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Thread: problem ..scalding hot water from electric water heater

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    DIY Junior Member idreos's Avatar
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    Default problem ..scalding hot water from electric water heater

    I have a 60 gallon State Select electric water heater that is 4 years old.
    Recently it started putting out scalding hot water. I shut off the breakers and looked at the top and bottom thermostat and set both to the lowest temperature. It worked okay for two weeks,
    but the scalding water problem started again. Has one or both of the thermostats gone bad?
    Any other suggestions on what the problem may be? Thanks for you help

  2. #2
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idreos View Post
    Recently it started putting out scalding hot water. I shut off the breakers and looked at the top and bottom thermostat and set both to the lowest temperature. It worked okay for two weeks,
    but the scalding water problem started again. Has one or both of the thermostats gone bad?
    Any other suggestions on what the problem may be? Thanks for you help
    The [lower?] thermostat contacts may be intermittently sticking closed. You'd need a temperature higher than the setpoint temp. to confirm this or you could gamble the price of a new 'stat and just replace it.

    I can't imagine what else it could be.
    Last edited by Thatguy; 12-13-2010 at 05:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    As I stated elsewhere, a "failed" element can override a thermostat, and it is MUCH more common than a bad thermostat. (In 60 years I have changed thousands of elements and maybe a dozen or so thermostats.) In any case DO NOT start changing parts until you, or a plumber, diagnose the heater to determine the REAL problem, not what someone is guessing about. Otherwise you will spend a lot of money needlessly, and could still have the original problem.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member idreos's Avatar
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    Default Could loose circuit breaker cause the problem???

    When shutting the double breaker I noticed the breaker was loose on the clamp side..I shut main and fixed the loose clamp on the breaker..is it possible the loose breaker somehow caused the intermittent scalding water????

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    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idreos View Post
    When shutting the double breaker I noticed the breaker was loose on the clamp side..I shut main and fixed the loose clamp on the breaker..is it possible the loose breaker somehow caused the intermittent scalding water????
    I don't see how, but who knows?

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member EdHitchens's Avatar
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    I have the same issue with our 4-year old Kenmore Power Miser 9 electric. Last Nov we had the Sears repair guy out to have a look and he seemed positive that the elements were fine and that it was likely one of the t-stats that was acting up. As we were able to reset the unit by flipping the main breaker and then pushing the red reset button on the heater, we postponed the repair while waiting to see if the problem would reoccur. Last week it did. My wife has now reached the "please fix this" phase.

    Is it difficult for a DiY'er to replace the t-stats? I can get the parts as they are covered by warranty but have no electrical or plumbing background whatsoever. Would I be better off paying the service tech to come back in (labor is not covered) or is this something even a guy like me (who has replaced a few household t-stats) could manage with a little caution and perhaps a little over-the-shoulder from someone with a clue? Thanks.

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