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Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12156
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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Maytag hot water heater. Water runs cool after only 2 or 3

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Maytag hot water heater. Water runs cool after only 2 or 3 gallons. Changed lower element, sediment needs to be cleaned out but didn't have the equipment there. This is at a cottage half an hour away. Tank liner feels hot above lower element so I assume it is working now. Could sediment change the flow of water and cause this problem? Tank looks "new". Didn't take the model number but capacity says 170 U.S. Elements are 240v 3800watt factory. Used 3000watt replacement. E. Elliott, Nova Scotia
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bryan replied 6 years ago.

Hi,Welcome to Just Answer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX forward to helping you today. lets get started.


Well there are two problems here, you replaced one of the elements of the 3000 watt and didn't use the original 3800 Watt which will automatically not get hot enough because it's like a lightbulb the higher wattage the brighter the light well with the element the higher wattage the hotter the element, the first thing you need to do is replace both elements, also if you have a voltmeter you need to make sure that the thermostat is sending power to both elements, the top element is probably bad and when you need to replace one you should replace both, did the bottom one turn out to be bad and yoi finally got it out?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I agree that i should use the correct wattage but i have used the easy to obtain 3000watt in another water heater and it worked. The tank seems to be hot from top to bottom but i'm only getting 2 or 3 gallons before it turns cool. How do you tell if an element is "bad"?
Expert:  Bryan replied 6 years ago.

To test to see if the elements are bad you need to shut the power off to the heater make sure it is dead and no powers going to it then take one wire off each element, take your voltmeter put it on continuity in test across the two terminals on the heater, you should get continuity, the other thing you need to do is to test the voltage to the elements, this you need to do live so be very careful, remove the cover so the elements take your meter put it on voltage and test connections on the element you should get 240 V on each of them, just go across the two wires on the elements, the water heater may feel hot from top to bottom but don't forget heat rises so as the bottom element is heating up the water the hot water is rising so you will feel that but this does not mean the entire tank is hot, most likely your other element is bad in the top I would replace it also, the reason I said you should use a 3800 Watt element is because it's more efficient also, it heats the water faster even though using more wattage the water heater will keep the water much more quickly, these elements are not expensive I would replace the top one and I think that will take care your issue, thanks, Bryan

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