Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER
On most electric water heaters the upper thermostat denies voltage to the lower heater until the upper section of the tank has satisfied its set point. Than the upper thermostat turns off the voltage to the upper element and permits voltage to reach the lower elements thermostat. Easy test is to lower the upper thermostat's settinguntil the upper element turns off. You can hear the element "hissing" when it is heating. If there is still no voltage applied to the lower element, turn the lower thermostat up. If you get voltage on the element but you can't hear the water being heated; turn off power remove wires and test with an ohmmeter.
Posted on Nov 20, 2014
Short answer: Thermostats may be bad. Replace both thermostats.
1) If water heater has some hot water, then upper element is good and water heater has 240Volts, and best suspect is burned out lower element.
2) If water heater has no hot water because 240volt circuit breaker is tripped on one leg, and only 120Volts is arriving at water heater, then upper part of water heater can appear to have voltage and lower part of water heater can appear to have no voltage.
Open following links for troubleshoot steps:
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Posted on Jun 14, 2011
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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