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Question DetailsAsked on 2/24/2018

Water heater giving extremely high readings

No leaks and no water left running

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1 Answer


You say extremely high readings - I presume you mean electric power draw ?

First, if "extremely high" amperage readings, then unless the breaker(s) are mis-sized or has failed, they should have tripped out if pulling dramatically excessive juice, so I would question the amperage reading first.

Otherwise, with no water left running (if talking high power bill), only causes I can see would be a partly shorting out electric heating element - enough to show high reading but not enough to create a dead short or high enough draw to trip the breaker - a tough thing to imagine for any period of time.

Pretty much any thermostat problem - running too hot say, would cause high power usage while heating it but in the long run not a whole lot more total power, and amperage would not be changed - would just run a bit more to keep the water hotter.

If you mean much higher power draw - high electric bills, though don't know how you would have traced that back to the water heater, then only two ways I see that happening if there is not a partial short causing a power loss to ground - a hot water pipe leak somewhere, or the overtemp/overpressure valve at the top side of the tank blowing/leaking water into whereever that drain pipe leads.

One other possibility - if the water heater is a high-efficiency one with heat pump on top, and the heat pump commonly provides most of the heating of the water, if the ambient temperature is unusually low then the heating elements would be doing most of the heating of the water instead - though normally that would only be about $30-40/month of electricity total (including normal heat pump operating power), so not a "excessively high" amount since the increase for all-element heating wouldonly be maybe $20-30/month over your normal bill.

Perhaps if you could respond back, using the yellow button right below your question labelled Answer This Question, with more detail on whether you are talking high water usage, high power usage (i.e. high power bill), or very high amperage draw on the wiring to the heater (in which case I would shut it off till fixed), maybe I could give a more specific answer to your issue. Also HOW you or a technician determined these high readings.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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