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Thread: water heater troubleshooting

  1. #1

    Default water heater troubleshooting

    Good Morning,

    I foloowed a guide mentioned in a previous post on troubleshooting the ECO on a water heater and I'm still in the dark as to what the problem is. I've got 246 volts coming in to the top portion (the ECO?) of the upper thermostat, with the same voltage at the next set of terminals where (I'm guessing) it actually feeds the thermostat. After the last time it tripped, I reset and measured 241 volts goingto the upper element, nothing to the lower. There was no voltage at the lower element, which is normal if I understand how the heater works. I wasn't able to wait around and see what voltage it had when it did kick in. I have also measure the resistance of the elements and get about 15.5 ohms on the upper and 15.1 on the lower, and as far as I know both are 3800 watt elements.
    I can't figure out anything definite with what I've discovered and I'm thinking I'll go buy a new lower thermostat and see what happens. Any thoughts or possible solutions?
    One other thing, I don't know if it's normal or not, but when touching just one lead of the multimeter to the individuals terminals on the ECO I get about 19 - 21 volts, not sure what that means or what might be the issue. Thanks. And the wtare heater is 5 years old.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    There is a strict protocol to testing the elements and thermostats, but I am not sure if you are going about it in the right way, or if you have the proper device to do a proper test.

  3. #3
    George the Plumber Gsalet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    San Francisco


    What is the heater doing or not doing?

  4. #4
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    (240^2)/3800 = 15.2 ohms which is close enough to your measured values, but check for infinite resistance between the element and ground.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 09-26-2010 at 01:18 PM.

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