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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 06:39 pm
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TnTA2
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So my 2-1/2 year old Whirlpool water suddenly started producing scalding hot water. The front panel displayed “E02” which seemed to indicate water temp had reached 180 degrees and the unit had shut itself off. I ran through the troubleshooting steps I found online and turned off the power, pressed the reset button, but the error persisted. I shut off power to the whiter heater. I called Whirlpool support and they say it’s the lower element, but I am dubious. I think it’s the thermostat. Their own documentation says that annindicated bad lower element is an e05. I’m at work now and can’t test either part, so I’m just wondering if that sounds logical? I hate to lose what hot water I have to drain the tank and replace an element that may not even be the problem.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 11th, 2018 07:34 pm
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eleent
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Hello,  If you're handy with a volt-ohm meter, set it to the ohms times one setting, turn off power to the unit, disconnect one wire from the lower element and measure across the two element screws.  You should show continuity.  Now measure between each screw and the metal hex of the element, but using the ohms times 1000 setting.  You should get no continuity.  If you do, there is a leak to ground, which explains the overheating. If it tests out normally, the thermostat must be bad. ;)
Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2018 02:12 pm
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TnTA2
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The resistance between terminals on both elements shows 10.3ohms, no
continuity to ground on either. Whirlpool authorized a replacement lower element before I had chance to check. I didn’t believe it was the element so I just called again and now they tell me that both elements need to be replaced because e02 means shorted element but can’t test for which one it is! The new element test the same. I have wiring diagram for the thermostat, just one that controls both elements, but not sure what to test for. Also noticed T&P valve is dripping, even with power off.

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2018 06:29 pm
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TnTA2
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I have just replaced both elements and did a quick flush. The top element had a lot of scale build-up and there was a lot of trash in the tank during flush. I filled the tank and turned the power back on and the control unit and status light indicated normal operation. I had to get to work, so I turned off the power and water until I can get home and test it. Hope this fixes it. Will have to continue flushing later as there was still sediment in the drained water.

Thanks for the suggestions!

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 Posted: Tue Jun 12th, 2018 11:56 pm
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eleent
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Hello,  I'd be curious to know what happens if you test the old upper element in the same way I suggested for the lower one. I hope it shows a leak to ground! :D  Otherwise, I'm confused :?

Yours,  Larry

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 Posted: Wed Jun 13th, 2018 05:39 am
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TnTA2
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It appears the new elements have solved the problem. Everything seems to be working normally now. The temp is holding steady at 120-ish when measured with infrared thermometer at closest faucet. No errors on the front panel display, and elements status is changing on display when energized. Unit has now been powered on for about 4 hours or so.

Now, whether there was a bad element (or two) is still in question. I suspect the thermostat might have gotten confused (power surge/blip, perhaps?) and just needed to reset. After everything cooled off it seemed to be working even before replacing the elements. I setup one of my Arlo cameras in the basement/crawlspace so I can peek in on it without trudging down there to check. Hope it behaves now.

I'll test the old elements now that they are no longer contacting water and measure the resistance of each and compare.

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