Armed Polite Society

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

R.I.P. Scout26

Author Topic: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition  (Read 213 times)

Devonai

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,509
  • Panic Mode Activated
    • Kyrie Devonai Publishing
My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« on: September 22, 2022, 09:14:10 PM »

We are having hot water problems with our electric water heater. Tepid water not nearly as robust as it should be. I've adjusted both the upper and lower thermostats from ~115F to ~130F to see if that would help, to no avail. I'm prepared to replace the heating elements but I've hit a dead-end.

I can't positively identify the darn unit. What I do know is it's a "Marathon MXB5255" installed on or around December 1994. It's probably a Rheem? Doesn't say that anywhere on it. My Google-Fu is weak. I don't know what wattage, voltage, or length of the heating elements, and while I could drain the tank, pull the elements, and go from there, that would leave us without hot water for as long as it takes me to fix the problem.

What do I do? Help! I know I can fix this problem without paying $$$ for a technician visit but I'm stuck.
My writing blog: Kyrie Devonai Publishing

When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!

zxcvbob

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,383
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2022, 09:44:13 PM »

We are having hot water problems with our electric water heater. Tepid water not nearly as robust as it should be. I've adjusted both the upper and lower thermostats from ~115F to ~130F to see if that would help, to no avail. I'm prepared to replace the heating elements but I've hit a dead-end.

I can't positively identify the darn unit. What I do know is it's a "Marathon MXB5255" installed on or around December 1994. It's probably a Rheem? Doesn't say that anywhere on it. My Google-Fu is weak. I don't know what wattage, voltage, or length of the heating elements, and while I could drain the tank, pull the elements, and go from there, that would leave us without hot water for as long as it takes me to fix the problem.

What do I do? Help! I know I can fix this problem without paying $$$ for a technician visit but I'm stuck.

My guess is the upper element has gone out, and the lower can't keep up by itself.  (if the lower element quits, your water is plenty hot but it runs out quickly) 

I haven't tried it but you should be able to diagnose a burned out element with a multimeter.  With the breaker off, check the resistance across the two terminals, it should be pretty low (15 to 20 ohms?) 
"It's good, though..."

Hawkmoon

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 25,483
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2022, 11:06:34 PM »

It's 28 years old. IMHO it's a miracle it has lasted this long. My suggestion is to bite the bullet and replace the whole enchilada.

zahc

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5,487
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2022, 01:51:04 AM »

Most electrics use universal heating elements you can buy anywhere. But you should just replace the whole thing probably.
Maybe a rare occurence, but then you only have to get murdered once to ruin your whole day.
--Tallpine

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,336
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 05:36:41 AM »

You are having google problems because that's not a marathon model number.  It's  a Marathon  MX 85255, not B.

It uses a screw in titanium coated element in either 3000, 3800, or 4500 watts that is unfortunately no longer made by Rheem.  You'll need to look at the elements to see which you have.

Here's a parts breakdown:  https://www.searspartsdirect.com/model/57uqnfug0r-000664/marathon-mx85255-electric-water-heater-parts

It's possible that an SP 610160 may replace the 610060 4500W element that came with it, but I'd need to try it to be sure. Here's the newer version, no longer Ti coated: https://www.amazon.com/Rheem-SP610160-Element-4500W-CO/dp/B009AXFBH0/ref=sr_1_6?crid=19UIF65WBDR8P&keywords=sp610140&qid=1663925314&sprefix=sp610140%2Caps%2C132&sr=8-6

But as the other folks said, it gave good service.  I would consider replacing the whole unit. 

K Frame

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 39,169
  • I Am Inimical
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2022, 07:09:47 AM »

Agree that the upper element has probably failed.

Also agree that it's time to get yourself a new water heater.
Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.

Bogie

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,222
  • Hunkered in South St. Louis, right by Route 66
    • Third Rate Pundit
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 09:24:57 AM »

So... You turn off the breaker, pull the wires after you open the little hatch, and then somehow unscrew or even cut the water lines?
 
I have no idea where this house's water shutoff is. And I've looked. I guess I'll have to buy something to turn it off at the street.
Blog under construction

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,336
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 09:31:22 AM »

So... You turn off the breaker, pull the wires after you open the little hatch, and then somehow unscrew or even cut the water lines?
 
I have no idea where this house's water shutoff is. And I've looked. I guess I'll have to buy something to turn it off at the street.

There *should* be a shutoff to just the water heater, but there's no guarantee it was installed correctly.  Often the pipes do need to be cut.

Brad Johnson

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16,923
  • Witty, charming, handsome, and completely insane.
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2022, 11:40:32 AM »

Often the pipes do need to be cut.

Sharkbite water heater connectors are your friend. Wouldn't use them in a wall, but for water heaters they are a Gifts From Heaven.

Brad
It's all about the pancakes, people.
"And he thought cops wouldn't chase... a STOLEN DONUT TRUCK???? That would be like Willie Nelson ignoring a pickup full of weed."
-HankB

zxcvbob

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,383
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2022, 12:06:31 PM »

So... You turn off the breaker, pull the wires after you open the little hatch, and then somehow unscrew or even cut the water lines?
 
I have no idea where this house's water shutoff is. And I've looked. I guess I'll have to buy something to turn it off at the street.

Do you have a water softener?  Often there's a shutoff there, and the WH is always downstream from the softener.  (the kitchen cold water should be upstream of the softener, so you'll still have water if it's installed right)
"It's good, though..."

dogmush

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11,336
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2022, 01:08:55 PM »

Sharkbite water heater connectors are your friend. Wouldn't use them in a wall, but for water heaters they are a Gifts From Heaven.

Brad

You ain't lyin'.  When I replaced my most recent water heater I cut the PVC, slammed a Sharkbite Apollo ball valve on the inlet, and put two sharkbite stainless flex lines on.  Thread into heater, plug into pipe, turn on water.  Done deal.

K Frame

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 39,169
  • I Am Inimical
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2022, 01:18:12 PM »

Next water heater I do is getting sharkbites.

Cut down on the prep install time by an hour or more.
Carbon Monoxide, sucking the life out of idiots, 'tards, and fools since man tamed fire.

Devonai

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,509
  • Panic Mode Activated
    • Kyrie Devonai Publishing
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2022, 10:42:48 AM »

Thank you to everyone who replied. Thanks to Dogmush* I was able to find the information I needed. I've secured replacement elements so hopefully that will fix the problem for now, since I'm off to San Antonio on Monday for a week of a fun-filled Air Force logistics conference.

*stupid futuristic font on the unit. I should have known to try an 8 instead of a B.
My writing blog: Kyrie Devonai Publishing

When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!

JonnyB

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 753
Re: My Google-Fu is Weak: Electric Water Heater Edition
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2022, 07:14:17 PM »

An Ohmmeter is your friend here.

My hot water wasn’t, so I checked the elements with a meter. Top one measured something like 12.5 Ohms; lower was open - infinite resistance. Off to the hardware store for a new one. And a socket to fit it (an extra $12).

Presto! Hot water again.

Oh yeah… My sacrificial anode was all used up, too. Another $29 and that was corrected.

JB
Jon has a long mustache. No, really; he does. Look at that thing!