(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Help Afraid of Burning out water heater elements during water shutdown

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Crassius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default Help Afraid of Burning out water heater elements during water shutdown

    I have bad leaking faucet in the tub of hot water. I need to shut the water off.

    The only water cut off is BEFORE the electric water heater.

    I can turn the water heater off at the panel, but I don't know how it all works, and am afraid I'll burn out the elements.

    The sequence of how things are turned on and off is important I guess.

    Should I..

    1. Turn off the heater at the panel.

    2 Then, shut the valve in front of the heater.

    What happens then... my fear is the water level will go down in the water heater from the leak.

    If so... what sequence and what do I need to be careful about when I turn if back on...

    I guess I would turn the water valve back on first.... but how do I know for sure the water heater is full, before I turn the electricity back on at the panel. Is it automatic? Elements won't come on until there is enough water?

    Hope that makes sense. Any advice much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Bothell, Washington
    Posts
    14,201
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Turn off the breakers at the panel. For most heaters, that's a double breaker.

    When the water is turned back on, make sure that there is plenty of water coming from the hotside of the faucets. I like to run a tub and make sure it's been dumping plenty of water on the hot side.
    When you are sure that the air has been bled, then you can flip the breakers back on.

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member Crassius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Turn off the breakers at the panel. For most heaters, that's a double breaker.

    When the water is turned back on, make sure that there is plenty of water coming from the hotside of the faucets. I like to run a tub and make sure it's been dumping plenty of water on the hot side.
    When you are sure that the air has been bled, then you can flip the breakers back on.
    Thanks... That make sense. I didn't realize there were two breakers.... but there are two labeled as water heater... I was thinking the labels were wrong

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,401

    Default

    The CB for the WH is ganged...both switches are connected together. The two CB are what give the WH 240vac...a single one would only give it 120vac. Almost all residential electric WH are 240vac, unless it's a really small one or possibly one made for a mobile home.

    For the WH to drain and have a problem, the leak has to be below the outlet of the WH. If the WH is on the same floor as the valve you're working on, it could be a problem. If it is say in the basement, and the valve you're working on is upstairs, the WH can't drain (unless it, itself is leaking). But, the absolute safest way that would protect you however your system is layed out is the way Terry described.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member JerryR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    189

    Default

    I do this almost every week as I travel between two homes.

    Before leaving I turn off the WH breaker then shut off water main to house.

    Upon arriving I turn on the water main, go to kitchen and run hot water for a few minutes to make sure there is no air in the system, then i flip the breaker back on.

    Been doing this for 6 years at both homes almost on a weekly basis with no problems.
    JR

Similar Threads

  1. How to tell is water heater elements are ok
    By DavidTu in forum Water Heater Forum, Tanks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-12-2012, 01:06 PM
  2. "Wet" changing electric water heater elements.
    By ballvalve in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-08-2010, 11:01 AM
  3. Water heater question - cold water, water leaking thru overflow pipe
    By jonyi in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-26-2009, 01:26 PM
  4. Water heater elements replaced?
    By Guest in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-03-2008, 10:32 PM
  5. water heater elements
    By prd823 in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-06-2007, 07:46 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •