Electric Water Heater Not Thermo nor Element?!

My electric water heater tank hasn't been working for over a month. If it's not the thermostat or element what else could it be? (It went out a month ago, but I was traveling and someone was staying here watching the pets. Since he mentioned it once and not again, I never gave it another thought. I got home a couple days ago to a nice cold shower. I hate cold showers!)
Facts & Questions:
1. It's been out for over a month, but it's my understanding it's had water in it and has been running intermittently - albeit with cold water. Largely because my kitchen faucets are backwards. (Not my fault.)
2. The tank may be 10 years old. 40 gallon tank.
3. It had a new thermostat and new heating element as of about 6 months ago. The tank has only one element. It is NOT a dual element tank.
4. The person staying here said he attempted to reset it.
5. When I came home, I tried to reset it again. Then, I swapped the new thermostat that was one with the old one (that had a 75% chance of being good), that didn't work, so tried the new/6-month-old one again just for the heck of it, no luck. Bought a third thermostat (third time's a charm might? NOT!) that I put on today - hours have gone by, no luck. There is no indication it's tripping, and there's no heat whatsoever.
6. Each time I reset it I first shut off the breaker to the water heater, then hit the reset button, then turn on the breaker. I have tried holding the button down for different amounts of time. (30 seconds, 15, 5, just a push) just cause you can reset some laptops and routers that way. Is there a certain amount of time the reset button should be held down?
7. I made sure each thermostat was pressed again the heater.
8. I tested the heating element with my reliable multimeter and it appears to be good.
9. It's my understanding there may have been a storm or power outage when it went out. Nothing looked fried. No corrosion either.
10. I'm pretty sure the connections were good. But is there a way to test this with the power off? Seems everything I googled about testing the thermostat had to do with dual elements and required the power to be on, which I'd like to stay away from. I'm an airhead and forget things and I'm sure I'd electrocute myself!
11. I'm going to (after I take my solar-plastic-camping-bag shower) strip the wires and make all the connections "fresh" just in case a wire is squished to much or something. (I dunno...grasping at straws I guess...)
12.Could it be a junction box issue? In that case, would I call an electrician or a plumber?
13. WHAT ELSE COULD IT BE????
Any help is soooo appreciated!!! My body aches and I'm dying for a hot shower!!! And this is frustrating as heck, and I have no money for a plumber until next week!
Thank you for any advice!! Feel free to email me at fivekitten at yahoo dot com.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/plumbing/Electric-Water-Heater-Not-Thermo-nor-Element-5802-.htm fivekitten wrote: Just want to say that in number 7 I meant "against" the tank - not "again"
and somewhere I typed "one" instead of on...keyboard isn't working so great...
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/plumbing/Electric-Water-Heater-Not-Thermo-nor-Element-5802-.htm fivekitten wrote: So I just checked the voltage going from the junction box to the thermostat, and it read 240v. (And I didn't die. Yay! Now I feel ridiculous for being scared.)
AND rechecked the heating element, now it's only reading 2.5 to 3 instead of 7 - and I figured out should be 15 (based on OHM equation). So can I assume this means it's defective (even though it's only 6 months old)? I'm slightly confused because some websites say if there's any resistance, then it's good, other sites state specific ranges.
So now a question of heating element being under par?
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/plumbing/Electric-Water-Heater-Not-Thermo-nor-Element-5802-.htm Jasprt2 wrote: fivekitten, I feel your pain... Solar shower, you're quite the trooper.
A bit concerned as to why this unit fails so frequently. Makes me think it is an installation issue (you mentioned the backwards faucets...) As for the heating element: There is a "range" for resistance based on the wattage. If you cannot find that range - take your meter to the store with you next time and check the range on a new replacement.
Have you checked the voltage to the element when the unit should be heating? Is the element getting power when it should?
If not, your back to 1) the thermostat or 2) bad wiring between the relay and the thermostat element.
fivekitten wrote:

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