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My water heater stopped working a few days ago and I've been trouble shooting it ever since.

I found water in the connection receptacle. the leak from the the Air Conditioning unit above it has been addressed and fixed. I disconnected the power, dried the receptacle, cleaned everything up, trimmed the wires, and made new connections to the water heater.

No results.

I purchased an electrical meter and after checking the wires connecting to the water heater, I'm only getting 106 - 107 volts.

I thought it was supposed to get 240v...is that not correct?

If so, what could be the culprit here?


Update 1:

I got the original readings from the wires coming into the water heater from the wall. I'm including a photograph of this (this time it was reading 110v).enter image description here


Update 2:

I'm not sure what a "double pole" breaker is, so I'm attaching a photo of my breaker panel

enter image description here


Update 3:

This is the beaker for the water heater

enter image description here


Update 4:

Not sure if this helps, but when I connect the wires from the wall to the water heater and I check with the meter, I get a reading of "~ooo" [I've wired the same way as before...I marked with tape which was connected to the black wire with tape since both wires from the wall are RED]

enter image description here


Update 5 (Jan. 4th):

I tested the power at the breaker panel (photo attached).

  • I tested the top half by touching the BLACK Test Lead from the meter to the screw and the RED Test Lead to the ground wire. Meter read 124V

  • I tested the top half by touching the RED Test Lead from the meter to the screw and the BLACK Test Lead to the ground wire. Meter read 124

  • I tested the bottom half by touching the BLACK Test Lead from the meter to the screw and the RED Test Lead to the ground wire. Meter read 124V

  • I tested the bottom half by touching the RED Test Lead from the meter to the screw and the BLACK Test Lead to the ground wire. Meter read 124

  • I then tested the top half and the bottom half together (touching the RED Test Lead to the top and the BLACK Test Lead to the bottom) and the meter read 000. - I reversed the Test Leads (just in case) and also got 000.

I promptly replaced the cover to the breaker panel and escaped unscathed from this

enter image description here

enter image description here


UPDATE 6 (Jan. 6th):

Welp,

Not sure what is going on, but the water heater is working again. I didn't do anything to it after the last test that I did on the breaker panel.

I guess my home realized I was fully committed to tearing it apart to solve this problem and decided to get it together to avoid further damage. 😂

Not sure what to do, if there's anything to do. I'm just glad I have hot water again.

Thank you to all who contributed and guided me through this interesting challenge.

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    You said "106-107 volts". You didn't say where you measured this. How about the voltage from RED to BLACK, RED to WHITE, and BLACK to WHITE? If there is no WHITE, that would be good to know also. A photo might help. – jwh20 Jan 2 at 20:20
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    Also, you're measuring the voltage on the incoming wires? Not at the thermostat or elements? – JPhi1618 Jan 2 at 20:27
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    Measure it at the breaker too - unlikely to be a panel problem, but best to rule that out. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jan 2 at 20:47
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    You state you cleaned things up so I guess you flipped the breaker off, was it a double pole ? Most water heaters are 240v but there are some that are 120v and as the other 2 comments ask we are looking to see that you have a 2 pole breaker, sometimes these are handle tied , or supposed to be, to pass inspection a home owner may have pulled a nail out (not legal but a way many single pole breakers were made into double pole) many are 2 positions wide with a single handle. FYI the maximum voltage to ground should be close to 120v max but you will only see 240v hot to hot. – Ed Beal Jan 2 at 20:52
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    Did you turn the breaker back on when measuring. Also can you measure from hot1 to safety ground, and from hot2 to safety ground? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 2 at 21:26

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