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Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 08, 2021 08:40AM
It’s electric, and this morning the water was tepid.

I checked the circuit breaker and it had tripped. I reset it and I can hear the water heater behind its electrical cover “doing something.”

I’ve never noticed it making any sound before, but then again I am not in the habit of being near it. Truth be told I can hear it from several feet away now. Like a constant buzz, like an electric motor that’s dead and won’t rotate.

It’s been a couple minutes now and the breakers aren’t getting warm in case you’re wondering.

The good news is that it’s replacement will be “free,” covered by the utility. The bad news is that I’ll have to do the replacement. Again (3 yrs ago.)
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 08, 2021 08:59AM
The buzz stopped and the breaker didn’t trip. Seems warmer now, if not actually hot. Maybe one element is shot. There’s a diagram on the outside but I’m not playing detective on something I won’t be fixing.

Gonna check it in a few hours.
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: flareslow
Date: July 08, 2021 09:10AM
Is this a tank heater or tankless?

I've never had a tankless, but the tank heaters I have had never made noise like that. I would trip those breakers and investigate or have a plumber do so. You may have a heater element that has ruptured and the wire inside is exposed to water.

Best of luck!

Mike
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: GGD
Date: July 08, 2021 10:19AM
I've had an electric tank water heater in a property that would be vacant for long periods and I would turn it off at the breaker panel while vacant.

When I turned it back on there were two noises I would hear as it started heating. A 60hz hum from the power lines (and it was drawing about 5000 watts 240vac), and sort of a low boiling noise coming from the tank.

Both would end once the tank reached temperature and it stopped drawing power. I suspect that even in normal operation if I were to catch it in the act of heating when the thermostat triggered I would hear those same noises.

The noises were both noticeable because the water heater was right next to the breaker box, and the room was totally silent when turning it on, so any new noise was very noticeable, especially when it begins just as the breaker is turned on.
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: deckeda
Date: July 08, 2021 10:31AM
“All fixed.” I love it when things fix themselves.

I declare the water hot and yes it only makes a noise when drawing power. Since I work in the next room I’ll know if the noise is noticeable.

Maybe the breaker got weak (it happens) but for now it’s working fine and is the only thing that was “wrong.”
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 08, 2021 10:49AM
Try draining water from the bottom of the tank. I wonder if you have sediment build up.
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 08, 2021 06:40PM
why did the breaker trip in the first place?
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Re: Taking bets on the water heater
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 08, 2021 07:55PM
Quote
space-time
why did the breaker trip in the first place?

Shoes were tied together.
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