Electric water heater Q

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Tala, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I have a 40gal electric water heater. I like REALLY hot water in the wintertime.
    Last winter my dad and I replaced the lower heating element - obviously because it wasn't heating. It's a $10 part, no biggie, the hardest part is waiting for the tank to drain, right? I had hot water the rest of the winter I know.
    Over the summer I set the thermostat down lower about 100*F, because Saline County water is comfortable for showering in the summertime at "tap cold" anyway. I have no idea if the lower heating element is working in the summertime because I'm practically using tap temp water for everything anyway.
    I cranked it back up again for the winter, oh about a month ago, because by the same standard the winter water is also about the same temp as the outside air temp!

    Anyway, I notice that AGAIN I can't take much of a shower before the hot water runs out. Tonight I get up the gumption to clean out the closet a bit and check it out. Zip nada, the entire bottom of the tank is COLD!
    Why is my lower thermostat buring out so often, and the top one is not???? As far as I know the top one has never been replaced, but this'll be the second bottom one in 2 years! grrr! Should I look into replacing some other part??? Or maybe they're just cheap and I have bad luck?

    (Obviously I'm not up for buying a whole new unit until I HAVE to, so don't go suggesting that I buy a tankless system or geothermal system, or anything drastic like that)
     
  2. geepy

    geepy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    try changing both of them at the same time and see if that works. [​IMG]
     
  3. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Quote:sounds like sludge in the bottom of your tank. Hook up a hose to the lower drain, shut off the electricricity to it....... shut off the water intake..... then open the drain by the spigot....... you will get allllllllllllllllllllllllll kids of sludge out of there. Problem solved.... also, while it's off and empty, pull out the annode rode from the top and see if it's wore out. Water heaters I know.. a boiler system [​IMG] save me!
     
  4. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:sounds like sludge in the bottom of your tank. Hook up a hose to the lower drain, shut off the electricricity to it....... shut off the water intake..... then open the drain by the spigot....... you will get allllllllllllllllllllllllll kids of sludge out of there. Problem solved.... also, while it's off and empty, pull out the annode rode from the top and see if it's wore out. Water heaters I know.. a boiler system [​IMG] save me!

    Actually that's pretty much how we drained it to replace the element last year. Nothin much came out except plain ole water [​IMG]

    What's an annode rod?
     
  5. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Quote:sounds like sludge in the bottom of your tank. Hook up a hose to the lower drain, shut off the electricricity to it....... shut off the water intake..... then open the drain by the spigot....... you will get allllllllllllllllllllllllll kids of sludge out of there. Problem solved.... also, while it's off and empty, pull out the annode rode from the top and see if it's wore out. Water heaters I know.. a boiler system [​IMG] save me!

    Actually that's pretty much how we drained it to replace the element last year. Nothin much came out except plain ole water [​IMG]

    What's an annode rod?

    sacrificial metal .......... the water oxidizes that instead of yer elements.
     
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Ok that makes sense. I know underground gas tanks have them too.... lol
    Um......so where would mine be?? assuming that I have one.

    I'll tell ya right now that I probably have the cheapest 40gal tank that Home Depo carries - that could be the problem [​IMG]
     
  7. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    Quote:Ok that makes sense. I know underground gas tanks have them too.... lol
    Um......so where would mine be?? assuming that I have one.

    I'll tell ya right now that I probably have the cheapest 40gal tank that Home Depo carries - that could be the problem [​IMG]

    usually at the tippy top of the tank by the water inlets.
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    All I'm seein are the cold water IN, hot water OUT, Temp/pressure release valve, and power IN.....plus 3 unidentified empty holes that have "plugs" in the top to keep the insulation in.
    will get u a pic
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  9. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
  10. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    MI
    but be VERY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! careful anytime you work on one of those. They get VERY hot. Unless you drain it and do a safe shut off, don't pull the caps.
     

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