6-year old MayTag electric water heater - 50 gallon, dual element - Model HE2950T. About two weeks ago, I had noticed that the hot water was way too hot. Didn't do anything. One week ago, the high temperature breaker on the upper thermostat started tripping. Once I reset the breaker button, it trips again a day later. The temperature setting on both the upper and lower thermostats is in the middle of the range.
Googled online and found some info on diagnose the problem.
Here was what I did. Fist I flip the main circuit breaker to cut off electric power to the water heater. Open both upper and lower access panels on the heater 1) removed one of the wire connecting to the heating element and then tested the resistance in between the two probes. My multi-meter read 10 ohms on both heating elements. So I concluded that the heating elements are good. 2) I measured the resistance in between the two probes (the two bolts where wires were connected) on the lower thermostat, and it read zero. So I concluded that the lower thermostat is good. 3) I did not know how to test the upper thermostat for there are so many probes...
Anyway, since there only a few things that could go wrong, and I have eliminated both of the heating elements, the lower thermostat, then I figure the upper thermostat must be the culprit. A replacement thermostat from Maytag costs $79.95. I am not ready to spend so much money on a thermostat... I found this thermostat online http://www.waterheaterparts.net/cgi-bin/shopper.exe?keywords=electsta ... and Lowes does sell it for $12.98. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId&358-0... I contacted waterheaterparts.com to ask if the thermostat can be used on my heater. They told me that their product is rather "universal" for electric water heaters with dual heating elements and are wired for non-simultaneous operations. Well I know my model has two heating elements, but I can't tell if it is wired for "non-simultaneous" opeartions. Neither could they.
So I went to Lowes (I bought the Maytag there five years ago) and asked for the product. The guy at Lowes told me that they no longer sell Maytag water heaters. They now sell Whirlpool water heaters, and that since they sell this thermostat, it could be used as a replacement for Whirlpool electric water heaters. But he did not think it could be used on my Maytag water heater. he said something like there are some sort of internal "calibrations" specific to each brand of water heaters, and I can't simply use some other thermostats as replacement.
Now I am confused. A thermostat senses the water temperature. And when the water temperature is below a threshold you set, it sends a signal to the heating element to heat up the water. When the temperature in the water goes above the threshold, it sends a signal to stop the element from further heating the water. What kind of "internal "calibrations" are needed for different brands of electric water heaters?
So I am wonder if anyone can shed some light as to what replacement thermostat I could use for my water heater. The Maytag customer support is terrible. The number printed on the user manual is no longer the right number.
Thanks for any help,