tank to change the elements,
    then look inside the bottom element to see how built up

    the sediment and lime might be inside the heater...
    scrape that out if necessary


  9. #9
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    If the tank is over ten years old, you may want to consider replacement on the tank too.

    Water heaters tend to run in the 10 to 20 year range for life expectancy.
    Though, that's an average, not a promise.

  10. #10
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    If you are changing elements the tank has to be drained.

    It does not have to be drained to change the ECO and Thermostat.
    I'm not sure how you do it but I can't remember the last time I drained a water heater to change an element...

  11. #11
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    I'm not sure how you do it but I can't remember the last time I drained a water heater to change an element...
    I do it on the quick too but I would advise to home handyman type to drain a water heater....

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