I thought I could do this without help, but it got too complicated for
I have a Sears Kenmore 153.318560 52 Gal. Power Miser 8+ electric
It has two sets of heating element, thermostat, and heat limit switch.
One set at the top and one at the bottom.
One thermostat is bad, I presume, but I don't know how to tell which??
It would help if I understood how it worked.**
If the top heat limit
switch trips, does that cut off power to both heating elements?
If the bottom trips, does that cut off power to both or only the
(The wiring diagram in the owner's manual doesn't show enough
For testing purposes, is there a way to trip the switch without
disconnecting a wire?
On the web someone said to feel the heater to know if only the top of
the heater was hot, or all of it was, but I can't feel any heat from
any of it.
Both of the high limit switch have tripped during the past few days. I
don't know exactly when the top did and the bottom did.
Background: Three days ago, no hot water so I turned off the breaker,
opened the top cover, saw the button for the TOP heat limit switch,
pushed it, and had hot water for maybe a day. After that, again only
very lukewarm water, so I pushed it again. The following night, the
water was up to 170 degrees!, but too tired from work to work on it.
The next day, down to 150, and 6 hours later, down to 145. The only
hot water I used during that time was the water to measure the water
temperature, when I filled the powder room sink immediately above the
water heater. I only did this twice. Is the new cold water entering
enough to lower the temperature, or is it radiating heat that fast
from the heater?
Eventually I think both switches tripped, and I only reset the bottom
one. Now the temp is up to 180!
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