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Old 01-12-2015, 06:20 PM   #1
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Water heater

My water heater quit working on electric! It still works on gas. I checked and I have power at the outside switch but nothing at the coil. I wonder if the outside switch could be bad again, I replaced it last spring? I wonder about wiring the Leeds together and then checking the coil for juce?


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Old 01-12-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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My water heater quit working on electric! It still works on gas. I checked and I have power at the outside switch but nothing at the coil. I wonder if the outside switch could be bad again, I replaced it last spring? I wonder about wiring the Leeds together and then checking the coil for juce?


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Between the switch and the heating element (which I am assuming you are calling the coil), there is a hi-limit/temp thermostat. These can and do burn up as well as just can be reset. If so, then it kills power to the element.....until replaced.

Hold on and I will get you pics.

Here are some pics. The hi-limit t-stat (see red arrows) for the electric element is on the left hand side (the right hand side is the t'stat for the propane side). Press it to see if it can be reset. If not, it may have burned up and needs replacing. You have to remove the rubber cover to access it for replacement.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:36 PM   #3
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I forgot to add, if you ever turn on (or leave on) the switch for the electric heating element, while there is no water in the heater, it will burn up the electric heating element. Also it's common to fry the hi-limit tstat at the same time. So even if you replace the electric heating element, you still have to replace the hi-limit t'stat too....since there will be no power to the heating element until the t-stat is replaced.

Here is an electric diagram of the switch, t-stat, and element.

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Old 01-12-2015, 07:08 PM   #4
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I forgot to add, if you ever turn on (or leave on) the switch for the electric heating element, while there is no water in the heater, it will burn up the electric heating element.
Yep. And it literally only takes seconds! Hit it once by accident and immediately realized what I had done...it was still too late.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:57 PM   #5
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Is there a way to ck the hi limit? Thanks


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Old 01-13-2015, 07:59 PM   #6
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Is there a way to ck the hi limit? Thanks


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Simply put, you can consider the hi-limit t'stat as a fuse. If you will notice in the pic (red and yellow lines pointing to), that the small strip is burned out in the 120v bad one (black wires) but is not over on the 12v t'stat side (red wires).

All you have to do to check it when the water inside the heater is cool, if you can't visually see the strip burned out, is the same as with a fuse. First push in on the reset button at the top of the t'stat to make sure it has not tripped.

1. With power off at the black switch, use your multimeter to see if there is continuity between the two sides by probing the two wire leads where they plug onto the t'stat (green arrows).


2. With power on at the black switch (make sure there is water in the heater first though), use your multimeter to see if you have proper AC voltage on both sides.
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Old 01-14-2015, 05:50 AM   #7
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My water heater quit working on electric! It still works on gas. I checked and I have power at the outside switch but nothing at the coil. I wonder if the outside switch could be bad again, I replaced it last spring? I wonder about wiring the Leeds together and then checking the coil for juce?
I know this may seem simple for the electric heating element, but when you say you have no power at the coil (heating element).... you are checking when the water inside the heater is cool, and has not been heated up to temp by the propane side.....thus the thermostat not allowing the electric element to power up since the water temp is already where it needs to be?

Just checking to be sure.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:30 PM   #8
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Yup wife had a shower first, not easy to explain why she had to shower with the water heater turned off. LOL


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Old 01-15-2015, 02:25 PM   #9
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Looks like a new switch on the water heater did the trick! That is the second switch in a year. Thanks to all who helped!


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Old 01-16-2015, 02:28 AM   #10
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I had to replace my electric side switch twice. it was replaced under warranty and then 9 months later it was not heating up hot enough and found out suburban had a bad batch of switches and sent me a new one. so far all has been good.
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