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Marcplante

kenmore 153.32053 Electric Heater not enough hot water

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Marcplante   
Marcplante

We have had a Kenmore electric hot water heater for about 8 yrs.  I have replaced both thermostats, but not done anything with the coils.  This afternoon my called to tell me that both kids ran out of their showers complaining of no not water (They're 5 and 7 so not taking the typical teenage showers yet,

 

It's a 50 gal heater, and we usually give them both baths, so I don't know that water volume should be an issue.  

 

When I came home and checked the hot water this evening, It was fine.  I was thinking that it needed thermostats again, but now that the water is hot again, I'm wondering.  

 

Is there any realistic cause of temporary hot water shortage? single coil going bad?

 

I checked the breaker reset button on the upper thermostat and it did not click when I pressed it, nor I hear any obvious churning that usually accompanies coils jumping to life, though there is hot water in the tank. 

 

Thanks,

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RegUS_PatOff   
RegUS_PatOff

one of the Heater Elements could be bad

(could be tested with an OHM meter without removing)

one Element would take twice as long to heat the water.

 

OR the "sacificial anode" (dip tube) may be eroded away ..

(incoming cold water doesn't go to the bottom of the tank..

stays near the top of the tank and goes straight to the "hot" water output.)

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Cactus Bob   
Cactus Bob

the "sacificial anode" (dip tube) may be eroded away ..

(incoming cold water doesn't go to the bottom of the tank..

stays near the top of the tank and goes straight to the "hot" water output.)

 

the anode and dip tube are not the same thing

 

the anode rod is a solid rod that runs down through the water from the top ,

 

the dip tube is a hollow tube that goes from the water input down through the water to the bottom of the tank , most of the time made of plastic and never goes bad

 

all that said , i have no clue what is wrong here .

 

might have a sticky thermostat ?

a slighty shorted to ground element (through the water) ?

 

a ohm meter and a clamp on amp meter should get to the bottom of it

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RegUS_PatOff   
RegUS_PatOff

... the anode and dip tube are not the same thing

I believe on some brands, they are

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Cactus Bob   
Cactus Bob

it must be something new , i have cut up my share of water heater tanks over the years and never seen an anode dip tube combo in my life

 

there's always a first

 

i saw my first plastic water heater only 6 months ago , what a weird thing that is

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Marcplante   
Marcplante

I'll check the coils with an ohm meter.  Might be a sticky thermostat, but last time it manifested itself in a pretty decisive failure.  Thanks for the insights

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certified tech group 51   
certified tech group 51

   Check bottom element, it ends up operating  more than the top element...... ( not by design )............

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