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Kenmore 153.321841 water heater tripping high limit


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27 replies to this topic

#21 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:03 AM

how often does it trip lately ?

Harbor Freight
if there's a store near you

http://www.harborfre...q=digital+clamp
There's usually a 20% OFF coupon (even for sale items)
make sure the model has a 20A scale
sometimes the "specifications" may indicate,
but check the Dial or instructions PDF
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#22 Bullstok

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:14 PM

U usually don't run the current through the meter except for small loads. You buy a meter that clamps around a conductor and it reads the current that way. (it has loops in the clamp head and it reads the field produced by the wire)

Edited by Bullstok, 18 April 2012 - 06:21 PM.


#23 randtm

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

Okay, that makes sense for a new meter and it looks pretty cheap. I'll look into getting one. In the meantime, put the two new stats in tonight and it appears to be back in working order... for the time being. I think it's working because I got the bottom element to kick in and while I was putting everything back together and cleaning up, it cut out, so it appears to have stopped running away every time it was heating. I think the top stat might have gone bad because before replacing the two stats, I could get the bottom element to kick in, but not the top one. So, I'll see over the weekend if it's behaving normally, but I still don't have a good feeling that sometime it will occasionally run away and trip the upper high limit. Maybe getting the new meter and checking current will be worth it to see what's going on. At least for the time being, hopefully I have hot water without running to the basement and turning it on for an hour and then running and turning it off a few times a day. :)

#24 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 11:06 PM

Why doesn't this site have a brain fart emoticon?


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Ax and ye shall receive!

Not ezzacly an emoticon but it'll work.

#25 telefunkenu47

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:56 AM

Ohm out the lower and upper element to ground.Use a Fluke 77 or equivilent. If you have ANY continuity from either terminal to ground, I mean any. then you have a bad element. also be sure the lower stat is set at least 10 deg cooler than the top element. I would set the top stat at 130, the bottom at 115 or so. We have seen the elements trickle heat in the tank even when off usually the bottom one but check em both anyway.
Even root canal is easy...if you're a dentist...

#26 randtm

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 01:28 PM

Okay... Long time no update on this, but here I am again. After about 6 months, it acted up again. This time, I discovered it has melted the upper left corner of the upper thermostat and cover. I never got around to getting a clamp meter, which I think I should, but I'm pretty convinced that while this unit was made to convert to 5500 watts for the lower element, it just doesn't seem to have appropriately sized components to handle it. I think it would be safer all around if I replaced the lower element again and this time went with a 3800 watt element. Which brings me back here. Sears lists the element as a 31906. This appears to equate to a State/AO Smith 9001619005. I can only find a couple of places that even have this element and they are outrageously expensive. I'm guessing there is an updated element that isn't listed for this unit, but is compatible. Anybody know anything about these that could tell me the best element to use? Thanks.

#27 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:26 PM

"NOTE:
UPPER ELEMENT: These water heaters are equipped with 3800 watt elements.
LOWER ELEMENT These water heaters are equipped with factory installed convertible elements,
which can be operated at 3800 watts or 5500 watts.
Convertible elements are not offered as replacement parts.
ORDERING INFORMATION
If a replacement 3800 watt, 240 watt element is needed,
order item no. 42-31906 replacement element.
If at the time of installation, the water heater was converted to operate at 5500 watts,
order item number 42-31908 replacement element.
(See model rating plate "If Converted" box)"

search for
31906
3800w Elements are available on "that auction site"
$ 31 free shipping

OR maybe search for
3800* heat* element
.

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#28 Bullstok

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:01 PM

This appears to use standard 1" thread in elements (they use a 1.5" wrench). If so, get any with the watt rating u need. They are everywhere. And cheap. If u have crappy water go for lower density elements if possible (the longer ones that double back on themselves). Cant get 3800? Then get 3500, they are like $10. Or try a 4500. It doesn't matter much as long as the voltage is correct and you aren't exceeding the rating it was designed for. Although lower wattage means lower heating capacity (it will take longer to heat up).




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