Plumbing in the Home/Hot Water Heater
I recently had a new thermostat installed in my 50 gal electric water heater.
When the thermostat is activated I get scorching hot water but a few hours later
that water temperature has dropped and by next day the water is barely warm.
When I re-set the thermostat the same process repeats itself. This happened
with the old thermostat and I thought that installing a new one would solve the
problem. The heater is nine years old. Do I need a new one? If not, what
might be the problem.
John, Electric water heaters of the size you have use a dual element system. they are usually 4500 watt are designed to operate in series. The top element fires first to heat the upper 1/3 or so of water then when temp. is reached, the lower element fires to heat the rest up to temp. This arrangement give you a small amount of hot water quickly. Both are controlled by a mater thermostat located at the top element. Some brands also have a small thermostat on the lower element that will control the lower portion as well. By your description, I believe the lower element is shot. At nine yrs.old, I would change both elements. That should solve your problem. Side note: 99.9% of the time it is always recommended to change both elements at the same time regardless if only one is bad.