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GE Model #SE40M12AAH Electric Water Heater

Dazed & Confused

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40 gal in 1978 mobile home. WH has mfg date of 08/2010 but paperwork claims a 12 year warranty on tank and functional parts but it doesn't appear that previous owner ever maintained it at all. The area has very hard water so I assume it is full of sediment and should be replaced.    

This WH is still generating hot water, well, sort of.  The WH thermostat set to 130, and the kitchen sink, 40 feet from WH has a max temp of 115 but a sink 6 feet from WH has a max temp of 95, shower 9 feet from WH max temp of 96.  This makes no sense to me at all.  I would think that an increase in distance would cool the water not heat it up.   

Will a new WH resolve the issue or is there something else going on here that I am unaware of? 

Any guidance/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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  • Dazed & Confused


  • Vance R


  • Jack111


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Measure the temp at the WH, usually the temp/pressure relief valve is good spot.  If temp is good at WH,  then you have cold water infiltration. Any recent plumbing work? 

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No plumbing work in the two months I have owned the place.  However, I have found some of the most ridiculous and/or dangerous DIY work done by previous owners, mostly electrical, and very scary, unsafe to occupy until that was fixed.  I am not surprised that there are plumbing issues as well.  :angry:  The WH installation is not what I would call standard.

No catch pan, WH sits on a piece of MDF board that someone took a hole saw to, I assume to provide potential drainage.  Although it does not appear that any water has drained this way as the MDF board has not swelled up like it was exposed to water.  There is no other piping, so water would drain into the belly board or wrap under the home, not a good thing in a  mobile home. 

The pressure relief valve is piped to the back side of the WH, not with copper but with an iron pipe and a 90 degree elbow where it just ends, no discharge line, just the elbow.  There is maybe 4 inches clearance and I don't want to open the pressure relief valve without a means of re-routing the water so it does not end up in the belly wrap. 

So I measured the temperature of the outside of the pipe that exits the WH, it is 107 degrees, not as good as from the pressure relief valve....

Cold water infiltration??  From where?  Within the WH or from elsewhere?  I noticed that there is no cold water shut off valve unless it is hidden behind the WH.  Isn't a shut off valve mandatory?  

What a crap-tastic mess this is turning out to be. 

I'm leaning toward shutting off the water at the main, shutting off the power, trying to drain the WH enough to get it out so I can really see what is going on in that area.  Unfortunately to do that will require dismantling the bed and moving dressers out of the way so the WH can be exited to the nearest door. 

[Sigh] Once upon a time the weekends were fun, now it's an endless list of chores, finish one & three more get added.  






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5 hours ago, Dazed & Confused said:

Cold water infiltration??  From where?

Usually it is at faucets, if they aren't installed correctly cold water "bleeds" into hot water side when hot is call for in another part of the home. Happens during remodel when faucets have the spacer in them and water get turned on. Is the drain valve accessible, but if there is sediment it may be clogged? 

Yup, the joy of home ownership.

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The Eccotemp product worked absolutely fantastic. We full-time in our RV, and use it on a daily basis. The only time we have issues is when the water pressure is too low, not the fault of the water heater. This kept the coils away from the colder outside wall, and yes it got cold this winter, and we never had one issue with freezing.

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