We have a maytag 1200 series 50gal ELECTRIC hot water heater.We have two sets of elements that we use for it ,for the last 5+yrs. This is to make sure all of the air has been removed from the tank, and the … Heating elements on electric water heaters sometimes fail long before the water heater, but replacing them in a hot water heater is an easy DIY repair. But then a little later your water heater’s circuit breaker tripped again. If your heater is reaching old age, it might be time to consider a water heater replacement.. Best value: Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater Tronic 3000 T 2.5-Gallon (ES2.5) - Eliminate Time for Hot Water - Shelf, Wall or Floor Mounted 12. Disconnect both wires to both elements. A burnt-out element is a common cause of water heater woes. Photo source. This morning, NO HOT WATER. This happens because the installer fails to open a hot water faucet while the heater tank is filling with water and therefore purging or bleeding air from the system. I don't think I've heard of an electric heater causing fire outside of the unit itself. Solution: Clean your water heater regularly and wipe off the dust and other debris that accumulate over time to resolve this issue. If you have used up all the hot water while the power was out, you have to give your water heater time to heat more water. If someone has, please do tell Yours, Larry Those pockets allow the upper element to burn while not immersed in water, resulting in failure. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas. If you find that your home's hot water runs out quickly or that it's only lukewarm, a defective heating element may be the culprit. It is not an instant heating device. I lost my hot water today. Newly installed electric water heaters are normally trouble free. Electrical Panels 101: A Homeowner’s Guide to Breaker Boxes, How to Buy Surge Protectors for Your Home, The breaker itself is worn out and tripping needlessly, A wire is loose in the electrical panel, which is causing a short circuit. The Installation Instructions require that a hot water faucet be opened and the hot water allowed to run full for at least three minutes before turning the power on. The most common problem with electric water heaters is a burned out upper heating element ("Dry Fired"). Here are a few signs your water heater will give before going burst. Diagram of an electric water heater with 2 heating elements. So you went to your electrical panel and reset the breaker. This short circuit can flip the high limit switch on your water heater and/or cause the water heater’s breaker to trip. Be sure you check the unit to find out what caused activation of the high limit switch, however. Heavy gauge wires feed electricity to the elements. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Most of the electric water heaters two heating elements, upper and lower, where the screw-in type is the most common type, as it is easy to install, remove and service. George Brazil Plumbing and Electrical can help you fix your electric water heater if you live in the Phoenix area. But burn rates haven't declined much, so a scientist wanted to find out … Contact us today. But sometimes, the heating element casing can split and expose the electrical components directly to the water or tank. How Often Should One Change the Heating Elements in a Water Heater? An element generates enough heat that it can burn through its copper core in under a minute if the heat does not transfer to water. The heating element is the part of your water heater that heats the water. The problem may not actually be with the water heater. Thermostat burned up, etcetera. Mineral deposits in the water hasten an element’s demise. The wires that are attached to the #4 second from top right side terminal are burned. Photo source. How to Change a Heating Element on a Kenmore Elite HE3 Dryer, How to Check the Continuity on a Water Heater Element, How to Check Heating Elements in Hot Water Heaters, Don Vandervort’s Home Tips: Water Heater Troubleshooting & Repairs, Friendly Plumber: Troubleshooting Your Hot Water Heater, Don Vandervort’s Home Tips: Electric Water Heater Repairs. The first think I checked was the upper thermostat with ECO reset button. Elements install on the side of the tank and come into direct contact with the water. Why Is a Burning Smell Coming from My Circuit Breaker Box? ... can be enough to burn out an element. Thermostats have a red reset button that restores the flow of electricity. Smith PNS-50 ProMax Short Electric Water Heater, 50 gal 8.00/10 11. Continual cycling to satisfy hot water demand eventually wears out the element. Electric water heaters use either 120- or 240-volt power (240 volts is more common) to energize metal heating elements that protrude into the water heater tank through the side wall. Water Heater Takes Time To Heat Water. Models with the smaller capacity, including point-of-use models, have only one heating element. More often than not, the problem is a burned out water heater element. A water heater must be completely full of water before electric power is applied or the upper heating element will burn out (this is called Dry Fire). When a hot water heater quits producing hot water, the problem may be a faulty thermal cutout, thermostat or heater element. The heating cycle causes dissolved minerals to solidify. If the electric water heater produces the same old hot water temperature, but the quantity seems drastically reduced, we suspect that the bottom water heater element has burned out. Manufacturers of water heaters agreed in 1988 to set all heaters at 120 degrees Fahrenheit to help reduce tap water burns. Keeping the hatch covers on tightly is good as it likely prevents much oxygen from getting to the fire, snuffing it out. Gas-fired models, on the other hand, have a burner at the base of the water heater. Like most parts, water heater elements have a finite working life. If you have a standard-sized water heater, it probably holds about 40 gallons of water. On an electric water heater, only one heating element is on at a time. If you still have hot water, but maybe only about a shower’s worth, the culprit is probably a bad lower element. Voltages above this rating will burn out the element. Over time, your water heater can accumulate dust and other debris and when it runs the dust and other debris can burn up, causing a burning dust smell. Privacy Policy. Looking at a new energy efficient model would be a wise choice and an electric water heater could save you money in the long run. Troubleshooting an Overheating Electric Hot Water Heater, How to Replace the Bottom Heating Element on a Hot Water Heater. A visual inspection of the burned-out heating element showed that it was indeed burned-out. I removed both heater covers, and noticed at the upper thermostat that two wires had burnt insulation, and were shorting out against each other. The most common cause of burned out elements on new water heater installations or new element replacements is DRYFIRE. Replacing a thermostat on an electric water heater is much simpler that on a gas water heater, and you can make the repair without having to drain the tank. A.O. The top thermostat has a safety stat (red button) that trips or "pops out" when the temperature of the water in the tank rises over 180 degrees. You need to turn power off to the heater. He is a certified Master Naturalist, regularly monitors stream water quality and is the editor of freshare.net, a site exploring the Ozarks outdoors. When the water temperature in your water heater exceeds 180°, the red reset button (also known as the high-limit switch) trips. The heating element is the part of your water heater that heats the water. Heating elements can burn out. Fast Water Heater company discusses how to troubleshoot a failing electric water heater. Gas-fired models, on the other hand, have a burner at the base of the water heater. But before we get into those problems, there are a few things you need to know: Okay, with that out of the way, let’s look at the possible problems that are causing your electric water heater to trip your breaker. Copyright © 2020 George Brazil Plumbing & Electrical. This draws more electricity than the circuit can handle, causing the circuit breaker to trip. 4. ... Water at this temperature will burn your skin in a hot second. Here’s the most likely problem: The water in your water heater is getting too hot. Went to breaker, it was RED-OFF. There are smaller and larger tanks, ranging from about 30 to 65-gallon capacities. Finding the source of the leak will tell you where fault lies. Burnt out heating element. Only electric hot water heaters use elements to warm water. Water heater element with the flange (bolt-in type) is another type but is used less. Only the water in the top of the tank is being heated. All heating elements have a voltage rating. All Rights Reserved. Water heater explosions are rare but when they do happen, they can be devastating. The upper element will burn out if the tank isn't completely full of water when the power is turned on. water heater is caused by a burned out element. And it "appeared" to have been burned-out for some time (not just a recent occurence). Several issues can arise that cause the element to fail. Each heating element is controlled by a thermostat; both thermostats “talk” to each other to ensure that only one heating element is on at a time. With the power on if there is power at the element, then the element has burned out, and can be easily replaced. Most electric water heaters have 2 heating elements: one on top and one on the bottom. Usually, when the heating elements fail, they simply burn out and the only way you’ll notice is that the water isn’t as hot as it once was. Rheem RTG-84XLN-1 Tankless Water Heater View All It calls out to the upper electric water heater thermostat, and as long as the upper half of the tank is still hot, it will energize the lower element. These conditions also pose a safety problem because they could lead to arcing, or to a hot wire grounding through metal on the tank. Usually the cause of overheated water is a lower heating element that has a leak to ground. The procedure is no more difficult than replacing a standard wall switch, but water heaters use 240-volt power, so be extra careful to shut off the power and test the wires for voltage before touching any electrical connections or wires. Water Heater Smells Like: Burning Dust. However, when a thermostat goes bad, it can create a problem where both heating elements run at the same time. In most residential units, the elements are only energized one at a time. Signs your Water Heater is about to Explode. Okay, with that out of the way, let’s look at the possible problems that are causing your electric water heater to trip your breaker. The scenario: You noticed your electric water heater tripped the circuit breaker. A thermostat helps regulate when elements heat the water, based on the set temperature level. Sometimes one element fails causing the other element to work overtime. Most water heaters have two heating elements—one … Leaking pressure relief valve; The pressure relief valve is usually located at the top of heater, on the side. Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping? I reset, it returned to RED-OFF. Cold water enters and remains at the bottom of the water heater. It could be that: If a plumber has checked out your water heater and everything seems to be working fine, you should have an electrician check the electrical connections. Forced to work harder, the element eventually fails. The average service life of a water heater is between 8 to 12 years. This helps rid the tank of sediment and prolongs the life of the elements. Robert Korpella has been writing professionally since 2000. Water heater elements must never operate unless immersed in water. Many people will just live with this condition instead of repairing the water heater, but pay for it in inconvenience and an increased power bill. Air pockets can develop should the hot water system not be bled when filling a tank. So the red reset button on your electric water heater keeps popping out and needing to be reset. How Electric Water Heaters Work . If the unit is powered with the correct voltage, and still does not produce any hot water, the upper heating element has probably burned out. After replacing the upper heating element, I filled the tank with water (I had only drained it a little below the upper element), bled air out of the hot water lines, and turned the circuit breaker back on. Watch out: turning on electrical power to an electric water heater if the heater's elements are not under-water, that is if there is air in the water heater cylinder or tank will usually result in an immediate burn-up and desctruction of the water heater elements. A sudden voltage increase to the element caused by a power surge from the utility company, or by lightning, can be enough to burn out an element. These devices have a high limit switch that shuts off power to the elements when temperatures exceed normal. An electric heater takes around twice as long. Most electric water heaters have 2 … In some cases, mineral sediment collects at the bottom of the water heater tank, encasing the lower element. What causes burned wires on electric water heater thermostat? A water heater element wrench is needed to get the element out of the empty tank, and can be purchased at your local home center. A poor connection, or a wire that has slipped off a terminal can cause an element to stop working. Author: cessnat37 I have a Whirlpool electric water heater Model# E50R6-45 100. They can coat an element, acting like a jacket of insulative material. Only electric hot water heaters use elements to warm water. You can turn off power to your water heater and drain the tank every few months. Korpella's work has appeared in a variety of publications. Do not wait for a catastrophe. 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