Burned Out or Dry Fired Elements

Testing For Burned Out or Dry Fired Elements

When troubleshooting a residential electric water heater for incidents of either ‘No Hot Water’ or ‘Insufficient Hot Water,’ it is always a good idea to check the thermostat settings as well as the heating element(s) themselves.

To test for a burned out element, first turn off all electrical power to the water heater. Remove the cover panel(s) from the front of the heater and then disconnect the wires from the heating element terminals. Using a continuity tester, place one test probe on each of the element terminals. If there is no continuity, the element is defective and must be replaced. If there is continuity, proceed to the next step.

Place one test probe on one terminal of the element and one test probe to the element flange or tank shell to test for a grounded element. Repeat the test for the other element terminal. If either test shows continuity, the element is defective and must be replaced. Test any other elements, if applicable, in the same manner.

After these tests have been completed and any necessary elements replaced, reconnect terminal wires, replace cover panels, and make sure the tank is full of water before turning on power.

Before energizing the elements, be certain that the tank is completely filled with water by opening a hot water faucet. Once water flows from the hot water side of the faucet you ensure that all air has been purged from the tank and it is safe to energize the elements.

If the above procedure is not followed, the element may be partially submerged in water or, more likely, completely exposed in the ‘air pocket’ and will be dry fired in a matter of seconds. Dry fired elements can be identified by a melted sheath or coil or copper colored annealed sheath. Dry fired elements are not covered under warranty due to misuse and operation contrary to the installation instructions.

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40. Keep Things Fun. | Tim’s Message

Tim’s Message:

Most of us spend more than 1/3 of our life at work. Knowing that we are spending that much time at work, doesn’t it make sense that it should be fun? In a recent article “Six Reasons Why Fun In the Office is the Future of Work”, a study showed that if associates had fun at work, it benefits the business and associates in the following ways:

  1. Happy Associates are healthier
  2. Having fun improves communication and collaboration
  3. Fun breeds creativity
  4. Promoting fun attracts an audience
  5. Having fun improves productivity
  6. Having fun encourages advocacy

Having fun at work also creates opportunities to build strong relationships with great people. Someone who exemplifies having fun at work and building strong relationships is Don Short. As many of you know, I am a proud parent of an Ohio State graduate, and my daughter Lauren is now in Veterinarian School there. I enjoy watching and rooting for the Buckeye football team. As Don and I worked together, we learned that we differed in college football loyalty. He likes that Team Up North. We talked our smack and eventually wagered that whoever’s team won, the other would wear that team’s apparel all day. Well, Ohio State won, and I still have the picture of Don in Buckeye gear, being a good sport and making the most of that day. It even made the conference call. Good times!

Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing.” I have been at Famous now for almost 25 years. I have been challenged, encouraged and supported by many people. The company has set and achieved many goals in my time here. I have been the empowered to help achieve them, allowing me to make a difference. To me, that has been the ultimate fun. It has been a remarkable adventure so far. The Famous culture creates an environment that allows us to be successful and have fun along the way.

 Love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life. Have fun.

Thank you,


Tim Sloan

District Sales Manager/Central District

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39. Be In The Gray Zone. | Mark’s Message

Mark’s Message:

Ansel Adams is a famous photographer whose greatest pictures are black and white. He made a great contribution to photography with his “Zone System”.  This system is a method of looking at the black and white and finding the right exposure for that picture. Many photographers still use it in today’s digital world. If a photographer is not sure of the exposure or it is a critical shot, they would bracket it, meaning take several pictures at different exposures. Today’s digital cameras do this automatically.

When you are dealing with a difficult situation, the answer is never black or white. Look at the whole picture and pick an option that considers all of the zones. Take several “pictures” of the situation in your mind, and then look at each perspective. Use your best judgement to “Do the Right Thing” that aligns with our goals and strategy.

It is very hard to take a picture where everything is perfectly exposed, so we need to take a picture that looks pleasing to both our customer and Famous. Not too much black, and not too much white. Look at the self portrait of Ansel Adams below. Notice there is a very small area that is almost white and almost black however most of the photo is shades of grey.

Thank you,


Mark Ham

HVAC Training and Technical Support

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38. Treasure, Protect, And Promote Our Reputation. | Mark’s Message

Mark’s Message:

Famous Supply is our company name, our brand and the Fundamentals we live and execute every day. The Famous “brand” is how we are perceived by our customers, vendors, and even our own associates.

Recently we had an order that was put in will call. Our customer later called and requested it be delivered to the job site. Since the product was already in our branch, the Warren and Youngstown teams partnered to solve the problem and get the product delivered to our customer.

CSM’s John Mellor (Youngstown), and Jon White (Warren) sent a box truck from Youngstown to Warren, picked up the product, and then delivered it to the customer’s jobsite. Very appreciative, our customer remarked that one of the reasons they deal with Famous Supply is our integrity and honesty, and that they trust we will make the order right no matter what.

I speak for myself, as well as my fellow associates in Youngstown and Warren, we are proud to be “brand ambassadors” for Famous Supply, and to Treasure, Protect and Promote our reputation as a company.


Mark A. Klein
Counter – Famous Supply of Warren

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37. Be Process-Oriented. | John’s Message

John’s Message:

Many years ago, before the days of automation, a young man was hired to paint the yellow lines in the city streets. His supervisor took him out to the corner where he was to start and explained the process to him. He set the bucket down and painted the two parallel lines. He handed the brush to the young man and watched him paint the lines for a few feet. Satisfied with the result, he left the young man to his work.

At the end of the day the young man returned to the shop with his bucket and brush. The supervisor asked how many blocks he had painted. The young man replied “20 blocks”. The supervisor was thrilled and said, “Great job! I’ll see you in the morning with a fresh bucket of paint.”

The young man arrived early the next morning, took his bucket and brush and headed out to work. When he returned at the end of the day, the supervisor asked how many blocks he had done that day. The young man said “15 blocks”. Still impressed, the supervisor told him he’d done a great job, and would see him in the morning.

The supervisor became concerned, however, over the next few days. The young man had started out strong on Monday, but by Thursday he had only done 5 blocks. The supervisor asked the young man on Friday morning about this decrease in productivity. He wanted to know if there was something that could help the young man increase the amount painted every day. The young man replied that each day the bucket was getting farther and farther away from where he was painting and if he could move it with him it would speed up the painting.

The moral is to make sure we always examine the process for effectiveness. Everyone needs to feel comfortable bringing suggestions about how we can improve. Leaders must ask for feedback, and create an environment where associates feel comfortable providing it. Even the newest associate might have a better idea.

John Mellor 

CSM/Famous Youngstown

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36. Practice Human Connection. | Elio’s Message

Elio’s Message:

A dream without a plan is just daydreaming. Each of us has 24 hours in a day, but what separates the good from the great is what we do with those 24 hours. Every person has the ability to practice this fundamental every time they interact with anyone. Everyone can make a positive difference in the lives of others – and it all starts with what they do with the 24 hours in their day.

I am a huge Lou Holtz fan. He’s the underdog with a passion for connecting with people. He took 6 different teams to bowl games during his 33-year coaching career. His teams finished in the top 20 rankings 18 times, including a National Title at Notre Dame in 1988. He attributes his success to connecting with people, not to himself or his own talent.

While in Dublin, Ireland for a bowl game, Coach Holtz took the team to an old cemetery built in the 12th century. The cemetery had dilapidated walls and old unkempt gravestones. Coach Holtz wanted his team to connect with their past. While there, one of his players, Alton Maiden, sat down and wrote this poem.

I’ve seen death stare at me with my own eyes in a way many cannot know.
I’ve seen death take others but still left me here below.
I’ve heard many screams of mother’s cries but death refuses to hear.
And in my life, I’ve seen faces fill with many, many tears.

After death has come and gone a tombstone sits for many to see.
But it is no more than a symbol of a person’s memory.
I’ve seen my share of tombstones but never took the time to truly read.
The meaning behind what is there for others to see.

Under the person’s name it read the date of birth DASH and the date the person passed.

But the more I think about tombstone, the important thing is the DASH.
Yes, I see the name of the person but that I might forget.
I also read the date of birth and death but even that might not stick.

But thinking about the individual I can’t help but to remember the DASH, because it represents a person’s life and that will always last.
So, when you begin to charter your life make sure you’re on a positive path.
Because people may forget your birth and death, but they will never forget your DASH.

The moral of the poem is to share your “DASH” with the people you meet, and to get to know theirs. That’s what makes Famous so special. We care about the people we do business with and see every day.

There are too many people at Famous to name that I could use as an example with this fundamental. I will pick the one who most everyone would have to agree is the king of Human Connection… wait for it… Jay Blaushild. Jay can connect with anyone. It could be an owner, salesperson, receptionist, or janitor.

Jay connects with people by simply being interested in the other person. When Jay meets someone, he always wants to know where they went to school, or what they like to do when they’re not at work. He asks simple questions that get people sharing about who they are. Jay makes a mental note, and always takes action. A week after your conversation, guess what shows up at that person’s office? You guessed it. Something related to their special interest, along with a short note, thanking them for their time. It could be a book, article or something else for that person to remember the time they spent with Jay. We’ve all had that experience. How many times has this scenario happened to you? How powerful is that?!  

I’ve heard if you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. For a day, go play golf. For a week, go on vacation. For a year, win the lottery. But, if you want to be happy for a lifetime, make sure people would miss you if you didn’t show up at an event. The people that are missed are the ones that add value to other people’s lives and practiced human connection. The day you realize how you add value to other people’s lives is the day you discover why you’re on this Earth. Practice connecting with others.


Elio Andreatta
Director / HVAC Products

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35. Don’t Judge. Get The Facts. | Al’s Message

Al’s Message:

Many years ago, I watched a television show called Dragnet. It was about two detectives named Friday and Gannon. Friday’s saying was “just the facts Ma’am”, as they did their investigation work. Here at Craft33, our common goal is to do things right the first time.

Our associates all come from different backgrounds and each of them is unique in their own way. When there is an error, we are quick to find out what happened. We look at the problem, do our detective work and get the mistake corrected without passing judgement. If someone is having an issue, everyone is more than willing to work with that person to help them excel and move forward.

When Craft33 was at the CDC (Central Distribution Center), I met Dale Kosco and watched him closely. Dale is a remarkable leader and it shows in how he handles different situations. Dale has a great team and they have taught me a lot, whether they realize it or not. This is just one reason I enjoy the people that I work with. Together we will continue to work with each other, not to pass judgement on each other but to see the big picture and to execute The Perfect Order, case closed.


Al DeBerte

Craft33 Assembly Lead/Famous Supply

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34. Maintain A Healthy Work/Life Balance. | Jerry’s Message

Jerry’s Message:

This fundamental is important to me because it separates Famous Supply from other employers. This fundamental proves the company cares about us both personally and professionally.

It is up to each of us to be healthier and physically fit. With gym membership reimbursement and Kaitlyn’s coaching and recipe ideas, the company has given us the tools to be healthier. This can help us on the job and at home.

Encourage your peers to get involved in a group or organization that they’re passionate about. This will help them and their community. It gives everyone some time to forget about the stress of work and focus on something else that you enjoy.

To me, the most important part of this fundamental is family life. I try to support this with the associates I directly work with as much as possible. I encourage managers to spread the time off on holidays around. Example: Associates that are off Memorial Day weekend, work Labor Day weekend.

Also, ask your team if they have something going on at home before making the Saturday schedules. I believe this approach is working in Canton and the Sebring Counter. We all know that there will be times where we need to have each other’s back, because someone else had yours a couple weeks ago.

When I came to Famous Supply, I left a place where work was the only thing that mattered to the company. Paid 1/2 days and time off around the holidays were not allowed. When you’re working instead of at your kid’s game, or at the hospital with a sick family member, you’re probably not going to be effective because your mind is elsewhere. Famous provides paid wellness hours, community service hours and vacation days. They encourage us to be where we need to be when our families need us, and when we need them.

Thank you,


Jerry Hollback/CSM Famous Canton

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33. Always Remember That We’re A Family. | Lisa’s Message

Lisa’s Message:

The associates at Famous Supply are a group of more than 700 incredible people who come from diverse backgrounds. Many are completely different from one another. A lot of us have grown up with totally different traditions from one another and live in homes that have diverse rules and varied styles. While these very differences have helped to define the culture in the environment that we spend most of our time in, it is the very thing that has brought us together and shaped us into one very special large extended family. Always remember that as a group, we are a family that supports one another, listens intently to one another, respects one another and shares the same passion to continually strive to be better together. Thank you for being a part of my Famous Family.

Who at Famous embraces this fundamental?  The Multi-Family and Studio33 teams gets my shout out for making me feel like family from the first day!

Thank you,


Lisa Terman

Showroom Manager

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32. Show An Attitude Of Gratitude. | Jennifer’s Message

Jennifer’s Message:

Did you ever watch the Mary Tyler Moore episode where Mary is in a funk because her life is a boring routine? She feels defeated as she mumbles “Every day I wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner and go to bed.”

So, what does Mary do? No, she doesn’t buy a new pair of shoes or find a new job. Instead, she develops an attitude of gratitude about what she DOES have. With a song in her voice and a dance in her step, she enthusiastically declares that “Every day I wake up! I go to work! I come home! I eat dinner! Then I go to bed!” A simple concept, yet profound.

Sometimes we can all benefit from stepping back and appreciating our lives as they are. I personally am grateful for the welcome and open reception I received coming into the Famous Family. I especially want to acknowledge Christine Longville for hiring me and Michelle Morgan, Sheila Messner, Malissa Ware and Randi Moser for training me. Betsy Semisorrow, Lisa Terman and Andrew Grover also have given me so much emotional support in helping me find the “right seat on the bus” here at Famous. 

My last grateful nod is to Marty Hyatt who, without being asked, didn’t hesitate and started answering phones with me on a day he could tell I was overwhelmed.   

Most of us will never receive what seem like life’s big prizes:

  • A Super Bowl ring
  • The Pulitzer Prize
  • An Oscars

But we are all eligible for life’s true treasures:

  • A bon fire
  • A beautiful sunset
  • A high-five
  • A delicious meal
  • A kiss on the cheek from a loved one
  • Looking up to see a falling star

An Attitude of Gratitude is contagious – be a carrier!

Jennifer Sebe

Outbound Sales Account Executive | Famous Enterprises

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