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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: 3 years ago.Category: Plumbing
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Answered in 1 minute by:
6/13/2015
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 3,318
Experience: 20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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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?
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Customer reply replied 3 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 reply replied 3 years ago
It's very strange indeed!
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
It's full. Will check continuity, but the ay are new.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 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 reply replied 3 years ago
Greenlee sensor thing.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
It would be great if you could call me at(###) ###-####
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
I wasn't here at that moment - will call my son and ask him
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
It was full when powered on. i think we have a weird issue at the panel, checking that now. back soon.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
I have both types. But not sure how to set the multimeter
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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.
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Going into the HWH I get 120 volts between ground and white wire and ground and black.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Yes
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Yes will I meant
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Very good. I will be online for a couple more hours tonight so no rush.
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Customer reply replied 3 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
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Thermostat setting is 125 * Going down to get model number What is a PCB?
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Printed circuit board. Both thermostats are on the same setting? Will you check the voltage on the thermostats too?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
GE50T06TAG
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Ok thermo volts next
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Very good
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
And both set a bit more than 125*
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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.
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Customer reply replied 3 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.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 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.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
All had voltage but none on the element? How about the lower thermostat? Voltage on all terminals there?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Yes - all. Element terminals have 125 volts relative to case but none between each pair of element terminals.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Trying to follow that.......
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
You have voltage on the screw with the yellow wire on the thermostat but not the element?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Going down to check that
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Ok
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Customer reply replied 3 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?!
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
120v on the screws of the thermostat with the blue and red, yellow and black but not on the elements?
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Yes - you said to use the HWH tank or outer cover as a ground to check voltage.
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
And no voltage across the elements.
Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 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.
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Plumber: Mike R., Plumber replied 3 years ago
Is the water heating now?
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