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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a little confused as to what causes the reset button on the thermostat to pop sometimes. It seems like there's not a lot we can check without just replacing all of the guts. Had one today that was popped and everything with the W/H appeared to be fine, aside from being old. Resistance on elements was fine, everything was getting power when and where it should...

What do you guys do on W/H service calls where reset button is popped?


TYIA,

-Alan
 

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Replace the stats, there no longer working, only logical reason. When I change out stats I change the upper and lower stat and just the upper.
 

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A power surge can pop it as well. We had to get an electrician to put a logging volt meter on a home overnight to find this one. He put a power conditioner on the feed to the water heater and the problem went away.

Usually the lower stat is not in good contact or the upper with the reset has gone bad and the set point is now too low. Make sure you have good contact on both or do as Ron says and replace them both, but check for contact to the tank.
 

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our area is power surge happy anyway, and this one was in a mobile park, which makes it even more likely... That was my first guess, but I just wanted to see what else there was to do besides "well, its working right now, so call back if it pops again" :whistling2:
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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I had one yesterday...the upper-t-stat popped. At first I couldn't see any reason, but then I noticed a small drip around the upper element gasket, that probably shorted it out. 6 year old Kenmore, nice heater. I replaced everything, upper and lower.

Just recommend they replace elements and T-stats, that way you can give a guarantee you can stand behind. On 90% of 'no hot water' electric water heater calls I end up replacing everything...BOTH t-stats AND elements. If the heater is old, I end up replacing the whole tank. I used to just replace the offending part...I would check to find if it was a t-stat or element problem, and which one, then just replace that...but now I realize its similar to changing ONE tire on an old car, when they actual all should be replaced at the same time when they wear.:yes:
 

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I had one yesterday...the upper-t-stat popped. At first I couldn't see any reason, but then I noticed a small drip around the upper element gasket, that probably shorted it out. 6 year old Kenmore, nice heater. I replaced everything, upper and lower.

Just recommend they replace elements and T-stats, that way you can give a guarantee you can stand behind. On 90% of 'no hot water' electric water heater calls I end up replacing everything...BOTH t-stats AND elements. If the heater is old, I end up replacing the whole tank. I used to just replace the offending part...I would check to find if it was a t-stat or element problem, and which one, then just replace that...but now I realize its similar to changing ONE tire on an old car, when they actual all should be replaced at the same time when they wear.:yes:
how much do you charge in your area for replacing all four
(both elements,both t-stats)
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Elements and stats at same price. $199 for one $269 for both. 2 elements & 2 stats $538.

I'm like you in that I do not like to replace just one of something (you're tire example was a good one).
$538 for one hour of work and some cheap parts? Your flat rate system is out of whack imo. Are you using PSI?

It takes awhile to do 2 elements ($269 for you)...so why is it so much more for an extra 15 minutes to do the t-stats? ($538)
 

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$538 for one hour of work and some cheap parts? Your flat rate system is out of whack imo. Are you using PSI?
You may be right about this one but then again this is actually a job that I rarely do because virtually everything around here is gas. I can't really remember the last time I replaced all four rather than simply replace the tank.

I would still stick to $199 for one and $269 for a pair but I think you're correct in that there is certainly room for adjustment if you are doing all four.
 

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Replacing both stats and elements isn't an hour of work anywhere that I know of. It can take hours sometimes just to get the water out of the tank.

Here, with our sediment problems, it can take several hours to clean the tanks. Sometimes, it's less than a gallon, sometimes, it's as much as seven - all through the element hole.

Today, I had to go out and diagnose a heater. It was in a commericial application (dog washing and grooming) and I had just worked on it about a year ago.

Diagnose water heater: $89.

That involves first checking for power, then removing the wires from the elements and checking for continuity through the elements, no continuity from element to tank. Replace everything and check amperage on the working elements.

I learned that when you have a lot of lime sediment in the tank, you must always check the interior of the tank behind the bottom thermostat - the lime can stick there and insulate the t-stat from the temp of the water and cause it to overheat.

Also, when it's a State with a poly liner, the liner could have been damaged by a dry fire install and it can form a pocket behind the element and stat. I saw one of those making a good head of steam once.

And you have to keep in mind that the thermostats are not always accurate as to temperature, and they might work one time and not the next. So, yes, it's probably a good idea to change them both if the button is popping.
 

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If he is getting jobs at that rate its not out of whack its genius. As long as the homeowner accepts the price and your making money your system is never whack.
 

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I turn all electric water heaters away in regards to service.


Not going to stock all those different stats and elements for the various ones used in my area.


I bump pass the calls to the guy who does warranty work for all 3 mfgs.



There are just some things in plumbing that you cannot put a solid guarantee behind and water heaters are something that you can get operational in a few hours, but then the water heater tank can go bad and the same customer is price shopping you on the replacement.


My last "service" of an electric water heater went bad, the one before that was a calcium filled tank that was very difficult to get the new element in.

So much time in something that can be risky.

I've done less than 10 water heaters this year, I love it. :laughing: :thumbsup:
 

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A little erronious information on what causes the reset on the upper thermostat to pop. This pops for one reason and one reason only. That is when the tank is overheating it kills the power to the unit.

Your mission would be to figure why it is overheating.

1. The t-stat(s) could be bad so they are not shutting off the power to the element(s).

2. Element(s) may be bad and grounding. The T-Stat only switches off 1 leg of the 240 volt power. The hot unswitched side can supply 120 volts through the bad grounded out element to ground continuing to heat the water until it over temps and the reset pops.

These are why a water heater would go out on reset. Nothing to do with power surges, UFO's or, any other reason.
 
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