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I just bought a house 2 months ago. The water heater has been working fine until now. We experienced some receptacles in our kitchen coming in and out (meaning they'd work and then quit, work and then quit, all without tripping the breaker) and in the same day the hot water heater stops producing hot water.

I've checked everything I know to check (elements, thermostat, etc, with my ohms meter and an electricity testing pen) but,I'm by no means an electrician and am at a loss for what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Does turning off the same breaker turn off both the kitchen receptacles and the hot water heater? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 28 '18 at 2:29
  • No they have seperate breakers. – Rocky Parker Jun 28 '18 at 2:30
  • Does anything else not work? Does turning other things on make things start working again? – ThreePhaseEel Jun 28 '18 at 2:37
  • Turning what other things on? I apologize I just need clarification so I don't respond incorrectly. – Rocky Parker Jun 28 '18 at 2:56
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    One telltale clue of what could be happening is if turning the dryer or the range on made the kitchen receptacles and/or the hot water heater work again, if either of those is of the electric variety that is. – ThreePhaseEel Jun 28 '18 at 2:58
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Reading your description of the problem, the first thing I think of is a dropped phase or possibly a neutral. So I would start by checking out the panelboard. Look for breakers that are turned on and not reading any voltage on the load side, including the 2 pole breakers and the main.

It may be a faulty breaker, a failure at the meter, or a utility problem. Since you admit you don't have much electrical experience, you may be uncomfortable about opening and inspecting a panel. You will also need to have at least a voltmeter. So I would suggest you bring in someone with experience to help troubleshoot your problem. you can also have the utility company check out there side of the meter.

The most important thing is to stay safe.

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