We have a large tank conventional water heater. Electric, two elements. We get hot water from it. It's 113F at the kitchen faucet and we can take showers/etc. It does take quite awhile for the initial hot water to arrive, though (I don't know what normal is in this house, though). The heater is only 2 years old.
I went to flush sediment from the drain at the bottom and the water in my bowl is cold. Like - room temperature. Nowhere near 120. This is after hours of non-use. So it seems that only the top element must be doing the heating - right?
I removed the upper and lower panels and checked the thermostats. Seemed fine but increased both slightly (faucet temp now 124). I get a voltage on the lower panel with the power on.
With the power off, I did a continuity test on the lower heating element and I get a tone so it seems fine. (Is it definitely fine? Is there more to test?)
What else could be wrong? Faulty thermostat or controller for the lower element?