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Old 08-17-2020, 03:44 PM   #1
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Hot Water Tank - Electric Mode Failure

I know this topic has been covered before but I searched the archives here and could not find an answer.

This past weekend the electric mode on my hot water heater quit (Atwood 6 gallon model G6A-8E).

I checked all the obvious solutions - breaker, wiring connections etc. The 2 amp fuse on the circuit board is good. Red light on electric mode switch comes on as normal. I believe there is no reset button on the tank itself. I searched the internet and found out the reset is incorporated in the on/off toggle switch.

So before I remove the heating element, I would appreciate any advice on which direction to go next.

The hot water tank works perfectly on LP.

Thanks!
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:07 PM   #2
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Shotgunning (randomly replacing items) a repair is one way to go but not the best. Sure you may get lucky and then again, you may not.

A simple multimeter will help diagnose the problem. You should be able to measure the 120 volts coming into the water heater. If it isn't coming in no matter what you replace in the water heater it just won't fix the problem.

If you suspect the heating element is bad, which it very easily could be, a simple test will verify it. Using the multimeter simply measure the AC voltage right across the heating element wires. If it measures 120 volts and it is not heating, the element is open. You could also try measuring the resistance of the heating element, which is done WITH NO VOLTAGE APPLIED.

If you have 120 volts coming into the water heater but it is not getting to the heating element, there may be a board or relay failure.

With a meter you can determine where you have voltage and where you do not. Without a meter you are just shooting blind. Lastly, when measuring 120 volts, exercise caution and do not touch the bare wiring or meter leads (the metal part) with your body parts. You could get a noticeable shock if not careful.
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:39 PM   #3
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From what youíve said Iíd expect itís the heating element but as Jim suggests, Iíd verify before removing. I saw a YouTube vid testing the element using using a clamp-on ammeter. You can also test itís resistance using an ohmmeter but I donít recall what readings to expect. Google/YouTube can probably help out there.
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:01 PM   #4
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I'll check it with a multimeter tonight.

I forgot to mention that I do hear the "singing" noise when on electric, so I suspect its getting power.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:05 PM   #5
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Problem solved!

I didnít think this would work but it did after someone suggested it to me.

I used my winterizing kit and filled the hot water tank with 4 gallons of white vinegar. Then I let it dwell for 3 hours. Then emptied the tank of the vinegar and then flushed the tank for about 10 minutes. There was ALOT of foam and calcium build-up coming out. I then flushed all water lines to get any residual vinegar out of the system.

Flipped it on electric mode, an hour later Ė very hot water!

Thanks to those who replied.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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Wow! Excellent news! Supposing it was calcium buildup.
Good to hear you’ve solved it.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:23 PM   #7
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I would wager that the heating element was what was calcified. Either way, it's working.
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