electric water heater

I purchased a home a couple months ago, the water heater was not heating, I replaced the top element & that fixed the problem. lately (every now & then) this think leaks from somewhere.. my wife said it was doing it late last night. coming from the area around the upper element, under the jacket, she didn't remove the cover, so I am not sure where it was coming from, I haven't been able to see a leak anywhere, it doesn't sound like a tank leak since it is not all the time. Anyone ever deal with anything like this? Thanks Rob
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If it wasn't heating at all before it needs more than the top element replaced. If the tank is old, just replace the whole water heater. There is no way it only needed a top element to completely fix it. If you want to squeeze a few more years out of this one, then I suggest (if it'll fit) swapping the top and bottom elements. It is the bottom element that keeps the whole tank hot. The top element is there to heat the top part of the tank (only) more quickly if you use all the hot water in the tank. If you only have the top element working, then you should notice a very short duration of hot water. My guess is you'll have enough hot water for about 5 minutes in the shower.
Many heaters from the 70's only had an element in the bottom of the tank. It is the only one that is really necessary.
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longshot wrote:

It could be the element leaking, but the usual "leaking" from a water heater is from the PT valve. If the heat gets a little high or if the pressure goes a little high it will "vent." Normally you will find this near the top of the tank with a pipe extending down to within a few inches of the floor. The "leak" comes out from the end of that pipe. If this is the case, it could be your temperatures is set too high, or the pressure is going to high (usually a combo of no expansion tank and a pressure reduction or anti siphon valve on the inlet) or the valve is defective.
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Joseph Meehan

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I had a chance to look at it , the upper element was fried, there was a hole clear through the wiring part. I think it must have gotten electricity to it when it was dry. I have had the water off & on as I was working on stuff... chalk it up to learning something new.
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