Repair guides and support for gas and electric hot water tanks, boilers and household heat exchangers.

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no power in lower element?

I can't seem to get power to the lower element of my electric hot water heater the top one reads fine but the bottom one does not

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@chanda you checked teh wiring going to your hot water heater? You checked the fuses to those lines? What is your household voltage 110V (North America) or 220/240 (Europe)? What make is your HW heater?

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Yeah, your lower element is broken, you just need to buy a new one and replace it. But you have to make sure to buy the right one. If you have no idea of how to choose the right element, this article may be helpful.

https://suplumb.com/how-to-choose-the-ri...

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Chosen Solution

Check the wires running power from the top element to the bottom one. They sometimes burn out.

Be sure to check the reset button/limit switch located above or near the upper element.

I use this webpage to test my water heater:

http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-...

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New thermostats, new bottom element. Wiring checks out okay. 110 v to the lower red wired line but no voltage to the black wired line.

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Most Helpful Answer

If each element is on a separate thermostat the one connected to that element may be bad or the element itself may be.

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That's what we thought, and we changed all that to new, but with no luck.

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@jrbryant so you have a water heater where the bottom element is not working? You checked the power? What make and model is our water heater? What else have you checked?

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It's an AO Smith electric water heater, 40 gal I think. Less than 10 years old, no deposits found in tank, no corrosion on elements. Power checks okay, top element 220v. Lower element shows no voltage.

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John Bryant, You really should have posted this as a new question, instead of a comment in an answer a year old to get answered by more ifixit volunteers. On a duel element residential water heater, both elements do not heat at the same time. The link below may be able to answer you issue.

http://www.water-heater-repair-guide.com...

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Top has power, used a voltage meter, lights up, replaced bottom thermostat and element and voltage light don't light up

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The upper and lower elements take turns heating the water, you will never have power to both at the same time. The upper one heats the water in the upper part of the tank first. Once it reaches the set temperature, it will shut off and then send power to the lower element. So, give the upper one time to heat up before checking the lower one. To check the lower one, I set the upper to the lowest setting (so it would shut off quickly) and then had power to the lower one. Once I knew it was working I re-set the upper one to the desired temperature.

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