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Old 11-09-2008, 01:43 PM  
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Default Repair: Elect Hot water heater?

I have a Rheem Elect Hot Water heater that is about 11 years old. The hot water it puts out is not so hot anymore. I am wanting to replace the elements and possibly the thermostats too. I have never done this before. Have any of you? Any tips would be appreciated.

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Old 11-09-2008, 03:33 PM  
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Welcome WilsonKori:
I would check the continuity of the elements first. Turn off the power, disconnect the wires at the elements and use an inexpensive ohmmeter to see if the elements have continuity. If the elements are good, the thermostats are seldom any problem; you may need to turn them up a little.

Next, I would turn off the water valve and remove the line from the cold water side, stick your finger in the hole and make sure there is a dip tube in there. The dip tube carries the new, cold water to the bottom of the tank to be heated whiile you use the hot water at the top of the tank. Some manufacturers tried cutting cost by using a cheap plastic dip tube. They saved money but the dip tubes dissolved over the years leaving the cold water just crossing over to the hot side and cooling your showers.


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Old 11-09-2008, 07:12 PM  
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11yrs. old, it's a safe bet to replace the heating elements w/o worrying about wasting your time and money. I've seen heating element deteriorate and still yield continuity, I've also seen where calcium and mineral deposits give a false reading. The process is pretty straight forward. Turn off the water, drain the tank, disconnect the wires to the elements, screw them out, teflon the new one and reverse procedure. It's also and excellent time to drain and flush the tank (while the elements are out, bigger chunks don't go through the regular drain). I wouldn't worry about the dip tube until the heating elements are replaced as what you've described doesn't indicate a bad dip tube (you really don't want to deal with that 11yr. old can of worms if you don't have to, one step at a time).
Tip: Your going to get wet, don't fight it. Have lots of towels and/or a mop handy.

Last edited by kok328; 11-09-2008 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:35 AM  
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I've used Phoenix Plumber
and they are great. I'm not sure if they service Raleigh but it's worth a try. I had to call them out twice for my stupid hot water heater that shuts off and won't relight when it's windy (what in the world?). Anyway, the second time, he came and relit it and didn't charge us at all.
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