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Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2885
Experience:  20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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Power to water heater and new elements but no hot water

Customer Question

Power to water heater and new elements but no hot water
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I'm Mike and I have 20+ years of experience as a plumber. I'll be glad to assist you today. Do you get warm water or cold water? Do you have a circulation pump? Have you done any recent remodeling?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
GE 50 gallon. 2010. No remodeling, cold only. Just changed elements, got the right ones. Changed beakers - electrical tester shows power present in wiring t elements but nothing happens. Changed thermostat also
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's very strange indeed!
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Did you fill the water heater before turning the power on? Will you check the continuity of the elements with a multi-meter?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's full. Will check continuity, but the ay are new.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
It is full, but did you fill with water before turning the power on or did you turn the power on then fill it? Was the package of elements an opened package or was it sealed? You changed both thermostats? There is voltage to both elements? Does the water come out hot or warm from the temperature relief valve on the water heater?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is full, but did you fill with water before turning the power on or did you turn the power on then fill it? Filled after.Was the package of elements an opened package or was it sealed? Sealed from Home Depot. You changed both thermostats?Upper - don't think there is a lower.
There is voltage to both elements? According to greenly tester - but not sure of voltage. Does the water come out hot or warm from the temperature relief valve on the water heater? ColdI have a Klein multimeter but not sure how to check continuity
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Greenlee sensor thing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It would be great if you could call me at(###) ###-####
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
If you turned the power on before filling with water then you burnt out the elements. You have to fill it with water first then bleed the air out by opening a tap then turn the power on.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I wasn't here at that moment - will call my son and ask him
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
We can certainly do the phone conversation but there is an additional cost. I imagine we will be able to cover everything through text without having an additional cost to you though. It is almost certainly that the elements got burnt out when the power was restored. They need to be in water or they will heat up and burn out. Since you have been able to confirm there is power to the elements, there really is no other possible explanation. You will need a new set of elements and that will certainly solve the issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It was full when powered on. i think we have a weird issue at the panel, checking that now. back soon.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Your power tester is just one of those light up things? Do you have a multi-meter to test what voltage you are getting at the elements? Will you also check the continuity on the elements?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have both types. But not sure how to set the multimeter
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Turn the power off to the water heater and set the dial on the meter to OHMS or if there is a setting to make it beep (maybe a little speaker icon) and check to see if it works by touching the probes together. If it beeps then you are ready to check for continuity. Disconnect the elements and touch the probes to each screw for the element to test for continuity.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Going into the HWH I get 120 volts between ground and white wire and ground and black.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Before you check the continuity will you do the same voltage test on the elements? There should be 120v to each. The white wire is hooked to a red wire and black wire to black, correct?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes will I meant
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Very good. I will be online for a couple more hours tonight so no rush.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I found I have 120 between black and white wires going in at top of heater but nothing at elements. But the light up tester beeps at the elements
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
It must be picking up the voltage on the thermostat. Time to check the voltage on the thermostats and also check that the thermostat setting is at least 120 degrees. What is the model of the water heater? Does it have any LED lights or bells and whistles like that? Does it have a PCB?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thermostat setting is 125 * Going down to get model number What is a PCB?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Printed circuit board. Both thermostats are on the same setting? Will you check the voltage on the thermostats too?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
GE50T06TAG
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thermo volts next
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Very good
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No voltage - but its' not easy to know where to put the volt meter prongs. See photo attached
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And both set a bit more than 125*
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Check all of them and touch probe to the water heater for ground. You found 125v on the thermostat? The incoming voltage should be 120 since it is really just from the top. The outgoing to the element likely does not have voltage. Try also testing the voltage with the thermostat turned up more.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I said 125* meaning degrees.No I didn't find any voltage on the thermostats and of course they connect to the elements so I am confused about how you could find anything different there than the elements? See my photo. But I will try the method you said to try.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
It could be the wire is broken inside the insulation or something weird. Also be sure to turn the thermostat up more and test that way also. When you turn the thermostat up do you hear a click?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did as you said and I did find 120 volts on all of the terminals relative to the case of the water tank. And I cranked up the thermostats equally a ways past the 125 degree mark, no click.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
All had voltage but none on the element? How about the lower thermostat? Voltage on all terminals there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - all. Element terminals have 125 volts relative to case but none between each pair of element terminals.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
So the wire from the thermostat to the element is not making contact with the terminal then, right? There is voltage on the terminal of the element with the yellow and blue wires but not to the element?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Trying to follow that.......
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
You have voltage on the screw with the yellow wire on the thermostat but not the element?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Going down to check that
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Ok
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Every terminal shows 120 volts relative to the case of the HWH but no voltage relative to each other. Not even the 2 terminals of the elements. How strange is that?!
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
120v on the screws of the thermostat with the blue and red, yellow and black but not on the elements?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - you said to use the HWH tank or outer cover as a ground to check voltage.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
And no voltage across the elements.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Yes. So is there voltage on the wire on the elements? It sounds like there is some wires that are not making contact with the terminals. If there is voltage on the screw that the yellow wire is connected to then surely there should be voltage on the element unless the wire is not making contact with the screw on the thermostat or the element.
So, maybe you decided to call it a night...I will do the same. Let me know if all it was was a loose connection or wire not making contact. I will check in when I get up in the morning.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 2 years ago.
Is the water heating now?