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Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2823
Experience:  20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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Whirlpool electric hot water heater. I have hot water in top

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Whirlpool electric hot water heater. I have hot water in top half of tank. I opened the pressure relief valve and the water was hot. I do not have hot water in the bottom of the tank. I opened the drain on the bottom of the tank and the water was cold.

Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience as a plumber. I'll be glad to assist you today.

The first thing to do would be to check the continuity of the element with a multimeter. Almost certainly the issue is that the element is burnt out but best to check.

If you are unfamiliar with testing voltages be sure to turn the power off and you can use an analog multimeter with a setting that beeps when you have continuity. If you touch the probes together it will beep and that is the same sound you will hear when touching the probes to each leg of the element. So, turn the power off, disconnect the wires from the element then put the multimeter on the correct setting, test it by touching the probes together, then touch each probe to the each wire connector and if no beep then new element is needed.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Busy. Will not be able to work on it until 14 January. As soon as I get to it, I will answer.

Sounds good to me.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I removed lower element. It is ok. Refilled tank. Have power at top element. No power at bottom element. Waiting to check after top element reaches temperature.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have power at the bottom element. Will check for hot water after a little while.

Are the thermostat settings on the upper and lower thermostat the same?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.

Is it getting power to the element and if you turn the thermostat down then you no longer get power to the element?

Mike R. and other Plumbing Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
OK, I am done. I have continuity in the system. The relay from the top to the bottom is working. The thermostats are set the same. Both elements are good. I have 2 - 50 gallon water heaters, both identical. On the one when I flush the bottom of the tank to clear the sediment, the water comes out hot. The one I have been working on, it comes out cold. That doesn't seem right. However, I am out of time and patience, so this is just the way it is, I can live with it. Thank you. I am done.

Sorry I had not seen this response until now. If the water heaters are at different locations that would be the cause of the issue. You have to split them up. I have a hard time explaining why but somehow when they are piped like that they draw the cold water back in from the other water heater.