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
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