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Thread: Rheem 82v52-2 element?

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member troydavin's Avatar
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    Unhappy Rheem 82v52-2 element?

    I made the mistake of turning on both the water pump and heater simultaneous with a drained heater. The elements would have been fired up while the water was being added to the tank. Needless to say the tank will not heat up beyond warm.

    I'm assuming I broke either one or both of the elements and I'm trying to figure out what replacement element to use. I have a Rheem 82v52-2, and from what i can tell it uses 240V 4500W elements. I do not know how to determine the length. Does anyone know what element should be used in this heater and where I would find one in a city like Minneapolis?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Luke warm?
    I would check the upper and lower thermostat and make sure it's set right.
    If the upper element had burned out, you would have no hot water at all.
    The factory setting is pretty low, so try setting them higher. If the lower element has gone bad, you would have some hot water, like about half a tank. The top element goes on first, and when the upper half is heated, then the power switches to the lower thermostat and element.
    If a new element is indeed needed, it won't be an issue of length, it will be installation method and wattage.
    Bolt in or screw in.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member troydavin's Avatar
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    Its' at my cabin so I don't have access right now but I didn't change the thermostat. I should have mentioned that it took 13hrs to get the water luke warm (normally its hot in an hour). In that case could it be a damaged element that isn't working effectively? The element would have been on while the tank was filling up so it would have been exposed to air for quite some time.

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    The lower element would NOT have operated until the upper one was done, so only the upper element is damaged. The elements are "generic" so you do not have to worry about anything other than getting a "low watt density" one. You will recognize it because it has a "double" fold whereas the cheaper "high watt density" one are a single "U" shape.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member troydavin's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help. One more question. According to Rheem, my heating elements are resistored "to help prolong tank life". My local plumbing store doesn't have "resistored" elements. Should I care?

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    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by troydavin View Post
    I'm assuming I broke either one or both of the elements
    it uses 240V 4500W elements.
    Check them with a meter, the old ones and the new ones you get. Troubleshooting is hard enough without having DOA parts.
    They should read ([240 v] ^2)/4500 w = 13 ohms.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 11-22-2010 at 05:38 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    "Resistorized"? I am wondering if they have 1 3/8" elements in the heater, and if so there would normally be a label on the outside stating that. Those have an anode element to prolong tank life, and if that is what yours has, the conventional elements are too small to thread into the heater. I have only known of one brand and only one of their models which had those elements, so far, and it was discontinued years ago. "resistorizing" the elements would have NOTHING to do with extending the tank life, and little to do with extending the elements life, but would sound impressive as a sales gimmick.
    Last edited by Terry; 11-24-2010 at 10:59 AM.

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    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    "Resistorized"?
    a sales gimmick.
    Whatever "resistorized" means, they almost certainly all use a resistance element and therefore there is no information conveyed to the buyer that is useful to the buyer.

    To go off on my customary tangent:
    In general, how much information is in a phrase, sentence or paragraph?

    Compare a politician saying "I'm a great guy and I always was" with the headline "Toddler, unharmed, kills rattler at picnic" The second sentence contains much more information because it is unexpected.

    Muting a politician on TV every time he or she says something expected would be like cutting the ads out of magazines. You'd have nothing left.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 11-24-2010 at 09:42 AM.

  9. #9
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I have elements that still provide "some" resistance heating, and give very odd readings on an ohmmeter. On inspection, the casing is blown out, and the resistance wire is in the water, breaker not blown. Go figure.

    The elements are "generic" so you do not have to worry about anything other than getting a "low watt density" one. You will recognize it because it has a "double" fold whereas the cheaper "high watt density" one are a single "U" shape.

    Here are some exceptions: I have an electric water heater feeding into a gas Polaris for radiant floor heating and tap water. The electric unit does 95% of the work.

    I have a trash can full of elements of every make, color and style and can say I am an expert in the destruction of elements. I have rewired the heater so that both 4500w elements are on together. The water is top quality but quite a bit of dissolved solids that build up on the element.

    Element type 1] High watt density about 12" long various types of outer sheath - copper, nickel, no-name.

    Type 2] Low watt density, a single fold back, perhaps 1/2 the watt density.

    Type 3] Ripple element, able to dry fire, 10 year warranty. Super low watt density.

    Expensive test results: Ripple elements are junk, usually sold by Camco. Customer No-service. Some blew out in a week, looks like the ripples cause stress points. Also blow out at the base. Poor mfg process most likely.

    Low watt density. Used those most of the time. Some from Graingers with a nickel alloy sheath lasted 2 or three years plus. Others blow in a few months.

    Went back to high watt density, got the longest life. My conclusion is that the calcium builds up on the low watt density elements until it becomes quite a good insulator, overheating the element internals.

    The high watt density I am guessing gets hot enough to expand and crack the calcium layer, allowing it to self clean. A huge pile of stalagtites in the bottom of the heater seems to verify that.

    They may look generic, but are anything but. Perhaps my use is extreme in the winter. I am about to pull the anode rod and see if its decayed. Websites say to change the rod every 5 years [?]

  10. #10
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    On inspection, the casing is blown out, and the resistance wire is in the water, breaker not blown. Go figure.

    self clean
    I've managed to get saturated salt water to conduct an amp or so @ 120v but I'd be very surprised if tap water in a WH tripped a breaker.
    The design goal was for a window fan that runs slowly and automatically stops after a time when the night air becomes cooler. The salt water jar in series with the fan slows the motor and after a while the water boils away. - - It was dangerous as all get out- -

    On the other hand the high watt density stresses the element more than low watt density, if this term means what I think it means. I guess calcium shedding wins.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 11-24-2010 at 12:30 PM.

  11. #11
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I did find a "resistorized" anode rod replacement, but no explanation of what it means.

  12. #12
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I discovered that the original poster has a rig with a resistor built into the anode rod to slow down its action. Only rheem did it.

    Nothing to do with the element.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member dstrombe's Avatar
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    Default Really confused

    I bought a house. It is only 5 years old which is why I am so confused. My wife has been screaming about the hot water, so I just checked the water heater. It is a Rheem model # 82V52-2, both elements should be 4500 watts. To my amazement, labeled on each element is a part number SG1153L. My search for these elements tell me they are 1500 watts. I called Rheem, they told me they should be part number SP10552MH or SP10552ML 4500 watt elements. Now I'm nervous. Why would someone put in 1500 watt units? Should I put the 4500 watt units in? Is there a reason for the 1500 watt elements?

  14. #14
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    They didnt use much hot water.

    Or the wires and breaker are set up for 1500 watt elements. Check it out.

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The tank will still heat up, but it will be only 1/3'rd as fast, plus, you won't have as much capacity since the upper one won't be able to keep things hot as well during use. Good point to verify the supply wiring and breaker.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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