electric water heater question

my water heater sprung a leak through the upper heating element , It flooded
the space between the tank & casing (& laundry room). I drained the tank &
replaced the element, It still is not heating water.
is it likely that the lower element is also fried , & wouldn't it still heat
water if it was? what else could be my problem? I wonder if the water fried
the switch. should I just replace the whole WH?
Thanks
Rob
Reply to
longshot
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It is likely that the incident led to the associated circuit breaker tripping or the fuse blowing.
Any electrical equipment which may have been splashed or soaked by the leak should be examined and tested and replaced if necessary.
The other element will not have been affected by the incident - unless its terminal assembly got wet.
If you are asking these sorts of questions - you ought to be getting qualified assistance. 200+ volt circuits with water and plenty of earthed exposed metalwork around is not a good place to learn about investigating electrical faults.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
Has the thermostat survived the fault?
Newsey
Reply to
Newsey Person
How can i tell?
Reply to
longshot
Firstly, if there is a risk that the part of the thermostat outside the tank (the part containing the terminals) got wet, use a megger between the terminals and metal jacket to check that the insulation has not been degraded.
Next using a continuity tester, check that you have continuity between the terminals at room temperature.
Next heat the metal jacket of the thermostat up to and above its trip setting, whilst monitoring the continuity between terminals. A water bath with a thermometer suspended freely in the water is the best heating medium. The thermostat should open at the set temperature, as shown by the continuity tester and thermometer. Obviously, only immerse the metal-jacketed part of the thermostat in the water.
The possible faults are: 1) If the terminal area got wet, degraded insulation. Replacing the thermostat is the safe option.
2) If a very high fault current flowed at the time of failure, the contacts may remain permanently open (no heating) or permanently shut (boiling water). Replacing the thermostat is the only option.
Of those, 1) is highly likely if the terminal area did get wet. 2) is very unlikely - the circuit breaker/fuse should have tripped preventing this.
It is far more likely that you have no power at the unit (fuse blown or circuit breaker tripped ) than that the thermostat has failed due to a failed heating element.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
thanks for the tips...
I did some Google research & what I found said to check for voltage at the upper element, if there's no power there (but there is at at the thermastat ), than the upper thermostat needs replaced. it doesn't submerge into the tank, it is only against the outside of the tank.
Reply to
longshot
I think that since the element failed & gushed water through the terminal & into the casing it soaked the wires on the thermostat & fried it.
Reply to
longshot
Are you sure this external thermostat isn't for your central heating system?
Newsey
Reply to
Newsey Person
Again we have someone totally out of their depth asking for advice in a field that has killed many .
GET A TRAINED ELECTRICIAN before youy kill yourself or a loved one
Reply to
John G
Buy a new water heater for Christ sake! They're not that expensive!
Reply to
tarin
what is your problem dickwad? I know several union electricians, I could get free help if I wanted to bug one of em. I am pretty sure I can handle it.
If you don't have anything helpful to say, shut the fuck up. thank you for your time.
BTW: I changed the thermostat & It's up & running.
Rob
Reply to
longshot
Glad it is working.
Contact (surface mounted) thermostats for electrical water heaters aren't generally a good idea - if the thermostat comes loose or otherwise has bad thermal contact with the tank, the water temperature can rise to very dangerous temperatures. Not only can any hot water user get badly scalded, the water could boil and overpressurize itself or another part of the system. They are more applicable to an indirect heating system (with,say, a primary circuit with its own upper temperature limit) as an additional, rather than the only, temperature setting.
If it were me and I had to use a surface mounted thermostat, I would either:
install two in series, both set to the required maximum temperature. That way, if one thermostat fails, the other will stil protect people and property.
or
add a thermal fuse clamped to the hot water outlet pipe, again in series with the heater circuit. Choose one that will limit water temperature to safe values.
The latter is my preference as they are far, far more reliable than thermostats - which is important for this safety-critical area.
As for your rather unkind comments to one poster - the guy was giving sensible advice. Lots of people do kill themselves attempting to do what you did. For all we know, you could be seeing if the circuit is live by sticking your fingers in the socket...
Reply to
Palindr☻me
theses things are on almost all electric water heaters, you >can readily buy
They are absolutely safe used on a secondary, indirectly heated, hot water system. So on a standard central-heating system which also heats the water, they are ideal. That is why you see so many of them for sale - they are intended to be used for such systems, which are commonplace. At the very worst, the hot water temperature could rise to the temperature of the primary circuit.
They are not safe enough to use to control a direct heating source - such as an electrical immersion heater. Even if you install them perfectly, if ever they get knocked, they can lose good thermal contact with the tank and the tank temperature can then rise to scalding or even boiling point.
So, sorry to disagree with you - but my views still stand.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
it's exactly identical to the one i removed... the tank (& all water heaters, I assume) has a relief valve that would send water everywhere if the tank ever reached 190 degrees..
Reply to
longshot
It may be different in the US than the UK, as I assume you are. Here, an electrical immersion heater would almost invariably be controlled by a tube thermostat.
Now the various other US-based contributors to this group haven't commented on this aspect - so you may be right that, in the US, it is normal to control an electrical water heater using a surface mount thermostat. Your surface mount thermostats may be different - ours are typically held in place by a spring band around the tank. They are relatively easiy to displace and often are - as the tanks are typically in an airing cupboard used by the householders to dry clothes on or near the tank.
We do get a lot of children badly scalded in the UK from hot water coming out of the tap at too high a temperature. Often that is because the surface mount thermostat has become displaced and the hot water has risen to the boiler primary circuit temperature, which itself has been set higher than advisable. This is, of course, for an indirectly heated tank and not an electrically heated one.
Water coming out of a tap (faucet?) at anything approaching 190 degrees could cause horrendous injuries, as I am sure you know.
Thus, under UK conditions, I would certainly want a secondary protective device to limit hot water temperature, in addition to a surface mount thermostat.
In the UK, an electrical water heater controlled by a surface mount thermostat would probably be a diy-install - no heating engineer would do this. So, had you been in the UK, I would suspect that your original installation had been installed by a previous owner and not a professional.
I just wanted to make sure that you knew the risks and what will happen should the surface mounted thermostat get knocked out of place.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
Take a look. maybe we are talking about 2 different animals...
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Reply to
longshot
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Yes, our tanks are a bit different. They are made of copper, for a start - so they don't need sacrificial anodes. The thermostat slides into a tube built into the heater itself.
We do have surface mount thermostats but they are only used to control an indirect heating system - these diagrams show the difference:
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This is our versions of a surface mount thermostat:
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Yours come with a secondary trip mechanism in the case of over-temperature. Much safer than ours, which don't have this, ass you can see. Also ours aren't protected behind a metal plate - they are just pulled onto the tank by a spring going around it. It is very easy to knock ours out of place.
So the chances of one of yours losing close mechanical contact with the tank sounds to be a lot less than one of ours.
I can see now that it would be quite hard to add an extra thermostat to your system- with our system it is very easy.
Thanks again for that. I would be much happier using one of your surface mount types than one of ours! But your type aren't available here.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
I have to admit it, it looks as though the US system is better than the UK system.
BTW UK immersion stats often fail closed resulting in boiling 212 degree f ( 100 degree cent ) coming out of the taps. The water system cannot be over pressurised.
Newsey
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Reply to
Newsey Person

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