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Question DetailsAsked on 7/27/2017

why does only the upper element work on a new water heater

a new 5500 watt 220 water heater and only the upper element works

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1 Answer


Most likely because the system is designed to reduce total power demand - so only one element operates at a time - one for initial heating, the other to top off the heating and to keep the tank hot. A couple of the following links also address this one-element operation in more detail.

Of course, if the water heater is not heating properly and a new install, assuming this was installed by a contractor, contact them for a warranty repair. Could be there is a wiring error or a connection not made properly.

Here are some related or similar previous questions about water heater not heating fully which might also help:

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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