Low hot water


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Old 02-16-16, 09:14 AM
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Low hot water

I have been searching around trying to fix my issue but seems like nothing is working. I still need to flush it (my hose has to defrost first) and I know that could be the problem but looking to see if I missed something else. It is a Whirlpool 50 gallon water heater and as far as I know ~5 years old. (I just bought the house last September)

We have about ~10 minutes of hot water for a shower. I honestly don't feel like the hottest setting is that hot (I like really hot showers) I find myself having it on the hottest settings just to be comfortable. I noticed our dish washer has issues with the soap also, and I read that not having hot enough water can cause those issues. Both thermostats are set to 150 degrees which should provide a scorching hot water but i have never felt that.

I replaced the bottom element and it had stuff all over it but never tested bad with my meter. I had to replace it with the water in. I did let it pour some water out of the bottom but it was below 0 outside and my hose only made it to the end of the garage and immediately was turning my driveway into a skating rink. My only other hose was frozen solid.

After that didn't work i had some weird readings from my upper thermostat so I replaced it. That still did not fix or change anything. I tested the upper element and I am getting 13 ohms resistance which I read is normal and it is not showing that it is shorted.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Last edited by the_tow_guy; 02-17-16 at 05:42 AM. Reason: Typo fix
  #2  
Old 02-16-16, 12:22 PM
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Draw hot water until the faucet runs cool (your about 10 minutes). Measure voltage across the top element terminals. Do you get 240 volts?

Wait until the top element shuts off (probably about 45 minutes to an hour) when you read zero volts across the top element terminals.

Immediately measure across the bottom element terminals. Do you get 240 volts?
 
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Old 02-17-16, 05:37 AM
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I did get 240 at the top when I checked it before work. I will check the bottom when I get home from work today. Is there a if-then for what I will find?
 
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Old 02-17-16, 02:41 PM
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The very two top terminals are the 240v supply. The top element is active until the water in the top of the tank reaches the set point of the upper thermostat. When that set point is reached the top element is shut off and the lower one is turned on.

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Old 02-24-16, 06:20 AM
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I ended up getting 240 at both elements.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 12:12 PM
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But not at the same time..... correct ?

Your bottom element could be sitting in a bed of corrosion and minerals which means your tank will never heat up properly.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 02:32 PM
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See what the warranty is on it. I got a new one that was just a few days short of its 10 year warranty. Do you have a mixing valve? If you do try tapping it with a hammer and see if anything changes.
 
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Old 02-27-16, 05:35 PM
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I don't know what a mixing valve is. I was thinking about trying to clean it out tomorrow since it will be a nice day out. No I don't get 240 at the same time. I have a 1 year home warranty that came with the house but there are no markings on the water heater to see about a warranty. It is a whirlpool though. If cleaning it out doesn't fix the issue I will probably call my home warranty and see if it is covered.
 
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Old 02-27-16, 06:16 PM
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If you have a deep accumulation of deposits at the bottom of the tank, there is no way you can ever clean them all out by flushing. It can be done, but it involves removing the bottom element and using a special tool to reach in through the hole and scooping up the deposits and removing them through the hole. It isn't easy, but it can be done.

That being said, the heavy accumulation of deposits does not keep the bottom element from heating the bulk of water in the tank. The deposits do, however, insulate the element and cause premature element failure.

Can you provide some pictures of the elements with the covers removed. I'd like to see the wiring and also see if the thermostats are actually mounted so they are in contact with the tank.


I don't know what a mixing valve is.
A mixing valve is located after the water heater and mixes cold water with the super hot water to temper the temperature down to a reasonable temperature. IF you have a mixing valve it could very well be your problem. Actually though, I have never seen a house with one. I would look for a mixing valve before trying the flush the tank.


I have a 1 year home warranty that came with the house
I suspect if you call the warranty company they'll send someone out to repair the water heater. I also suspect that your cost will still be higher than if you called soneone yourself.
 
 

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