Electric hot water heater not working

agrandmaDecember 4, 2010

We are buying a (foreclosed) home and the electric water heater does not work. A plumber friend of ours looked at it and replaced the supply lines because the old ones were leaking at the top of the water heater. The old supply line had been over-tightened and the washer was not seated correctly. After installing the new lines and the new ball valve, and turning on the power at the breaker, there was still ice cold water in the house. We waited a few hours and tried again, and still the water is ice cold. He said he can check the heating elements next. Does anyone know, is this the best course of action? Is it expensive to replace heating elements? And is it worth it? Or should we just buy a new water heater?

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randy427

You did already check the reset button on the WH thermostat, didn't you?
Replacing WH elements is an easy DIY job.
Whether it's worth it depends on the age and general condition of the WH, though the elements run only less than $20 each (there are two).
It's less likely, but you also may need to replace the thermostat.
Don't neglect to flush the WH via the bottom drain valve.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 11:31PM
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agrandma

I didn't know there is a "reset" button on the thermostat. I don't even know where the thermostat IS. I assume my plumber did that but I guess I can check tomorrow.
Do you know how much a thermostat costs, and is there only one of those?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 11:52PM
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agrandma

I didn't know there is a "reset" button on the thermostat. I don't even know where the thermostat IS. I assume my plumber did that but I guess I can check tomorrow.
Do you know how much a thermostat costs, and is there only one of those?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:26AM
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bus_driver

Either the electricity supply to the heater is not proper or the upper element is not heating. The red reset is under the upper side cover of the heater. Based on your comments, I recommend that you not remove that cover- leave it to a more experienced person. The heater could have more problems, but I would diagnose the immediate problem before deciding on replacement.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 10:42AM
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joed

Before I replace the elements I would check to see if there was power at the heater. Could be an electrical issue.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 11:01AM
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