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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

Hot Water Heater

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Whizkidkyus

12-15-2013 11:46:08




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Hi ,


School me on how a 220 volt AC hot water heater works . I know the basics. Mine isn't very old at lest within the last 5 years . About 30 - 40 gallon . Located in root celler below utility room. Both thermostats set on 120. Dual elements. Have to take a speed shower or run out of hot water in less than 5 minutes .Had a bad hot water leak about two months ago leaked for about a week before I could fix it . Tripped breaker . Reset and worked , fixed leak and worked for a few weeks and tripped breaker again . Reset breaker and it works , but as before hot water doesn't last long ,app. 5 minutes . Tested with digital tester a couple of weeks ago . Used all the hot water and went down and tested it as it was reheating. I had ( without going back in cellar to retest , but from memory ) app. 120 vac - 220 vac at the top element and 110 at bottom element . I know that the elements unscrew from them to replace , but do you use a special sockets / wrenchs or just everyday tools ? For what it's worth we are on city water and I'm only in there to bathe and wash hair ,shave and brush teeth . Mom takes a bath and uses hot water to wash clothes three times a week , at least three loads . Hot water used to last longer .Any ideas ? Thanks for any and all help .

Thanks,
Whizkid

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showcrop

12-16-2013 09:37:25




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
If you do need a new element and you do have hard water you want to get a "Low Watt Density" element. They last a lot longer in hard water. You would probably have to go to a supply house to get one. Before you go to get it measure how much length the tank will accommodate. The water will need to be drained in order to measure.



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FBH44

12-16-2013 02:42:25




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
There's s special socket you can buy that fits the element. You might have real hard water, with lots of minerals, and if IF you can get the bottom elementout, youmight try to clean out all the lime deposits. Real PITA. Make sure you really REMOVE the electrical wiring connected, and shut off the water first.



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huntingreen2day2

12-15-2013 23:17:18




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
More than likely the bottom element. You do not have to drain the water to change an element. Especially the screw in type. Get your stuff together, cut the water off, screw the bad one out real quick and screw the new one in. Done it many times. Might lay a towel down to catch the couple gurgles of water that get out. Takes too long to drain the water out.



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Bill(Wis)

12-15-2013 18:49:29




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
You know, I was intently reading all of these posts and trying to come up with some sort of solution when I suddenly realized that, on my farm, I have a GE water heater that was installed in 1947. It has never failed and, as far as I know, has never had anything replaced on it. It is very large, stands in the basement, and just produces volumes of hot water.



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johnlobb

12-16-2013 04:58:23




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Bill(Wis), 12-15-2013 18:49:29  
My dad built a house in 1958 and installed a used water heater and it lasted (with 5 kids) until 2002 when he passed away. Some of those old heaters had a monel tank. Monel is a type of high grade stainless steel. They will NEVER rust out. They stopped doing that because the manufacturers got no repeat business.



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Bill(Wis)

12-16-2013 06:57:26




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to johnlobb, 12-16-2013 04:58:23  
FleetFarm sells a heavy duty stainless steel water heater designed for dairy farms. Thought I'd look into that if I ever do need one.



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JohnDeere720GA

12-15-2013 18:14:45




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
Another possibility is the dip tube is broken off and not putting the incoming cold water at the bottom of the tank.



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big daddy t

12-15-2013 17:37:30




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
It is probably an element as many have said but that water heater still might be under warrenty and you could get the part for free. Dont just replace one do both at the same time because you have to drain the tank. My plumber replaced both of mine giving me one under the manurfactures warrenty for 179 well worth it.



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El Toro

12-15-2013 16:46:04




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
If you have NG or LP gas in your area I would switch. My last water heater lasted 19 years and Sears replaced it free. Hal



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GordoSD

12-15-2013 16:24:55




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
I have a new 30 gallon water heater and I can take a LONG shower before it starts to cool down. I took enough "Navy Showers" in my life I don't need them now. (Water on, Wet down, water off, wash, water on, rinse, water off." Water on no more than 60 seconds.)



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dpendzic

12-15-2013 16:15:27




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
check both elements for continuity, the relay that switches element power, and the cold water dip tube



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James Williams

12-15-2013 15:51:00




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
I found it to be better to check a elemnt by checking voltage.Check voltage with the wires still on the elemnt,if 220 this means your themo. is working and correct voltage is going to your elemnt,then remove one wire from your elemnt.Check the voltage from the empty termnal to the wire you just removed,if 220 your elemnt is good,if 120 your elemnt is bad

jimmy



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petermiddletn

12-15-2013 15:48:23




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
Lower element, when working properly it will kick on when hot water in tank starts to run low.



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buickanddeere

12-15-2013 16:26:33




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to petermiddletn, 12-15-2013 15:48:23  
Wrong. Bottom element comes on last. When the tank is getting cool. Only the top element is energized for fastest recovery. Sounds like the bottom element is not energizing and heating up the remaining 80% of the tank.



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farmerwithmutt

12-15-2013 15:34:48




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
if i remeber corectly the top is set lower then the bottom temp. the theory is that cold sinks and hot rises thus creating circulation in tank



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Dick2

12-15-2013 14:00:01




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
Lower element is not working. Most probably the element is burned out, but it could also be the thermostat.

Hardware stores have a special wrench to use to screw out the element. Just reading the voltage will not tell you if the element is working; you would need a meter that can read the amerage going through a wire to determine if the element is actually working.

I think ours may have the same problem, but it will have to wait until I recover from my concussion before I work on it.

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Janicholson

12-15-2013 13:29:13




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
Between 9 and 11 ohms on a good element, with both wires detached from it. If there is any conductivity on a 1000 Ohm Scale to the tank from the elment screws it is also toast even if it has the right Ohms across the screws. Jim



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tomNE

12-15-2013 13:14:47




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
we have had a electric heater in our house over 50yrs. they make a special curved element for heaters with lime deposits BUT if you put one in, you need to drain and flush the tank at least once a year. if its down in a hole with no drain; it will be more of a challenge but you should still hook a hose onto the drain nozzle on the heater and let cold water run for an hour. be sure to turn off electricity. mine is on the main floor, so I turn off the water and open the vent on top the tank and drain it dry, then flush it a few times. they do clean out nice. if you have a wash tub to run it into in the cellar, you can get an elec pump and put it into the tub.
only caution I will give is the factory drain valve isn't very high quality. it might be fun to get it to shut completely off. I now change my valve. but never failed to get the factory one shut off but it worried me!
also; I use socket from my 3/4 drive set.

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Duner Wi

12-15-2013 12:43:44




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
I have heard of changing elements this way. Never tried it. Did not watch the video either.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyC55h7lhYM



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Case Nutty 1660

12-15-2013 12:43:17




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
I agree check both elements and if you have water that has high mineral deposits like ours here I buy a special element kit from Home Depot they last at least twice as long as the std ones



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jdemaris

12-15-2013 12:34:37




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
The two heating elements are never supposed to be on at the same time. When all is cold the top comes on first. When the top level of the tank gets hot - the top element shuts off and the lower element comes on. When the entire tank is warm the bottom then shuts off. If the bottom burns out, the tank will still make hot water but not an awful lot.



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bill mart

12-15-2013 12:14:07




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
said this before, I call it a " water heater " hot water is already hot. Just a pet peeve of mine calling it a hot water heater. Bill



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Dr. Walt

12-15-2013 23:57:42




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to bill mart, 12-15-2013 12:14:07  
If you really want to get technical - It's a COLD water heater. It turns COLD water into HOT water. Tanks are even labeled "Cold IN" & "Hot OUT".

LOL



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bill mart

12-16-2013 09:57:55




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Dr. Walt, 12-15-2013 23:57:42  
good point , I may just start calling it a cold water heater. Bill



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Ralphwd45

12-15-2013 21:05:07




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to bill mart, 12-15-2013 12:14:07  
I wondered when someone would mention the terminology. The wife calls me on it often, Then, come to think about it, she always has thought that she was superior.



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old-9

12-15-2013 15:46:00




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to bill mart, 12-15-2013 12:14:07  
It doesen't get better than George. About 30 seconds in .



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jdemaris

12-15-2013 12:29:15




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to bill mart, 12-15-2013 12:14:07  
I don't see it as that wacky a term. It IS a type of heater that makes "hot water."

Do you also get upset when someone calls pizza "pizza pie" which means "pie-pie"?



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old

12-15-2013 12:21:10




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to bill mart, 12-15-2013 12:14:07  
I was going to say something about that but decided not to LOL. But yes it is a water heater not a hot water heater



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JMS/.MN

12-15-2013 13:30:17




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to old, 12-15-2013 12:21:10  
I would be very disappointed if that reminder didn"t show up at least once. It"s almost criminal to let it pass by! LOL



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Jeff nwoh

12-15-2013 13:19:46




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to old, 12-15-2013 12:21:10  
Hot water maker?



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rrlund

12-15-2013 12:04:45




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
I've got a big socket in my 3/4 inch drive set that fits mine. Have you checked yours for sure to know that it unscrews? I've had them before that were held in by 4 bolts through a flange.
I changed one about six weeks ago that had a heck of a bunch of lime in the tank. I duct taped a piece of black plastic pipe in the hose on the wet/dry shop vac and sucked as much of it out as I could.



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old

12-15-2013 12:04:44




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
Take 1 wire off the lower element. Be sure to first turn the breaker off. Check the ohms. You should get a pretty low reading if it is good. If your reading is real high most likely the lower element is bad. On most water heaters electric that is it takes a 1-1/2 inch socket to remove the element. Also likely if you have hard water to have a good bit of lime build up and if you do you need to take a shop vac and rig up a pipe on it to suck out a lot of the lime or a new element will not last long.
BTDT to many times over the years

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ejr-IA.

12-15-2013 11:58:09




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to Whizkidkyus, 12-15-2013 11:46:08  
On the wrench I bought one at ace hard ware to fit the big hex nut.Their tough to get out sometimes.Sounds like you have a burned out element.



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2badlybent

12-15-2013 12:29:30




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to ejr-IA., 12-15-2013 11:58:09  
Follow the directions made on other posts and replace both elements. Sounds like you may have cooked both elements as even one will give you more heated water then the gallon or two you seem to have. If you are on city water the lime build-up will not be as bad as well water and you should have very little crud in the bottom of the tank.



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jimg.allentown

12-15-2013 14:20:10




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 Re: Hot Water Heater in reply to 2badlybent, 12-15-2013 12:29:30  
Don't be too sure of that! The city water here is so hard you can pound nails with it. If the Good Lord walked on water around here, nobody would notice. Everybody else walks on it too around here.



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