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 New water heater...No hot water
Author: saggioculo (NC)

I just purchased a brand new Kenmore Power Miser 6 Electric 40 gal. Water Heater. My water is pumped from a "community well". I live in a double wide trailer in a sub-divison. When all the hot water (or even just half) is used the water heater shuts off and doesn't heat more water. I have to take off a panel on the unit and hit a reset button to get it to heat up more hot water. Service man comes and says he can't find anything wrong with the water heater but does say he is not a plumber and that possibly it's a plumbing problem. He "believes" that the heating element is not getting covered with water when the unit tries to start heating the water and says the heater shuts off to prevent damage to the unit (safety feature?). Now when there is hot water in the unit, my water pressure cuts in half (no problem with cold water pressure). Once the water heater is out of hot water pressure goes back to normal. If the unit is not filling up with water "fast" enough how do I fix that? Why does the pressure drop when there is hot water but comes back when there is no more hot water? Service man says unit appears to be installed correctly. Power to the heater (wires and the such) is good. Main water supply is on all the way. Didn't have this problem with old water heater. I replaced old water heater because its was leaking but still worked good. Old heater was around 10 yrs old so I just got a new one rather then try to repair old one. I am absolutely desperate to figure out this problem. Water heater is 6 days old.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: Wheelchair (IL)

Was the repair man from Sears/Kenmore or someone who does this on the side. If an electric reset swithc is reacting, I don't see how the repairman can blame the plumbing. Or, you might take the water heater back to Sears and get a different one. After all you do have water going into and coming out hot for awhile.
Or you can call a licensed plumber and pay the bill.
Best Wishes

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: Nayman's Drain Services (Non-US)

If the re-set button is kicked out, and you have to re-set it to get more hot water, that would be an electrical problem.
do you have 1 or 2 elements? How many re-sets?
If you have 2 elements, and 2 re-sets, is it the top one you have to re-set?

If you do, it may be that when the water heater was installed, the tank was not filled before the electricity was put to it,
and the element fried.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: SMSPlumbing (PA)

Almost sounds like the lower element could have a problem. A 2 element water heater will start with the top element heating. Once the top thermostat is satisfied, it will send the power to the lower thermostat and turn on the lower element. The lower element does roughly 90 percent of the heating, unless there is a high demand. But both elements do not work at the same time.

Now that the lesson is done :) The elements can be tested to see what they Ohm out at. This can tell you if they are good. It should read about 12.4 to 12.8 on the meter. Make sure the wires from the thermostat are off of the elements. And most important, turn off the power.

Does your water temperature get pretty hot, when it is working?

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: saggioculo (NC)

There is two elements and they were both checked when Sears came back twice which were OK. To the best of my knowledge there is one reset button (although there is a top panel where I reset and a bottom panel.) The unit was filled with water before power went to it...check for leaks first. Sears wont take back the unit unless service man says the unit is bad. Sears did tell me if I get a plumber to check water heater and find it is in fact the water heater malfunctioning they will pay plumber bill. Saying and doing is two different things but Sears has been very kind in trying to resolve problem so far.
Once the reset button is pushed...the heater works fine until it needs to reheat more water...then I need to reset. It's also odd that the water pressure cuts in half when there is hot water...no hot water...pressure goes back to full again...very strange. Cold water pressure is fine. Should I ask Sears to replace? Call a plumber? The Sears repairman is very thorough when checking for the problem and even call tech guys to try to figure out the problem. Last time he came (Thursday) he replaced both elements while he did not see a problem with them. Again he thinks that perhaps the unit isn't filling up before the upper element is activating which is causing the shut down. If that is the problem how do I fill it faster? This new unit is taller/thinner then my old one which was shorter and wider. But both units were 40 gal water heaters. I just want a hot shower without having to climb behind the dryer to take the panel off and resetting the unit!! UGH!!
Any and all advice/suggestions would be so greatly appreciated!!!

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

It is an electrical problem NOT a plumbing one, and you need someone from Sears who knows how to fix it. IF the element were not covered with water, and that is impossible if you have water flowing from the hot water faucet, the element would be destroyed, not shut off, and then it would NOT heat any water again until it was replaced. The red button popping out means the water is getting too hot, and that could be caused by any of four devices not working.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

A better test is the amperage draw of the elements.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

The heater does NOT lose water, so if it was full to begin with it STAYS full. You could have a defective thermostat, or thermostts, a defective "red" button, or defective elements, that he is not testing properly. It only takes a few minutes to determine what is wrong, unless it is something that only shows up when the heater is hot, then he has to wait until that happens, unless you press the button before he arrives.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: steve (CA)

Quote

Now when there is hot water in the unit, my water pressure cuts in half (no problem with cold water pressure). Once the water heater is out of hot water pressure goes back to normal. If the unit is not filling up with water "fast" enough how do I fix that? Why does the pressure drop when there is hot water but comes back when there is no more hot water?

Is the hot water pressure lost in just the shower or at all fixtures? Is there a valve in the outlet piping at the heater? Are the heater's inlet and outlet reversed and a washered shut off installed? Sounds like a washer is swelling from the heat, restricting the flow. Does the heater seem to run out of hot water faster than it should?



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: Nayman's Drain Services (Non-US)

Steve,
you're reading my mind, except I was thinking reversal of lines with out having the dip-tube.
OP is describing 2 different sets of problems........
1 is electrical, the other is water/pressure/flow related.

OR.................Can one really affect the other?

I'm thinking that the top of the WH could have the jacket on backwards, with the stamping for
cold actually being on the top of hot.
Almost like a Friday/Monday car?

The only way to tell would be a visual inspection. NOT all Mfrs use color coded nipples on their WHs

---------------

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: saggioculo (NC)

Hot water flow is poor on shower and sinks. But, I do have to say that the water from this heater is alot hotter then my old one. I didn't change temp setting...used the 120F that it was pre-set at when I got it. I checked and 120 is the lowest number on the dial but it is signifinately hotter then my old water heater which worked fine but was leaking. I didn't realize that the unit stayed filled with water even during use as someone posted here. So Sears repairman was incorrect in saying that as the unit empties of hot water it's not filling up fast enough before the element kicks in to heat more water...hence the reset button is popping out.
This idea of the water being too hot which is causing something to expand and cause lower water pressure is something I had never considered...then again I know nothing of water heaters!! The old heater had copper piping going in and out of the unit. Because this unit is taller I needed to get new longer pipes...Lowes sold me a different type of hose (nylon, I think) instead of copper pipe. Would this have any affect on the water flow has it gets hotter?
Please...my many thanks for all your help. Being a 1st time homeowner and dealing with this problem has been very stressful and your advice/suggestions have been so greatfully appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: bernabeu (SC)

make sure that BOTH thermostats are set to the SAME temperature (or the top one slightly COLDER)

the button you keep pushing is a thermal switch which cuts power to the 'stats' when it senses overly hot water (about 160) at the top element

the top stat powers the top heater, when satisfied it sends power to (enables) the bottom heater, which, if set too high (since heat rises) will 'over temp' the top

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; I'm thinking that the top of the WH could have the jacket on backwards, with the stamping for
cold actually being on the top of hot.

Now, how many times have you EVER seen that happen, especially with those which have a separate opening at the rear for the anode rod? In my experience, over 60 years, I have seen it happen exactly ZERO times. For one thing, the words "hot" and "cold", and possibly "T&P valve" words would be upside down, plus ALL water heaters have the cold inlet on the right side, REGARDLESS of what the top of the heater would say.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

quote; This idea of the water being too hot which is causing something to expand and cause lower water pressure is something I had never considered...

You did not consider it because the very idea is "ridiculous". Pressure in an active system such as a water supply line is CONSTANT regardless of how big or little the pipe is.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: saggioculo (NC)

"You did not consider it because the very idea is "ridiculous". Pressure in an active system such as a water supply line is CONSTANT regardless of how big or little the pipe is."

Wow...I kind of got excited that this could be the reason for the pressure to drop when hot water came out of the taps. All the pipes to and from unit are same size as old unit just different material. Had copper pipes now have these nylon kind of hoses. Any other ideas for pressure to cut in half when I have hot water and back to normal pressure when I run out of hot water? I'm back to the same problem where I don't know if I should call a plumber or Sears repairman to fix the problem. I did check and there are temp dials on both top and bottom and both are set at 120. This is the lowest number on the dials. I have to admit the hot water causing a rubber washer to expand and cause the water flow to cut in half really seemed like a plausible idea...I was going to call Sears and/or a plumber on Monday to ask about it. This problem is so frustrating. My dishwater won't even work properly because of the water flow cutting in half when it uses hot water. All I know is my old hot water heater worked great but sprung a leak. I got a new one and it keeps shuting off and water flow is terrible when I do have hot water. Sears says it's a plumbing problem as far as the water flow slowing down with the hot water and says to call electrician to see why the unit keeps cutting off because there is "nothing wrong with the water heater."
As always, you all are great for helping me and again I thank you all very much!!!

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: chadschloss78 (MI)

I'm not a plumber by trade, but what would happen if sears installed it backwards, reversing the inlet with the outlet? would that not give the same symptoms?

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

120 degree water is too "cold" to cause a washer to expand enough to shut off the flow, and even if it did it would only affect ONE faucet not the entire system, but nothing else you have told us helps us to give a diagnosis, either.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

No, either it would have no effect, or it would be the same whether the water was hot or cold. And when replacing a water heater, "the Sears man" would NOT install it backwards unless the water lines were reversed, in which case the old one was also "installed backwards".



Edited 1 times.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: saggioculo (NC)

"120 degree water is too "cold" to cause a washer to expand enough to shut off the flow, and even if it did it would only affect ONE faucet not the entire system, but nothing else you have told us helps us to give a diagnosis, either."

The water flow isn't getting completely shut off just slows to about half and it only happens with the hot water tap while hot water is working. Cold water tap runs normal all the time. Sorry for not mentioning that. I wish I could give more info to the problem but I just know that my unit shuts off when there is no more hot water and I have to hit reset on the upper panel of the unit to get it to heat more water. When there is hot water the water flow to all hot water taps runs half as strong as normal and when there is no more hot water then it goes back to normal flow. Cold water tap is running normal all the time regardless of what is going on with water heater. Sorry for not being clearer in my posts. I should probably switch to decaf!!
Thanks agaia All.

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 Re: New water heater...No hot water
Author: hj (AZ)

If the reset button is popping out, the water SHOULD BE getting superhot, regardless of what the thermostat' settings, and if that is true, then it is a "water heater" problem, not plumbing OR electrical. You need better technicians who know how to troubleshoot and diagnose problems.

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