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Eric, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  Factory/company training at MAJOR retailer, now owns and operates an appliance repair business.
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my electric hotwater tank the lower heating element does not

Resolved Question:

my electric hotwater tank the lower heating element does not work but has electric
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.
Hello! Please give me the model number of the heater.
When you say you have power , are you measuring at the terminals to the element and more importantly, what is the reading you get when you measure it?

Edited by Eric on 10/28/2009 at 4:48 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
i just have light tester ther is electric running threw all the wires the top element works the wire leading to the bottom have electric just the element doesnt haveelectric
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.
So if you are saying that you have power at the terminals to the element coming FROM the thermostat TO the element, we need to know HOW MUCH . Specifically VOLTAGE. You will need a meter to do this. Depending on how your heater is wired , 120VAC or 240VAC should be present at the terminals for that element when the thermostat is on. Also check to make sure the limit switch button is pressed in. In order to diagnose this problem correctly, you really do need a meter to check the voltage at the element, the limit switch and the associated thermostat as well as continuity/resistance of a suspected component where you find an open circuit which should be closed assuming voltage supply tests good. Otherwise you are wasting your time with that test light, because you can make the test light activate with voltages far less than required to operate the element.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
if im getting the right amount of electric what do you think the problem would be? for future reference because im going now to get a tester
Expert:  Eric replied 6 years ago.
If you are getting the correct voltage reading at the element SUPPLY terminals , there is no reason for the element not to heat unless the element is bad or somehow grounds out when installed. I would check voltage at the leads with NO load first (disconnected) then check across the connected terminals with the element installed in the tank and the thermostat on and if you NOW have NO voltage across the terminals when you had correct voltage there before you connected the element, you element is likely grounded in the tank somehow, but that should trip the breaker so its unlikely. Since you say the other element works, we can isolate this problem to the lower heater circuit somewhere and rule out house power supply problems, but be sure of that. If you do NOT get the correct voltage reading on the LOWER element, but have correct voltage at the upper heater circuit, you need to be looking for problems with the lower thermostat.This should should show continuity when at temperatures lower than approximately 120 degrees, but depends on what you have yours set to and DEFINITELY should show continuity at or near room temp. Remember most water heaters with two elements can be wired for simultaneous element operation or non-simultaneous , and you could have a 120VAC or a 240VAC setup. Only YOU would know this since you are there and I am here.

Edited by Eric on 10/28/2009 at 5:33 PM EST
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