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Electric Water Heater Not Working?

water heater not heating, should get a new one or is there someting i can do to fix it

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  1. Comment by wwwstat
    January 23, 2010 @ 9:28 am

    if it just stopped heating all together in one day then it is possible you have a kicked breaker or the safety limit on the water heater kicked. or the top element or thermostat is bad..if it has two elements (most do especially if it is over three feet tall)…then the high temp limit is connected to the thermostat control of the top element…it will have a red reset button in the center of it….if the breaker is not kicked turn it off and go try to reset your safety switch..if it made a poping noise then it was knocked and this indicates that one of your thermostat control for one of the elements is bad…turn the power back on and see if it will heat up….the way a water heater works is from a full hot tank of water you start using water, when you cause the water temp to drop a certain amount the bottom element will come on and start reheating the water…if you contuine using water then the top element will come on and will stay on until the water gets to a certain temp …then it will kick off and the bottom element will come back on and finish heating the water…then it will kick off…if the bottom element is bad you would still get hot water but it would run out fast….if the top element is bad you will not have any hot water as it will not heat up the water in the top of the heater enough to cause the top element to kick off and the bottom element to kick on…if there is no hot water in the heater, if the top element or its thermostat is bad it will not heat any water at all …

  2. Comment by gejandso
    January 23, 2010 @ 11:09 am

    You must first find out why it quit working , so you can make an intelligent decision.
    If you are not knowledgeable about electrical devices, you’ll need some help from someone who is.
    Check the breaker first. Check for fire at the element.
    Each wire should read 110 volts with a multi meter, one lead on the screw & the other on a ground (such as th tank).
    If both read 110 then check from screw to screw, it should read 220. If it doesn’t then the element is bad.
    If you don’t get 110 volts from the screws to ground , then the thermostat is bad.
    This will get you started.
    Good luck

  3. Comment by T C
    January 23, 2010 @ 1:20 pm

    If the unit is ten years old or so, get a new one, if less than seven, drain it and see if the water is cloudy. If it is, completely drain flush and drain again. If it just quit today (lately), try resetting the breaker in the electrical panel.

  4. Comment by camoko
    January 23, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

    You can replace the thermostat and the heating element. Costs about $20.00 and you can do it yourself….

  5. Comment by chief
    January 23, 2010 @ 9:47 pm

    wow you know water heaters have 2 elements so usually you know the water heater is losing heated water but you put off fixing it till you have absolutely NO hot water. Is this the case? because if the heater died all of a sudden, I would get an electrician to inspect and replace the breaker. That would be first. Aint no way you are supposed to go from hot to no hot. you first go from hot to not so hot to just plain cold. If the breaker is ok Then the next thing to do is inspect the elements. check each element for continuity NOTE: at least one of the wires needs to be disconnected from each element to prevent backfeed and false readings. If each element is ok then the controls will be next. Just replace them both. no need to check them,nothing else could be the matter. If you have good elements and 240 volts to the machine then the controls have gone out. Here is how it works: The bottom element comes on first.when that thermostat is satisfied, then that element is shut down and the top element is engaged and the water is topped off with heat from the upper element. Both elements cannot come on at the same time. The amp draw would be too much and the breaker would flip. So first be sure the power is there, 2nd check the elements, last, replace both the controls.(upper thermostat and lower thermostat)remember both controls are the same age. If one is failed the other will not be far behind. Now is the time to replace them both.

  6. Comment by Uncle Johnny
    January 24, 2010 @ 2:34 am

    Its real easy to check if you have a couple of tools.http://appliancequickfix.com/ will give you step by step instructions on how to do it.

  7. Comment by richard Alvarado
    January 24, 2010 @ 7:34 am

    Electric water heaters are relatively easy to fix. There are only two things that can go wrong…..
    1. the control circuit can fail….but this is not usually the problem.
    2. The heating element will burn out. This element is located at the side of the water heater near the bottom. It looks like a bolt screwed into the side.
    I have replaced them before and the biggest problem will be to find a replacement. Depending upon where you purchased the water heater will determine how successful you are. I would try going to the appliance section of Sears or your local appliance store first.
    Be sure to get the same wattage heater as the original heater element.

  8. Comment by len b
    January 24, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    Lots of good advice here. If the water tank is not leaking, and it isn’t ver 10 years old, it is worth repairing.

  9. Comment by Jose P
    January 24, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    it’s really a complicated question;have you check the power into it,make sure the breaker is on if so, the next step do you want to replace the heating element or do you want to have a newer appliance two things you must take into consideration what is that make the element short out ? simple calcium deposits on the bottom when water heater’s became old they ussually accumulate little balls off calcium this balls make harder forthe elements to heate up the water and specially if they are electric ,how can you tell such symtoms, again simple when water it’s getting demanded ussually it’s a noise like someone is scratching or knocking inside the heater ,I recommend you to flush your unit at least once a year
    then also whatever your decision be think on your electric bill ,also one more thig the newer your heater the most energy efficint it be good luck

  10. Comment by fred bean
    January 24, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

    more than likely its the heating element gone bad. depending on the type you have you may be able to fix it yourself or just buy a new one. there are lots of websites that do it yourselfers can look to for help on this.dont forget to check your breaker and make sure it hasnt tripped. this make fix it temporarily but you still need to find out why it tripped the breaker if thats the case

  11. Comment by Roy Laufter
    June 25, 2010 @ 4:58 am

    Our hot water heater mysteriously stopped working, also. We did all mentioned above (changed element, voltage meter showed power to all) after 2 days of trial and error, it turned out to be loose breaker screws connection behind breaker panel face plate. I guess we had to voltage, but not the ampage.

  12. Comment by Jay Sevilla
    June 25, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

    I replaced a 10 yr old water heater with a new GE water heater from Home Depot the first one lasted 2 weeks and this second one is also 2 weeks. What is going on? Any ideas?

  13. Comment by Jay Sevilla
    June 25, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    I replaced a 10 yr old water heater with a new GE water heater from Home Depot the first one lasted 2 weeks and this second one is also 2 weeks. What is going on? Any ideas?It just stopped working approximately within the same time frame within a day or so

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