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
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
Question is: Do these things have some sort of a protection circuit or do I
have a flaky breaker?
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
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
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
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.
"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?
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
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 :)
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.
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
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.
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.