Water Heater FAQ?

40 gallon electric GE (Rheem) unit, installed in August, still (of course) under warranty, for whatever that's worth.
Water seems hot enough initially, but by halfway through a shower I have to set the control to fully hot, and it's barely lukewarm. I live alone, so it's not like someone else is hogging the hot water.
220v input checks OK. I'm thinking lower element (either open or not getting power), but I'd prefer a FAQ. I've seen links posted here before but didn't bookmark them.
Thanks!
RB
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After a long period of no hot water usage (like when you get home from work, or wake up) try turning the cold supply line off, and open a hot tap. Next, open the bottom drain (be careful, water may be HOT) and see if it drains cool or lukewarm for a long period of time, then gets hotter and hotter the more it drains. If it does that, it's probably the lower stat or element.
Any other "100% sure" diagnosis would require a voltmeter and/or an amprobe.
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http://waterheaterrescue.com /
http://www.rheem.com/consumer/consumer_faq.asp
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Have you opened the covers and changed the settings? Cold incoming water with most units takes a while for it to warm the water. The upper temp should be slightly above the lower setting. My nephew had the same problem with a 2 year old heater. I raised the settings from ~115 to ~125 they have lots of hot water now.
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Well, the thing is, I was getting plenty of hot water until about a week ago, and none of the settings has been tampered with. I'll have to go at it with a DMM.
Thanks for the suggestions & links.
RB B

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