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Electric hot water heater question

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Remarkable_3

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Here’s a strange one in my opinion... I recently discovered that I my electric water heater was no longer heating. I changed the elements and thermostat to start it began working for about two months. It stopped working again and due to its age, I decided to just buy another one. I turned off the breaker, turned off the cold water valve, connected the hose, opened the drain faucet, opened the pressure valve and it began draining. I checked and made sure the water heater was empty and it was. By the time I got back home with the new water heater I decided it was too late to attempt the removal and new install. When I woke up today, the water heater was full of water and also had some leakage into the drain pan. My question is, how is this possible if the cold water valve is turned off? Did I miss something?
 

SHEPLMBR

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Maybe the valve is bad? Water running through single handle fixtures looping into the water heater through the hot side maybe.
 

Jeff Handy

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Water can back flow through the hot outlet pipe.

And water can pass through faucet valves from hot to cold or vice versa.

Also, your cold inlet valve might not be shutting off all the way.

EDIT SHEPLMBR beat me to it!
 

SHEPLMBR

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Water can back flow through the hot outlet pipe.

And water can pass through faucet valves from hot to cold or vice versa.

Also, your cold inlet valve might not be shutting off all the way.

EDIT SHEPLMBR beat me to it!
ALL GOOD!
 

Jeff Handy

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It couldn’t hurt.
Easier now than later.

What kind of pipes do you have?

Get a nice lever handle ball valve, more reliable than a multi turn valve.

You can also add that same style valve on the hot outlet, if your local codes permit it.

It makes swapping in the next heater much easier, in about ten years.

Just DO NOT close both valves with the heater still turned on, or their could be trouble if the TPR safety valve does not release the pressure.
 

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