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How does the roto-swirl dip tube in a water heater work?

My water heater Kenmore mod #153.320592HT has a roto swirl cleaner in it. Also the bottom element has 240 vac going to it, I am an electrician and plumber so I know how to check an element, the resistance is 15 ohms and reads 2900 watts on it but it still doesn't seem to be heating. I believe it is the wrong element. It should be able to be converted to 5500w but I think this is the wrong element. Also has anyone heard of the roto-swirl spinning even if no water is used? No faucets were on and no leaks indicated by the meter but the swirl was moving. Please give me helpful suggestions.

Kenmore , Building Supplies
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1 Answer from this member:
Lyle W
It introduces the cold water into the water heater in a horizontal motion that causes the water in the bottom to swirl. This helps break up minerals and sediment in the bottom of the tank so they are easier to flush out the drain in the bottom. The heater should still be flushed regularly to remove the minerals and sediment that accumulate.

As to your bottom element:

Remember that until the top thermostat is satisfied no power will be sent to the bottom element. If the water is hot in the top of the heater turn down the top thermostat (if adjustable), turn up the thermostat on the bottom and check for 240 volts on the bottom element. If you have 240 volts the thermostats are working properly. The best tool for testing the elements is an inductive ammeter. Each wire to a functioning element should read about 15 to 18 amps. If there is no amp draw turn off the power to the heater and check the resistance of the element. It should read infinite resistance '1' from each screw on the element to the tank itself, and about '017' between the two screws on the element on the 2K resistance (ohm) setting. If not replace the element. If you do purchase an element that can be 'jumped' to 5500 watts remember that you should only add the buss to bump the wattage to 5500 if you have #10 wire going to the water heater.
by Lyle W Earned 136,245 community points in Kenmore
April 3rd, 2009
Answered in 10 hours
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