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Re: not enough hot water

Posted By: Don
Wednesday, 13 January 1999, at 10:38 a.m.

In Response To: not enough hot water (John)

John,

Yes the POWER HAS TO BE DISCONNECTED as you indicated..

One secret to checking resistance on anything is that it has to be isolated from the surrounding devices. You need to take at least one wire loose from each device you check. Before checking the element, remove one of the wires.. the stat.. remove a wire. This eliminates backfeed on the readings.

Resistance across the heater terminals should register. And the two elements should have similar readings. No meter movement indicates an open element. Also check each terminal to ground.. that would indicate the element is shorted out. (this would also be blowing fuses/breakers..)

Resistance across the termostat should be no movement when open or satisfied and full movement when calling or closed. More than likely in your case the stat is operating properly (unless it isn't coming on soon enough..)

Sounds more like you may have a build up of deposits in the bottom of the heater tank that has reduced the overall capacity AND is insulating the elements. If it's junk in the tank, you'd be lucky to get it out through that little drain at the bottom.. (DON'T OPEN that valve when the tank is on and HOT!!)

If you have a buildup of deposits on the elements you might be able to pull them out and clean them off, but be prepaired to buy new elements because if the buildup is heavy, they won't come out in one piece... (and the tank has to be off, cool, and drained below element level..)

It is also possible that the dip tube on the inlet to the water heater has rotted off. On the inlet there is normally a pipe on the inside of the tank that goes nearly to the bottom of the tank letting the cold water in at the bottom of the tank giving a better mix and shorter recovery. Hmmmmmmm

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