The water heater works perfectly fine as far as pumping out hot water until the element burns up. Many people will just live with this condition instead of repairing the water heater, but pay for it in inconvenience and an increased power bill. And if the lower electric water heater element has burned out you'll find that the water supply may be plenty hot, but less in quantity. If you have no hot water after installing a new water heater, the most likely reasons are (1) no electric power or (2) the upper heating element was burned out during installation (dry fire). The two biggest ways I see this happening is by turning on the power with an empty tank (devoid of water). Most water heaters have two heating elements—one near the top of the tank, another located further down. Remove the part from its packaging. Sediments such as lime coat the heating element. Do not ignore these smells as they indicate a potential fire risk with your water heater. Hot tub elements can also be tested to determine if there is a short in the coating surrounding the heating element. The upper heating element acts as a "booster" to heat water when there is a high demand. You might be able to drain he tank, take out the element(s) and take them to a local hardware store (like an Ace or True Value) they might have a ohm meter they can test them, they should read 15-20 ohms. electric hot water heater before it was full and now it won't get hot. After replacing the elements and getting things running again all was fine, hot water was good. In water heaters, the nichrome element is covered with an outer sheath made of stainless steel, tin-coated copper, or INCOLOY® (an iron-nickel-chromium "superalloy," which is rustproof, long-lasting, and works well in hard-water areas). Unlike gas water heaters that have gas burners, electric water heaters rely on a pair of upper and lower metal heating elements to heat the water. Most larger units have 2 heating elements. The most common cause of burned out elements on new water heater installations or new element replacements is DRYFIRE. I cut off power to the water heater. Do the same with the wrench when replacing a heating element. Because low-watt elements have twice the surface area as high-watt elements, they can burn at a lower temperature and still heat water in the water heater in the same amount of time. The guide below is for a new water heater installation where you have NO HOT WATER AT ALL. This time, the tester should not light, and you should get a high resistance reading on your meter. And low-watt elements produce far less sediment. With the repair you must do, you don’t want to repeat this in a few months to change the other one. If you still have hot water, but maybe only about a shower’s worth, the culprit is probably a bad lower element. Water heaters with two elements have two thermostats: one for each element. This happens because the installer fails to open a hot water faucet while the heater tank is filling with water and therefore purging or bleeding air from the system. When the water temperature in your water heater exceeds 180°, the red reset button (also known as the high-limit switch) trips. If you are running out of hot water quickly, then it may be the lower element that is defective or the lower thermostat or the dip tube. Drain valve - Located near the bottom of the exterior housing, the drain valve makes it easy to empty the tank to replace the elements, remove sediment or move the tank to another location. Its universal designs allow it to fit most major water heater brands. But the next day we noticed a funny smell, by the second day it was getting stronger, and smelt like a burning smell coming from the water heater area. In an electric oven, the heating element, also known as the baking coil, is attached to the oven’s back wall and located near the bottom. After opening it up, we discovered the RED wire on the bottom element WAS burning ! Electricity heats the metal loops on the elements, which then heats the surrounding water. Your oven’s heating element is located on the bottom inside the appliance. An element can generate enough heat to burn through its copper core in less than a minute. The last one's heating element seemed to be burned out; the hot water was working for half a d … read more Electric water heaters use either 120- or 240-volt power (240 volts is more common) to energize metal heating elements that protrude into the water heater tank through the side wall. This power is described as wattage or watts. You can test the elements to see if they are defective (even if they are new), with an Ohm-meter. When replacing a heating element, shut off water leading to the water heater. To test for a burned out element, first, TURN OFF all electrical power to the water heater. Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by ozark01, Jun 21, 2017. Use a test meter set on ohms (Ω) to measure spa heater element resistance. This helps protect you from getting burned or scalded by the excessively hot water. While the price of the heating element is low, replacing the heating element is an easy job for handymen; it requires basic knowledge about plumbing and electricity. I had a hot water loss about a year ago also on this same water heater. Most will run you between 10 to 25 dollars, each. It sounds like to me that you turned on the electricity to your (brand new?) Lack of cooling fluid (water) around the element. And both upper and lower heating element terminals are not burned either There is an electrical burning smell and the ECO button was tripped. Cold resistance verses hot tends to differ on a heating element, but interesting that the … The elements burn out in a very short time. Page 2 of 2 < Prev 1 2. jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx. Hot tub water chemistry tends to vary and it swings widely when 4 people jump into the tub. Water heater elements burn out for one main reason. Of course, even if your trailer is in warranty, burning out the electric element is considered user error, which is not covered by the warranty against manufacturing defects. Usually the cause of overheated water is a lower heating element that has a leak to ground. No burned wires in that case. So the red reset button on your electric water heater keeps popping out and needing to be reset. We've been here since early February and have only had these serious problems in the last month. Disconnect both wires to both elements. This element heats only the water in the upper portion of the hot water tank. If the needle on the meter doesn't move, then you have a bad element. Touch one lead to one of the terminals on one of the elements and the other lead to the metal bracket on the water heater. If there’s no water, the heating element will burn out very quickly and will have to be replaced. Like a minute or two with a 4500 watt element. Since the heat cannot transfer quickly enough to the water, the element overheats and burns out. Heating elements are the most critical parts of the water heater – they are designed to heat water. About once per year, sediments should be professionally removed from a water heater tank to prevent this problem. Water heaters must operate when the heating elements are immersed in water. If not, the element is burned out and needs to be replaced. A typical value for a 220 VAC hot water heater would be an element rating of 3500 watts. This screw-in fold-back water heater element This screw-in fold-back water heater element is made of the highest grade nickel and stainless steel and heats in lime and sand buildup that would burn out ordinary elements. You can understand why these simple diagnostic observations usually work on residential electric water heaters by looking at Carson Dunlop Associates' sketch at left. If your electric hot water heater is slow to heat, runs out of hot water faster than it used to, or doesn’t deliver any hot water at all, there’s a 90 percent chance that simply replacing one or both of the heating elements will solve the problem. If you’re not sure how to check for water in the water heater, see the section below. I am having my electric, 40-gallon Whirlpool water heater replaced (again, second time in 2 weeks time!). Water Heater Elements Burning Out Quickly. Similar to the way in which oven heating elements work, the heating elements in a water heater heat up when electrical current passes through them. Open a hot water faucet in a tub until the water stops flowing. There is also a broiling element near the top. Always turn the breaker to the water heater and test with a reliable tester before performing any work on an electric water heater! It is a good idea if you feel one has gone bad, just change them both. Location: New England. If you’ve traced a burning odor back to your water heater, check out this guide to learn the cause. All water heater electrical elements are rated by the amount of power they can emit. Hot tub heater elements are similar to an electric hot water heater element, and as such, spa heater elements burn out very quickly if operated without cooling water surrounding it. Here’s the most likely problem: The water in your water heater is getting too hot. If this is true, you have fried the heating element(s) and you will need to replace them. The built up sediment interferes with the transfer of heat to the water. Hot tub heater elements are similar to the electric immersion elements used in household hot water heaters and washing machines, with a few important distinctions. It probably is your heating elements that are burned out. If you ever need to replace a bad element, make sure to replace it with a low-watt element. However, if you don’t feel comfortable working on the heater, Heating mechanism - Electric water heaters have heating elements inside the tank to heat the water. The thermostats communicate with each other to ensure that only one element is being heated at a time. Without it, there will be only cold water. Detailed instructions and a gasket are included with each packaged element. (DepositPhotos) What Is a Stove Heating Element? It came as no surprise that this tank, with its 1,500-watt element, was the quickest to reach 120 degrees. You need to turn power off to the heater. They are relatively inexpensive and not bad to change. Joined: Sep 2, 2004 Occupation: Retired Systems engineer for defense industry. I don't know what could have changed the water chemistry as this is a recent problem. Each of the heating elements are controlled by a separate thermostat. The most likely cause of the limit switch tripping is a bad thermostat. The sheath is insulated from the heating element by magnesium oxide, an unusual material that's a good heat conductor but a poor electrical conductor, … Using a continuity tester, available from electrical supply houses, place one test probe on each of the element terminals. If all fails, use hammer to remove terminals and plastic end of element > on the newly exposed surface of the element, drill and tap two 1/4" holes into element > keep holes close to center of element so not to damage the element threads > twist two long 1/4" bolts into holes > use a wrench or vice grips to grab the two bolts and twist to remove element. 4. The plastic cover was also melted. When they go bad they sometimes get stuck in the on … ! You should also test each element for a short, which is especially important if the breaker trips repeatedly. This takes pressure off the water tank. The top thermostat has a safety stat (red button) that trips or "pops out" when the temperature of the water in the tank rises over 180 degrees. Turn off the pump’s circuit, if you have a well and pump. The box-shaped Kuuma 11-gallon heater used the same heating element as the 6-gallon unit, so by keeping the volume of water in the unit to 6 gallons during part of our testing, we mimicked the heating characteristics of the 6-gallon unit. Displayed on the elements packaging is a number followed by the word "watts". This element works the hardest, is on the most, and so often is the first to burn out. You will get a reading of about 100 ohms or higher across a good element. The information on this web site is supplemental to the printed instructions that came with your water heater. water heater is caused by a burned out element. A dry‐fired element occurs when the heating element is not submerged in water. Remove the cover panel(s) from the front of the heater and then disconnect the wires from the heating element terminals. Gas water heaters use a burner and chimney system instead. A burning smell coming from your water heater is often a sign of one of the components overheating or failing.