hot water heater

my 30 gallon electric hot water heater wasnt making hot water so i went downstairs to take a look and when i started to unscrew the acess panel for the thermostat/heating element i got a slight shock. so i turned off the breaker and took off the panel. the water heater if fairly new, less than 5 yrs. old and the wiring to the thermostat looks good, tight connects, and no corrosion/discoloration. the green groung wire is corroded at the tank connection. could that be the source of the problems..no hot water/getting shocked? i did not exaime the inside of the power supply but i guess i should. would a bad heating element cause a shock? also, are replacement elements expensive? the manufactures name is State and the model name is select...model number is p63010m5972k many thanks, cj
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Changing a couple of faucet washers yesterday. Cut the water off and removed the washers to take to Lowe$ for comparision. Planning on being gone for a couple hours so I filpped the water heater breaker off just in case sine the water was off. Got back, fixed the faucet, water and breaker back on. Got up this am and no hot water! Flipped the breaker a couple of times and was preparing to remove the elements and noticed that the thing was working again.
Question is: Do these things have some sort of a protection circuit or do I have a flaky breaker?
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Since the breaker was the only thing you touched to shut the heater off, I'd suspect a bad breaker or bad connection either between the breaker and the panel buss or the wires on the breaker

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It could be possible, but the hi temp cutout on a water heater has to be manually reset, he only flipped the breaker and never touched the tank

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I can't tell from here. However, my guess would be the breaker.
Why are you heating hot water? Seems like if it's already hot, you wouldn't need to heat it.
In my trailer, I've got a gas fired water heater. I don't need a hot water heater.
--

Christopher A. Young
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wrote in message

Yes, you do need a "hot" water heater. Or, do you let the water completely cool to its source temp before you turn the heater back on?
Get real!
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Water heaters are popularly called "hot water heaters"; presumably because they they make hot water, much like a seltzer bottle makes seltzer.
Grow up, get over it, whatever.
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Couldn't agree more, poor guy just reads these posts until someone says hot water heater then his little heart goes a flutter and his fingers bang out the same thing that George Carlin <sp> did in the '70's...
He has another album called a place for my stuff maybe he could move on to that one?
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Or is it possible that the water heater cooled off enough that it took some time to reheat after the breaker was turned on? Assuming this is not a demand heater?
Put a voltage meter on the breaker and turn it off and on. If there is voltage when there is suppose to be then chalk it up to magic.
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James wrote:

Remember this:
"Troubles which go away by themselves usually come back by themselves."
If the problem does come back, and you have a voltmeter or test lamp and the requisite knowledge and skill to avoid electrocuting yourself, take the access cover off the water heater, and see if there's voltage on the power input terminals, from line to line and from each line to neutral, before you go near the breaker panel.
That'll bifurcate the problem and tell you where to look next.
Personally, I'd vote for a "touchy" breaker or its connections.
It may have been unecessary to kill power to the water heater for that short time. I understand you were thinking about the possibility of the heater getting emptied and the elements burning out because the water was shut off and someone started opening faucets.
Is your plumbing setup such that the locations of the water heater and faucets or appliances could let that occur?
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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Been working fine all day. Neglected to mention it is not yet a year old. Put a voltmeter on the contacts and am getting good readings. Haven't touched the breaker yet - next time I do it will be to replace it. I do seem to remember hearing a "what was that" when I flipped it back on the first time.
I know it is not necessary to shut the heater down unless the tank can drain but I do. My first lesson when I moved away from home - the landlord handed me the key and said "DO NOT turn on the power until I can get down there and turn on the water"....He really should have explained that better :)

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This is turtle.
Flakey Breaker or Flakey Tank Thermostat [S], but 99% thinking Breaker.
I have seen breakers not want to reset on the first try and will take 3 or 4 flips to get it to take.
Now here is what I've seen to try to test your breaker for this. Turn the breaker off for about 30 minutes and then come back and push the breaker to on real slow and don't flip it on. They will usely will do it again if you don't flip the break fast back on. Just push it verey slowly to back on possion.
TURTLE
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Why do you want to heat hot water?
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With the electric off, check each wire connection. Then push on the red button on the thermostat. (If you have two elements, it could be under either one of the covers.) If you hear or feel a click, turn the electric back on. If you hear crackling, then the water is heating up. This probably means that either the thermostat is weak, or you have mineral buildup in the bottom of the tank. If the water isn't heating up, turn the electric back off and remove the two wires going to the element(s). Put an ohm meter on the element. If you don't get continuity, then the element is bad. You can buy the elements anywhere, but drain the tank, take it out, and take it with you.

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If you got a shock just by touching the access panel, you have two problems: 1. a current leak, and 2. water heater is not properly grounded. Disconnect power until both problems are fixed. Current leak could be from a corroded heating element, loose connection, problem with thermostat, or insulation problem on wiring.
The poor grounding needs to be addressed too. The corrosion on the ground connection could be the cause. Once you fix the corroded connection, check that the ground is adequate. This can be done several ways. Safest is to use an ohmmeter between ground terminal on water heater and service entrance ground electrode (i.e. ground rod) [should read zero ohms]. If it doesn't read zero ohms after fixing the corroded connection, you (or an electrician) will have to trace back the ground wire to find the location of the break and fix it.
If you have metal pipes, there should be a copper jumper between the hot and cold pipes near the water heater. This is a code requirement in most areas and provides a second ground path (assuming the cold water piping is properly grounded, something that can also be checked with an ohmmeter). It is not a substitute for having a functional ground wire to the water heater.
Mike
cj wrote:

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Had an electric water heater heater unit - called a Calrod unit back then - short out - everything metal in the whole basement was hot. This is really dangerous - don't try to use it before fixing the short problem - the life you save could be your own - only takes a few milli amps to depolarize your heart muscle.
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