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  1. #1
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    Hot Water Heater Trouble

    I have recently replaced the elements in my hot water heater. The first day I had hot water, by the second day, it again, is not producing hot water. It is a State Scout Water Heater from State Industries, 40 gallon tank, element watts are 4500. Could we have put in the wrong elements? Other ideas welcomed!

  2. #2
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    I checked the web site and 4500 watt elements are standard for all heaters. are your heater elements wired for sequential use or are they wired into an off peak meter?

  3. #3
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    Hot Water Heater Trouble

    Is it that it would be either/or - is it that it would be sequential or off-peak metered? I'm not sure which it is, but I don't think it's wired to an off-peak meter. Can you tell me how to check? What would you see as the problem of either/or method? Thank you so much for your help!

  4. #4
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    underneath the wiring cover, if the elements are wired with an offpeak meter there will be three leads connected to the heater - if sequential there will be only two connected to the heater. the wires of the heater go to the upper thermostat where the switching is done. initially when the heater is turned on, power is fed to the upper elements. this is a surface mounted thermostat. when its requirements are satisfied, then the "stat" switches to the lower element. when the whole tank is hot all thermostats shut off. when you draw water, cold is fed via the dip tube to the bottom of the tank. the lower stat detects this lower temperature and turns on again. the hot water always stratifies to the top of the tank. if the upper thermostat is shot or doesn't reset, then the lower element will never work.

  5. #5
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    Hot Water Heater Trouble

    It appears that there are only two wires attached to each element. Another thing my son noticed, was that when he removed the bottom element, it was broken off, as if rotted. He also noticed a few inches of what looked like perhaps copper shavings in the bottom? Is this one beyond repair? Or has some part deteriorated that can be replaced?

  6. #6
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    the bottom element is GONZO! definitely replace this one. the calrod unit [element] has a copper sheath on it, this is probably what's broken off and where you're getting those "shavings."

  7. #7
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    Well we've replaced both elements and no hot water yet. We've also replaced both thermostats, but to no benefit. One thing we noticed is that when we test across the top element, we get 240v, and when testing across the bottom element, we get 120v - is this normal? We've even hit the high-temp reset button before turning it on.
    Since the problem started when we replaced the elements, could the replacements be bad for some reason? The sticker on the side of the jacket said 4500watts, and so my son replaced them with 4500watt units, so it doesn't seem likely, but I don't know what else to try. Any ideas? Thank you a ton in advance!

  8. #8
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    How old is the water heater? -- Are you getting luke warm water or just cold water? Did you ensure the tank was full of water before you turned the electricity back on? If you didn't, you could have burned out the brand new elements you installed. You could always double check the new elements by taking a continuity tester ( usually less than $5.00 at a hardware store ), and touch one of the screw terminals on the element with one of the leads and touch the other screw terminal with the other lead. The red light on the tester should glow if the element's continuity is good and hasn't been burned out. Just make sure you kill the electricity before you do this test. --

  9. #9
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    Water heater wiring

    What follows is the wiring for a sequential heating wiring diagram for a dual element hot water heater. Both the upper element and the lower element operate off 240 volt. They're NOT supposed to operate at the same time or you'll blow your breaker. You said you only get 120 volt on the lower element. Check the wiring against the diagram. It's possible that the inter connection wiring [between the upper "stat" and the lower element] might be burnt open. In that case replace the wiring. The existing wiring is probably solid copper wire. Use 12 gauge type TW wire.
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