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What is dry fire

Dry fire
Energy Smart has dry fire protection
Dry Fire prevention is not 100% sure.

What is dry fire

If water is not covering elements, then elements will dry-fire and instantly burn out.
Water heater must be full of water before electricity is turned ON, or element instantly burn out. So if element is 'dry' and electricity is turned ON, then element burns out.
All designs of Energy Smart have dry fire detection.
This will help prevent dry-fire incident, but not foolproof.
To prevent dry fire:
Fill tank completely with water, until water is coming out of tub spout, then open Tp valve to release last of air from inside tank, as lastly, turn power ON.
How electric water heaters work
Test elements if you suspect dry fire is causing water heater not to work:
How to test elements

Error codes and Service manual & troubleshooting resources
Energy Smart Troubleshoot Guide and service manual
Help at Whirlpool water heater
Full troubleshoot for electric water heater
Videos at Whirlpool
Whirlpool energy smart gas water heater manual

Why is upper element affected by dry fire?

Answer:
Upper element dry fires.. but lower element rarely does
Because most water heaters are non-simultaneous: the upper thermostat sends power to upper element first, and only after upper part of tank is heated does the upper thermostat switch and send power to lower part of tank
Resource:
How electric water heaters work
How to wire thermostats
How thermostats work
Is it because if the upper element fuse trips on dry fire the lower never gets power and therefore never gets dry fired?

Camco elements

Use 1-1/2" socket
Low watt density means heat is spread across more surface area. Low density element resists burnout
Watts/ square inch = density

Any element will work on any AC voltage, but the watt ouput drops as voltage drops. Watt density also drops with less voltage. So lower watt element also resists burnout.

Match voltage that is printed on element. Do not buy more wattage than is printed on end of element. Do not install 5500 watt element to replace 4500 watt element.

Installing lower watt element is ok. Lower watt means less heat, so element can last longer

240 volt 4500 watt element heats about 21 gallons per hour. 3500 watt heats about 16 gallons per hour.
Water heater formulas/ pdf
$25 - $47
Ultra low watt density
5 year warranty
Ultra Low Watt Density/ ripple
Hard water element
Resists high mineral count
Minimum 15" diameter tank
Buy 240 volt:
4500 watt at Amazon
4500 watt at Amazon 13" diameter
5500 watt at Amazon
Camco elements at Amazon

Lifetime warranty
4500 watt +limited lifetime element

Reliance / no extended warranty
Low density/ ripple
Min 13" tank
Buy 240 Volt
Reliance 4500 watt at Amazon
Reliance 5500 watt ripple at Amazon
Reliance elements at Amazon
$13 - $26
Ultra low watt density
5 year warranty
Ultra Low Watt Density/ foldback
Hard water element
Resists high mineral count
Check minimum tank diameter
Fits any tank above minimum dia
Buy 120 volt
1500 watt 120 volt 8" minimum
Buy 240 volt:
2500 watt at Amazon 
3500 watt at Amazon
4500 watt at Amazon
5500 watt at Amazon

Warranties do not cover dry fire (electricity ON before tank is full of water).
Resource:
Read about dry fire/ pdf page 2
$10 - $16

Low watt density
Camco/ no extended warranty
Low Watt Density/ foldback

Check minimum tank diameter
Fits any tank above minimum dia
Buy 240 volt:
2500 watt at Amazon
3500 watt at Amazon
4500 watt at Amazon
4500 watt 12 pack
5500 watt at Amazom

6000 watt at Amazon/ 17" minimum tank  (6000 watts requires 8 guage wire)

Elements on this webpage are rated for AC voltages.
AC elements with work with DC
But Thermostats will melt with DC
$10 - $12
Low watt density
Camco/ no extended warranty/
High Watt Density
Standard on all new water heater
Can use foldback as replacement
Match volts and watts
Check minimum tank diameter
120 Volt point-of-use water heater
Buy 120 volt:
1000 watt 120 volt 8" tank diameter
1500 watt 120 volt 8' tank diameter
1650 watt 120 volt 7.5" minimum
1750 watt 120 volt 9" minimum
2000 watt 120 volt 9" minimum
120 Volt elements at Amazon
Buy 240 volt
1500 watt at Amazon
2000 watt 12 pack
2500 watt at Amazon
3000 watt at Amazon
3500 watt at Amazon
3800 watt at Amazon
4000 watt at Amazon
4500 watt at Amazon
4500 watt 12 pack

All brands of thermostats are interchangeable

$48
for 2 low density 240 Volt 4500 watt elements/  + Upper and lower thermostat


Buy LOW density kit:
Apcom plumbers pack Amazon
110-160
Resource
How to replace elements

$35 for 2 high density 240 volt 4500 watt elements + Upper and lower thermostat

Apcom thermostats
Buy HIGH density kit:
Apcom plumbers pack Amazon
110-160
Resource
How to replace elements

New water heaters have high density elements. Low density elements might last longer
$45 for 2 low density 240 Volt 4500 watt elements/+ Upper and lower thermostat

Therm-o-disc thermostats
Buy LOW density kit:
Therm-O-disc low density plumbers pack
90-150
Resource
How to replace elements
$45 for 2 high density 240 Volt 4500 watt elements/ + Upper and lower thermostat

Therm-o-disc thermostats
Buy HIGH density kit:
Therm-O-disc high density plumbers pack
Therm-O-disc high density
Therm-o-disc high density / copper element
90-150
Resource
How to replace elements
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
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How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Gas and electric water heaters Industrial electric at Amazon

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