hot water heater Question? Water in the thermostat access panel


I have a AO. Smith electric heater. When I opened the thermostat access panel there was about and inch to an inch & 1/2 of water in the panel. This doesn't seem right to me. I have also noted that my hot water isn't as hot as it used to be. Help! What action should I take here. Thanks.
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How old is the heater? Sounds like on of the elements may not be working and, of course, there is a leak. May be time for a new one.
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Sounds like you have a leak. Check to see if there is a leak around the upper element. Of course, it could be anywhere. However, the fact that your water is not as hot would make me suspect the upper heating element. I am surprised you have not seen water around the base of the heater. Open the element panel and see if the insulation is wet. How old is your water heater? It is not normal to have water in your thermostat panel. I would deal with it promptly. You don't want to find a flood from a leaking hot water heater no matter where it is located.
Good Luck
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Yes, the insulation is wet. No water at the base at all. How would I check for a leak around the upper element? Where am I looking in particular? Thanks for the quick response. I'm not sure how old it is. Photon713 wrote:

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Afternoon, Kellie...
If you're opening the thermostat or element panels -- TURN OFF THE POWER FIRST. It's probably on a 220V circuit breaker.
The first thing I would do is check with AO Smith to determine the age of the water heater. http://www.hotwater.com/cs.html . You should have a panel on the side that identifies the make and model with serial number. Have that handy when you contact AO Smith. If it's an old hot water heater then your best bet is to replace it. If you have a pin hole leak somewhere, it's corroding from the inside, the problem will simply get worse and you'll find a floor full of water one day and the heater will continue to try to fill, continuing to empty water into your house.
My suggestion is to have a qualified person check out the problem. I'd be willing to bet you're due a new water heater. There is usually a sacrificial anode inside the water heater and when that dissolves pin- hole leaks can form from the inside.
Good Luck...
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I have a AO. Smith electric heater. When I opened the thermostat access panel there was about and inch to an inch & 1/2 of water in the panel. This doesn't seem right to me. I have also noted that my hot water isn't as hot as it used to be. Help! What action should I take here. Thanks.
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Call a plumber. Ask around for a recommendation first. Time well spent.
-zero
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