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Old 01-22-2014, 04:45 AM   #1
sspencercj
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Default Hot water turning cold quickly

Hi. I have a GE 50M06AAG electric water heater. Bought 3-4yrs ago. Worked fine. Lately noticed hot water running out. Found breaker tripped. Reset. Let tank heat for about 8hrs w/o use. Hot water back on, but ran out quickly. Found breaker tripped again after shower. Looked at water heater. Slow, small leak coming from panel covering lower element/wiring. I haven't opened it up yet (turned off breaker, turned off cold water, drained tank). Does this sound like an element? I am sure if water reached the wiring that probably caused the breaker trip. While I have it down should I replace both elements? Replace anything else? Parts seems relatively inexpensive compared to buying new tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 01-22-2014, 11:29 AM   #2
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Sounds like the lower heating element is bad and grounding to the tank which is causing the breaker to trip. It's possible your lower t'stat and wiring could be burnt and bad as well. Replacing the bad lower parts should take care of your problem. The upper element & t'stat should be just fine. The lower component runs a lot more that the uppers. Remember to completely fill water heater with water before turning breaker back on after repairs.



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Old 01-22-2014, 07:11 PM   #3
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Thanks. Took everything apart. Lower element so corroded that water was going through it to terminals. Bought a kit and changed upper and lower elements and t'stats; easy and cheap. Which brings me to another issue. Why is my well water so corrosive? I've changed pressure gauges and tanks because of the same issue. How to correct, without breaking the bank??? I am going to sell the house here in the next few months, but would like to not leave this issue for the next homeowner.

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Old 01-22-2014, 08:58 PM   #4
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Am I being impatient? I waited an hour for HWH to warm up. Tested at faucet; very hot. Took shower. After about 7 minutes water turned warm, cool, cold. Is an hour not enough to heat 50gals, or is something else maybe wrong. Checked for leaks and breaker after shower; all seems ok. Am I missing something?

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Old 01-22-2014, 11:29 PM   #5
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Do you have a recirulating system, what temp did you set your t'stat, did you double check to made sure you put in the right wattage heating element (maybe 4500 watts), all wiring is correct ? Sspencercj, post your well water quality in the Pump and Well section maybe one of the well specialist will stop by. If you have had a water quality test done post results.

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Old 01-23-2014, 03:45 AM   #6
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I do not have a recirculating system. I set the temp at 128 degrees, 3 degrees warmer than the previous thermostats. Yes, I made sure the wattage (4500) was correct and I took pictures of the wiring before disassembly and followed the pictures when I wired it back up. I appreciate the suggestion of posting my well water question in another forum. As for the water heater, shouldn't an hour have been enough to heat it up? I still have my fingers crossed. My wife gave bath's tonight (short ones) with no sign of hot water going away. The test will be in the morning when she showers...if it stays hot for her long showers, it will stay hot for anyone I will repost if I have further issues. I appreciate you keeping tabs on this thread and for the help. FINGERS CROSSED!

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Old 03-08-2014, 12:43 AM   #7
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Generally standard electric 50 gallon water heaters have a recovery rate of 20 gallons per hour. So, when you waited 1 hour you probably only had 20 gallons of hot water. Give it time to recover. Good job changing out the parts.



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