What Causes Water Heater Breaker To Trip?

Water Heater Keeps Tripping The Breaker: Causes and Solutions

A deeper look at the system is necessary when your water heater continues to trip the circuit breaker on a regular basis.The circuits that supply water heaters are often not linked to any other devices.This implies that if the breaker trips, it is only as a result of the water heater.Sometimes there is no specific explanation for these sporadic excursions, and you may simply restart the computer and let it to continue working at its normal speed until it happens again.

  • However, if this becomes a regular occurrence, you must investigate the root reason and conduct a more thorough investigation into the problem.
  • If you’re stumped as to why your water heater keeps tripping the breaker, keep reading to find out what’s causing the circuit breakers on your heating system to trip and how to resolve the problem.

5 Reasons Why Your Water Heater Might be Tripping the Breaker

As soon as you’ve identified the problem, you’ll need to look into the root cause of the recurring trippings. Fortunately, diagnosing and repairing a broken water heater is a straightforward process. Here are 5 reasons why your water heater continues tripping the breaker, as well as remedies to each of these problems.

1. A Faulty Thermostat 

To prevent the water from overheating and scorching your skin, every water heater is equipped with a temperature control switch that is limited to 180° Fahrenheit.Additionally, these appliances often include two thermostats that are each connected to a separate heating element that warms the water.Because of the connection between these two thermostats, only one of the elements may be heated at a time.A broken thermostat, on the other hand, will interfere with communication, allowing both components to heat up at the same time.

  • Because of this, the circuit will become overheated, and the circuit will become overloaded with current, resulting in the trip of the breaker.

How to Fix the Problem

It is necessary to cut off the electricity and examine the thermostat with a multimeter once it has been turned off.The resistance level in each thermostat will be determined with the use of a digital multimeter.The resistance for a (NO) thermostat should be near to zero ohms, however the resistance for a (NC) thermostat may be close to 0.5 ohms, depending on the thermostat.If the limit is exceeded, you will need to have the thermostats replaced immediately.

  • To verify that the heating components and thermostat are compatible with one another, it’s also a good idea to replace them.

2. Malfunctioning Heating Element

It is the pair of heating elements that is responsible for heating your water, and if any of them fails, it might result in a short circuit.For example, if a heating element fails, the water will not be sufficiently heated.A short circuit can occur if the internal electrical components of the element are brought into direct contact with the water, which is a bad outcome in some cases.Similarly to the last case, the water heating element can fail and continue to heat the water without taking a break, causing the circuit to overheat and trip the breakers.

How to Fix This Issue 

  • A multimeter will be required once more in order to diagnose and repair faulty water heating components. Disconnect the wires from the problematic elements and turn off the electrical power to the entire building. Followed by measuring the resistance on either side of the heating elements, which should have been done with the multimeter when the wires were first joined. Depending on the wattage, you should obtain a reading for resistance that looks like this: A 3,500-watt element has a resistance of 16 ohms
  • a 4,500-watt element has a resistance of between 12 and 13 ohms
  • and a 5,500-watt element has a resistance of between 10 and 11 ohms.

If the readings do not match, it is apparent that the heating element is not working properly. In this instance, the only alternative available to you is to have them changed as soon as possible.

3. Leaky Water Lines

Breakers can be tripped by water line leaks, as well as by other causes.If your water heater pipes are old and withered, they will naturally become weaker over time, and you may experience leaks as a result of this.As well as this, high pressure in the water heating system and faulty valves can also contribute to a leak.In either scenario, it is possible that the electrical components will come into direct contact with water.

  • Because water and electricity do not mix well, it will result in an electrical short circuit or a lethal electric shock within seconds.
  • Most of the time, the circuit breaker will trip, cutting off the electrical supply to the system.

How to Fix This Issue

The only way to resolve this issue is to have the leaking pipes repaired. Inspection and repair of the defective pipe should be carried out after the electrical power has been disconnected. Poor maintenance of water pipes can also result in leaky water pipes. Here’s where you can learn more about the optimal maintenance schedule for your water heating equipment.

4. Faulty Electrical Connections

It is most likely that the electrical line is the source of the problem if all of the other components of the water heating equipment are in excellent shape.If you believe this to be the case, you should begin your check with the connection between the water heating device and the main electrical line in your home’s electrical panel or panelboard.A tripped breaker may be caused by a burned wire, a loose connection, or a faulty electrical component, among other possibilities.Arced wires are another important source of risk.

  • It is possible that in this circumstance, the energy will jump from one wire to another, causing the line to lose continuity.
  • If you’ve completed your inspection of the internal electrical wiring and have not discovered a problem, it’s possible that the problem is located outside the water heater.
  • Examine the exterior wires that are attached to the appliance for evidence of damage or burns, and replace them if necessary.

5. Inspect the Breaker

If everything appears to be in working order, yet the breaker keeps tripping, the issue is most likely with the breaker itself, not with the rest of the system.After prolonged operation, circuit breakers may become brittle and trip when even the smallest amount of energy is applied.In any of these situations, all that is required is the repair or replacement of the faulty electrical component or components.When changing a breaker, however, it is important to pay attention to the rating.

  • The replacement component should be rated at the same level as the original part.
  • Choosing a breaker with a greater or lower rating will cause the flow of electricity to be unbalanced, resulting in system disruption.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of reasons why your water heater continues tripping the breaker, as well as possible remedies.Annual maintenance can extend the life of your heater by many years.Tripping breakers are a regular problem in every household, and you should have no need to be alarmed about it.Just make sure that if it keeps tripping, you don’t keep trying to flip it back and forth.

  • This will result in overheating of the electrical cables and, in extreme cases, can result in an electric fire.
  • When it comes to electrical concerns, it’s always better to follow all safety measures, and if you find the task to be too tough for you, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a qualified professional..
  • You might be interested in the following: Discover how a hot water heater operates.
  • An Explosion in a Water Heater: Its Causes, Warning Signs, and Preventative Measures

Why a Water Heater Keeps Tripping the Breaker

Electric water heaters are connected to a separate circuit.This indicates that their circuit breakers are not connected to anything else.It is possible that the breakers will trip for no apparent cause at times.They can trip at any time and then be reset, allowing you to continue using the water heater for a period of time until it trips again.

  • You might be unable to reset them if they trip in another situation.
  • It is for a reason when circuit breakers trip, and it is possible that this is a dangerous scenario that requires rapid care.
  • No matter how infrequent their trips are, they are nonetheless being affected by something.
  • It is vital to fix the problem as soon as possible in order to prevent causing damage to your property or risking an electrical fire.

In this post, we’ll look at what causes the water heater breaker to constantly tripping and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the first place.

What Should You Do?

First and foremost, if the breaker keeps tripping, do not keep flicking it back on and on.If you do this, you run the risk of the wire overheating and igniting an electrical fire, which is dangerous.This can also shorten the life of your circuit breaker and cause severe harm to your water heater.The breaker is tripping as a result of a problem, and that problem is not going away on its own timetable.

  • Turn off the breaker and begin troubleshooting the problem as soon as possible.
  • Unfortunately, troubleshooting a tripped water heater breaker isn’t as complicated as it appears.
  • Following a few troubleshooting methods might assist you in locating the source of the problem.
  • The following are the most typical reasons and solutions.

Bad Thermostat

Water heaters are equipped with a limit switch that prevents the temperature of the water from surpassing 180°.It trips the limit switch (a little red reset button on the water heater) when the water temperature exceeds 180°F.This helps to save you from being burned or scalded by the very hot water flowing through the shower.The most common reason for the limit switch to trigger is a malfunctioning thermostat.

  • Each element has its own thermostat, which means that a two-element water heater has two thermostats.
  • To guarantee that only one element is being heated at a time, the thermostats communicate with one another.
  • When they break down, they might become trapped in the on position for a while.
  • Consequently, either one or both heating elements will remain on and continue to heat the water as a result of this action.

If the water heater contains two elements, as most electric water heaters do, the circuit might be overloaded if both elements are left on at the same time, which is dangerous.The circuit will then draw an excessive amount of current and get overheated, resulting in the trip of the breaker in the breaker box.A multimeter may be used to check the thermostats’ performance.Check to see that the water heater’s electricity has been turned off.The thermostat should be checked for resistance once the wires have been disconnected (mark the wires so you remember where they join).The resistance should be zero ohms (it should show an open, or infinity) for a normally open (NO) thermostat, and it should be close to 0 ohms (it should have continuity, but it could have as much as 0.5 ohms including the meter and leads) for a normally closed (NC) thermostat.

  1. Normally open (NO) thermostats should have no resistance.
  2. Thermostats that are not working properly will need to be replaced.
  3. The replacement of the heating elements at the same time as the replacement of the thermostats is highly recommended.

Bad Heating Element

  • In addition to the top and lower heating components that we’ve described, most electric water heaters feature additional heating elements. They collaborate in order to keep the water hot. If you have a large tank, this is extremely crucial. Typically, when a heating element breaks, the water ceases to heat and becomes significantly colder than typical. It is possible that the internal heating element is open, in which case the heating element will not do any damage. The truth is, however, that is not always the case. It is possible for the casing around the heating element to crack. When the electrical component of the element comes into contact with the water in the tank, it shorts the circuit and trips the limit switch or circuit breaker, as shown in the illustration. An element might be too short as well. As a result, the element continues to operate, continually heating the water in the tank. When the water gets too hot, this will cause the limit switch to trip. A multimeter may be used to test the performance of a heating element. Remove the wires from the water heater element while the circuit breaker for the water heater is turned off. Check for continuity across the locations where the wires connect to the element. You should obtain the following resistances: A 3,500-watt element has a resistance of 16 ohms
  • a 4,500-watt element has a resistance of between 12 and 13 ohms
  • and a 5,500-watt element has a resistance of between 10 and 11 ohms.

If you notice a difference in resistance, it is necessary to replace the heating element in question.

Water Leak

Water from a leaky water heater, for example, due to the failure of a gasket around the heating element, has the potential to come into contact with electrical components and cause the breaker to trip.This is extremely risky and has the potential to produce a catastrophic electrical shock.If the breaker hasn’t already been tripped, turn it off immediately and fix the water leak as soon as possible.

Internal Wiring

If the breaker trips, it is possible that an issue with the internal wiring is causing it.Open the panel while the power is turned off to check where the water heater is connected to the rest of the house’s wiring.Look for burned connections, broken wiring, or any other signs of electricity having arced in the vicinity.If there has been an electrical arc, you will most likely smell smoke.

  • Before operating the water heater, check for and replace any broken wiring and connectors.

Wiring or Electrical Problem

If the problem isn’t with the thermostat, heating element, a water leak, or internal wiring, it’s likely that the issue is with something else outside of the water heater itself.It might be caused by a faulty or frayed cable, a faulty connection in the electrical panel, or a faulty or worn-out circuit breaker.Check the wiring on the line to see if any wires are damaged or coming loose.It is necessary to replace the breaker if the breaker trips despite the fact that there are no issues on the line.

  • If the breaker is the source of the problem, make certain you replace it with one of the same grade.
  • Don’t replace it with a higher-rated breaker since doing so would enable more current to pass through the circuit, resulting in the circuit being too hot to handle.

Conclusion

When a water heater continues tripping the breaker, it’s not a pleasant experience.It can also be harmful and result in significant injury or property damage to you or your property.Fortunately, tracing down the source of the problem isn’t that difficult.Typically, a malfunctioning thermostat and heating element are to blame, but it’s also possible that a faulty circuit breaker or other wiring difficulties are to blame.

  • Keep in mind that safety comes first.
  • When dealing on electrical issues, always remember to use caution.
  • If you are not familiar with electrical wires, you should avoid working with them.
See also:  What Is The Most Efficient Electric Water Heater?

Why Is My Water Heater Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

Skip to the main content What is causing my water heater to trip my circuit breaker?Have you ever had something like this happen to you?The circuit breaker in your home is tripped by your water heater tripping.As a result, you go and reset the circuit breaker breaker.

  • A few minutes later, the same thing occurs once more.
  • As a result, you reset it once more.
  • The water heater, on the other hand, quickly trips your circuit breaker once more.
  • This recurrent pattern may be suggestive of a more significant problem that you are not currently aware of or aware of.

But, suffice it to say, you’re in desperate need of a water heater repair, or possibly a whole new water heater.It is possible for a water heater to trip a circuit breaker for a variety of reasons, which we will go over in detail below to assist you figure out what you can do to resolve the situation.

Thermostat Issues

The failure of your water heater thermostat or inappropriate installation of the thermostat can result in the loss of ‘communication’ with the circuit breaker, which can result in an electrical imbalance of power.However, rather of controlling the flow of power to the heating components, this imbalance of surplus electricity is sent directly into the circuit breaker.A circuit can trip if it is subjected to high power because the circuit is unable to withstand the load.

Burnt Heating Elements

The element in the heater that warms the water might sometimes be the root of the problem.Because of this, if the heating element fails or burns out, it may cause sections of the heater to spit, exposing wires and electrical components to direct contact with water, resulting in serious injury or death.And we all know that water combined with electricity is a dangerous combination.As a result, it may produce a short circuit, resulting in your water heater tripping your circuit breaker..

  • In any case, you’ll notice that your water isn’t as hot as it used to be if your heating element isn’t working properly.

Faulty Breaker or Wiring

It’s possible that the problem is not related to your water heater at all. It’s possible that your circuit breaker has become worn and malfunctioning as a result of aging. Alternatively, a loose wire in the electrical panel might be causing the system to short circuit, leading it to fail. In either situation, it is the breaker that is causing the problem, not the water heater itself.

What Can You Do?

The first and most crucial thing to know is that you should not keep switching the breaker back on after it has shorted out again.The danger of overheating the wiring and sparking a fire is substantially greater than the chance of having a defective water heater if you do this repeatedly is extremely high.In the event that you’re considering installing your own updated breakers, be sure to talk with an experienced specialist first.However, even if the problem is not with the circuit breaker and an imbalance of energy is still passing through your system, you run the danger of scorching wires and risking a fire.

  • Higher-rated circuit breakers are thus recommended.
  • If you’re certain that the problem is with your water heater’s thermostat, you may purchase and install a new water heater thermostat in your house on your own initiative.
  • Just be sure to speak with an expert to ensure that it is done correctly, or better yet, have a professional come in and install it for you!
  • The best course of action is always to get the assistance of a professional to manage the matter for you.

A technician has been trained to search for these sorts of problems and can identify them without causing more harm to your breaker or water heater.And don’t forget about your friends at Simpson Plumbing if you’re ever in need of a competent water heater professional in Tracy, Mountain House, or Manteca.

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Water Heater Keeps Tripping Breaker? (Possible Causes & Fixes)

Only a small number of people volunteer to take ice cold showers.As a result, when your water becomes icy and your electricity fails, you’re hit with a double whammy.Even after you’ve reset your circuit breaker, it continues to malfunction, and you’re not sure what to do about it.It might be aggravating to have to choose between hot water and a functioning electrical system.

  • It is possible that there is a problem with the power supply between your electric water heater and your circuit breaker.
  • It is important to identify the specific reason in order to avoid an electrical fire and to keep the hot water supply running.
  • If you are working on a water heater, you should always cut off the electricity first.
  • Before dismantling any elements of the appliance, it is necessary to verify the power flow of the appliance.

In order to diagnose water heater and circuit breaker problems, a multimeter is an excellent investment and a necessary tool.What Services Do You Require for Water Heater Repair?Get free, no-obligation quotations from professional contractors in your area.LOCAL CONTRACTORS CAN BE FOUND

How Does a Water Heater Work?

The water heater supplies hot water to the entire home, which is used for bathing and other household cleaning purposes.It accomplishes this by siphoning water through a dip tube and heating it within the water storage tank.Once heated, the water rises to the surface and flows via the heat-out pipe into the home’s water distribution system.Heating elements, thermostats, relief valves, drain valves, insulation, and anode rods are all standard features on all water heaters.

  • The sole difference between gas and electric water heaters is the power source: electric water heaters are powered by electricity.
  • This is the one and only case in which water and electricity are allowed to interact.

Why Is My Water Heater Tripping the Breaker?

In order to function, electric water heaters must be powered by a high voltage electrical current.A dedicated circuit on the electrical system will thus be provided for it in many instances.It is possible that this power consumption will be too large for the circuit breaker, causing the system to go down.If your water heater trips the breaker, it might be for any number of reasons (or for absolutely no cause at all).

  • If the breaker continues to shut off even after many attempts to reset it, turn off the power and investigate.
  • In addition, don’t override the system with a higher rated breaker, as this increases the likelihood of an electrical fire occurring.

How Do I Find Out What’s Causing the Circuit Break?

There are various frequent causes for a water heater to trip the circuit breaker.Here are some of the most prevalent ones.In order to locate them, you’ll need to conduct a thorough examination of all electrical components to determine whether or not they are completely functional.Before initiating a repair, use the multimeter to ensure that the voltage and electrical flow of each component are within specifications.

  • The most prevalent reasons for water leaks are three things: corrupted or broken components, damaged or inadequate wiring, and water leaks in the system.
  • Identifying the underlying reason will guide your approach to the resolution of the problem.

Bad Heating Element

The heating elements of water heaters are situated at the top and bottom of the water tank, respectively.They are often composed of metal and enclosed in a protective case to keep them from corroding over time.Over time, the casing may fracture or break, allowing the metal to come into direct contact with the water supply.This can cause the element to short circuit or burn out, resulting in either underheating or overheating of the water.

  • Either the water temperature will drop, or the breaker or high limit switch will trip, whichever occurs first.
  • If you suspect that the heating element is the source of the problem, you should do an electrical flow test on it.
  • Make sure the water heater’s circuit breaker is switched off, and then remove the wires from the heating element if necessary.
  • Test the locations where the wires connect to the element with a multimeter to ensure that they are properly connected.

It is possible that the element has shorted when the voltage reading is 120 volts because of a fractured housing or rust.

Bad Thermostat

Heat is generated by alternating between the two components of the water heater, which is used for domestic purposes.Each element is equipped with a thermostat, which ensures that only one is turned on at a time.A properly operating thermostat ensures that the system operates effectively and that the water temperature does not exceed 180 degrees.It is possible for a thermostat to malfunction, causing the element to fail to shut off and perhaps to operate concurrently with the other element.

  • As a result, the heater’s temperature rises over 180 degrees Fahrenheit and it consumes more power than is necessary.
  • As a result, the circuit breaker will be overloaded, and either the limit switch or the breaker, or both, will trip.
  • The thermostats may be checked using the same procedure as was used to examine the heater itself.
  • After you have securely disconnected the power and wiring, use the multimeter to verify the resistance of the thermostat setting.

Bad thermostats must be replaced, while most experts advise that the heating components be replaced at the same time for the optimum results.

Water Leaks

The majority of the time, the components of the water heater prevent water from accessing the electrical circuitry.When a gasket fails, the likelihood of water entering the electrical system and tripping the breaker is increased significantly.This is an extremely risky circumstance that might result in a catastrophic electrical shock or a fire if not addressed immediately.When water comes into contact with the electrical system, the primary breaker is normally tripped automatically.

  • If it doesn’t, turn off the breaker and try to discover the source of the leak as soon as possible.
  • Once the leak has been repaired, you may re-energize the circuit breaker and ensure that the water heater is operating.

Internal Wiring

If the heating elements and thermostats check out, there might be an issue with the heater’s internal wiring.You’ll have to check the heater’s wiring for burned connections, damaged wire, or signs of electrical arcs.You will likely smell smoke before you find any visual damage.As always, make sure to turn off the power to the water heater before you begin troubleshooting.

  • Open the outside panel to locate the water heater’s connection to the house’s wiring.
  • Find and replace any damaged wiring or connectors before restarting the water heater.

External Wiring or Electrical Problem

You’ve checked for water leaks, tested the heating components and thermostats, and examined the internal wiring.Now it’s time to put it all together.All of those components appear to be in working order, but the breaking is still tripping.The problem has now progressed from a plumbing issue to an electrical one.

  • In the long run, you’ll almost certainly want the services of an electrician, but there are several things you can do to narrow down the scope of the problem.
  • Check the wiring on the line to see if any wires are damaged or coming loose.
  • It is also possible that there is a broken connection in the panel or that the breaker itself is worn.
  • Any of the difficulties listed above may need the replacement of a portion or the entire circuit breaker.

When changing the breaker, make sure you use one with the same energy rating.A breaker with a greater rating than the present system will allow more current to pass through, increasing the risk of overheating or catching fire.

Water Heater Maintenance

Proper maintenance of the water heater can help to extend its life and reduce the likelihood of having to make repairs.There are certain easy things that the homeowner may complete that will save him or her both time and money.Maintaining your water heater on a regular basis will help it work more effectively and improve its life expectancy.It is critical to set the water heater’s thermostat at an appropriate level of safety, preferably 120 degrees Fahrenheit for both economic and personal reasons.

  • The same may be said about silt settling in the tank, which might cause the heater to shut off prematurely.
  • The tank should be flushed at least once a year, as a general rule of thumb.
  • The anode rod is a critical component of the water heater, since it is responsible for removing rust from the tank and keeping it clean.
  • If you see an excessive amount of rust on the rod, inspect it and replace it.

Finally, check your pressure valve on a regular basis; make sure the water has had time to cool before opening the valve.What Services Do You Require for Water Heater Repair?Get free, no-obligation quotations from professional contractors in your area.LOCAL CONTRACTORS CAN BE FOUND

Related Questions

When do I need to call the plumber?

Because a new water heater is an expensive purchase, it’s logical that a homeowner would prefer to do it himself in order to save money.With the correct tools, several diagnostic procedures and part replacements may be completed quickly and easily.Knowing what has to be done and being able to execute it correctly, on the other hand, are two very different things.If you need a plumber for any repairs that are outside of your area of expertise or that they can handle more quickly, you should definitely call them.

  • For example, a homeowner may easily check the voltage and resistance of a circuit and replace a heating element with little work and expense.
  • In contrast, if you are inexperienced with the use of a blowtorch, changing a dip tube might be a difficult task.
  • Needless to say, the plumber should be called in for any repairs that necessitate the presence of more than one individual.
  • Problems affecting the breaker and circuits will necessitate the services of an electrician.

A homeowner’s degree of comfort will ultimately determine whether or not he or she should seek expert assistance.

How do I choose the best water heater?

Choosing the ″best″ water heater will be determined by the size of your home, the number of people in your family, and your water use requirements.Try to get an Energy Star-rated (or lower) water heater to save money on your utility bills.When considering lifetime energy expenditures as well as rebate incentives, investing in an Energy Star certified heater is a wise and cost-effective decision.Another factor to consider is the sort of water heater you have.

  • Tankless units are becoming increasingly popular, despite the fact that they are less prevalent and less expensive than tank units.
  • Tankless water heaters can provide hot water more rapidly, but they may not be as cost-effective as conventional water heaters.
  • When selecting a water heater, two crucial considerations are the amount of water it will require and its first-hour rating (FHR).
  • The amount of water that will be required by each family member is calculated using the necessary water use formula.
See also:  What Size Tankless Water Heater To Replace A 75 Gallon?

The first-hour rate (FHR) measures the amount of hot water generated in the first hour and shows the efficiency and peak consumption capacity of the system.Stacy Randall is a woman that works in the fashion industry.In addition to being a wife and mother, Stacy Randall works as a freelance writer in New Orleans.She has always had a passion for do-it-yourself projects, house organizing, and creating beautiful environments.She and her husband have spent the last five years meticulously repairing her grandparents’ former house, transforming it into their own, and learning a great deal about life in the process.

Why Is My Electric Water Heater Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

  • Imagine this scenario: You find that your electric water heater has tripped the circuit breaker on its own. In order to correct this, you went to your electrical panel and reset the breakers. However, a little time later, your water heater’s circuit breaker tripped yet another time. So, what is causing this to occur? The following are the most likely causes: a burned out heating element
  • a faulty thermostat
  • a wiring or electrical problem.
  • The following points must be addressed first, before we go into the specifics of those issues: It is not necessary to continuously turning the breaker back on. In addition, this can cause the wires in the circuit to overheat (which might result in a fire), wear out the circuit breaker (which could result in it not tripping later), and severe damage to your water heater.
  • Replace the breaker with a higher-rated breaker if the current breaker fails. Increasing the size of the breaker without also increasing the size of the wire and other components of the circuit is essentially the same as removing the breaker’s safety feature. Now that the breaker has been reset, extra energy will be allowed to flow into the circuit, potentially causing overheating of the wires and a fire.

Let’s get this out of the way and move on to the probable issues that might be causing your electric water heater to trip the circuit breaker.

Burnt out heating element

Heating element: The heating element is the component of your water heater that actually heats the water.Typically, two heating elements are used in electric water heaters: a top heating element and a bottom heating element.An electric water heater with two heating components is depicted in the diagram.Photo courtesy of the author.

  • It is most common that when the heating elements fail, they just burn away, and the only thing that you will notice is that the water isn’t heating up to the same temperature as it used to be.
  • However, the heating element shell can sometimes fracture, allowing the electrical components to be exposed straight to the water or tank below.
  • This short circuit has the potential to cause your water heater’s high limit switch to flip and/or the water heater’s circuit breaker to trip.

Bad thermostat

Using a thermostat, each heating element may be regulated independently; however, both thermostats ″speak″ to each other to guarantee that only one heating element is active at any one moment.The way it works is as follows: The heating element of an electric water heater is only activated when the water heater is turned on.Photo courtesy of the author.When a thermostat malfunctions, however, it might result in a situation in which both heating components are activated at the same time.

  • This uses more electricity than the circuit is capable of handling, resulting in the circuit breaker tripping as a result.

Bad breaker or electrical wiring

  • It’s possible that the problem isn’t with the water heater at all. For example, it is possible that the breaker itself is worn out and tripping unnecessarily
  • It is believed that a loose wire in the electrical panel is the cause of the short circuit.

If your water heater has been inspected by a plumber and everything appears to be in working order, you should have an electrician examine the electrical connections.

Get help from a plumber in Phoenix

If you reside in the Phoenix area, George Brazil Plumbing and Electrical will assist you with the repair of your electric water heater. Get in touch with us right now.

Related articles:

  • What is causing my circuit breaker to trip so frequently?
  • What is the source of the burning smell emanating from my circuit breaker box?
  • An Introduction to Electrical Panels, Part I: A Homeowner’s Guide to Breaker Boxes

Why Does Your Water Heater Keep Tripping the Breaker?

Have you been having trouble with cold showers lately?You won’t be able to resolve the problem with your water heating system unless you figure out why your water heater is constantly tripping the circuit breaker.Examine the water heater, the circuit breaker, and even the cabling that runs between them.You will, however, need to dig a little deeper into the matter and figure out what activities need to be taken to rectify it.

  • Just a friendly reminder that if you are not an expert in electrical repair, a simple problem-check will suffice; do not attempt to remedy the problem yourself.

What’s Really at Fault

So, what exactly is the source of the problem?You must be aware of the many circumstances that your heating system may confront.Because your breaker is constantly tripping, you should include all electrical components that are involved in powering up the tank in your calculations.The specific circuit breaker for your heating device, the cabling that connects the circuit breaker and the heater, and the internals of the water heater should all be included on your checklist.

  • It is critical to keep a watch on these elements because they are the ones that are causing the issue.

1. The Water Heater Itself

We’ll start with your hot water tank, which is the most likely suspect in this malfunction.If you’ve used this gadget for a long period of time, it’s possible that symptoms of wear and tear have already shown.Every time it is used, you may notice some corrosion, whirling noises, and leaks in the system.Because of the tank’s age, expect the water heater to trip the circuit breaker on a regular basis.

  • Failure in the thermostat is never impossible, even if you’ve purchased a brand new heater, on the other hand.
  • The thermostat is in charge of controlling the temperature of the water heater element.
  • If the thermostat fails to work properly, the heater may heat up to temperatures more than 180 degrees, causing the circuit breaker to trip due to overload.
  • The water heating element is the next component.

Because so many individuals ignore these pieces, they aren’t aware of the amount of rust that has accumulated on their casings.Consequently, the element’s housing breaks down, allowing water to enter and cause a short circuit in the electrical components.Another item to look for is any damage to the electric water heater’s general wiring.Wires tend to degrade with time, and rodents that nibble through the insulation are a problem as well.Damaged wires should be handled with extreme caution.Not only are short circuits possible, but there is also the possibility of electrocution.

2. A Short Circuit in The Wiring Lines

When we talk about wiring, we aren’t only referring to the lines that go from the water heater.Keep an eye out for the connectors that link the dedicated CB to the water tank.- However, there are occasions where they are not adequately fished through the conduits/wire protectors, leaving them exposed to adverse weather and other environmental circumstances.If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and don’t have the proper equipment for a fault search, it might be difficult to figure out where the short circuit is coming from.

  • The majority of the time, wires are hidden within small locations that only mice can access, thus there are only two options for locating the damage.
  • The first is accomplished by manually removing all of the cables and inspecting them, and the second is accomplished via the use of specialized gear such as a multimeter.
  • In any case, damage discovered in a series of wires can be a significant contributing factor to an electric water heater’s inability to stop tripping the breaker.

3. Circuit Breaker Malfunction

There are a variety of ways in which a circuit breaker might exceed its capacity.Despite the fact that this is the component that receives the least attention when the water heater trips the breaker, it is still important to check on it on a regular basis.After years of constant use, the usability of a circuit breaker diminishes, just as it does with other appliances or electrical gadgets.Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that a CB should have a service life of at least 30-40 years, depending on how consistent the voltages and power ratings are.

  • Make certain that the circuit breaker you choose is the appropriate size for your water heater.
  • It would be unwise to use, for example, a 25-amp circuit breaker to power a 4500-watt tank because it would not provide enough room to accommodate the continuous demand.
  • As a result, in order to prevent tripping the water heater breaker, 30-amps is frequently the ideal choice for powering the entire heater without generating an issue.
  • On the other hand, if you use a breaker that has a considerably larger amperage rating than the one that was intended, the breaker will not detect any abnormalities from the heating device.

If the breaker never trips again, that would be great, but you won’t appreciate it nearly as much if your house is on fire because of hot wires that went unnoticed for a long period of time.

Perform a Troubleshoot

Now that I’ve outlined some of the potential reasons of this electrical problem, you’ll need to conduct a troubleshooting procedure to determine which of them is the root cause of the tripped hot water heater breaker.Here are some useful strategies for dealing with each of the negative aspects at hand: Turn off the water heater’s power source and thoroughly examine the upper and lower thermostats, as well as the heating elements.Check the wiring of the thermostat using a multimeter to discover if there is any impedance in the system (Ohmic resistance).A measurement of 0 ohms should be obtained with an open thermostat, while a reading of 0.50 to 0.50 ohms is acceptable with a closed thermostat.

  • (See Figure 1).
  • In any other case, you have a faulty thermostat that has to be replaced.
  • Assuming that the thermostats are in proper working order, remove the wires from the two terminal screws of the water heating element.
  • Turn on your multimeter’s continuity setting (with sound), and then use the two probes to make contact with the screws.

If the multimeter does not emit a beep, it signifies that the element is not functioning.If, on the other hand, it beeps, which is a positive sign, go to the next step: connect one probe to one terminal screw and the second probe to the tank itself.Next, with one probe still on the tank, attach the other probe to the second terminal screw using the same procedure as before.If your multimeter did not generate a beep when you turned both screws, your heating element is in good working order.Finally, examine the tank’s outside to see if there is any noticeable damage.

What Can You Do to Fix the Issue

It is necessary to repair component parts or perform wire maintenance after you have determined the source of your problem.The greatest thing you can do is gather the necessary resources, but I strongly advise against taking on all of the labor alone at this point.if the water heater circuit breaker keeps tripping, get in touch with an electrician or a reputable plumber right away.The worst thing we want to avoid is overlooking any major issues that we haven’t addressed in this lesson, complications that can only be resolved by a professional contractor with much experience.

Conclusion

Your water heater is constantly tripping the circuit breaker, and the solution is straightforward: you have either a broken breaker, an inoperable heating element, or damaged wiring.It is vital for you to determine the source of the irregularities in order to resolve the situation properly.Is it a problem with the water heater’s internals?A misplaced comma in the incorrect place?

  • Or is it simply the circuit breaker that has to be replaced?
  • Although you may use a multimeter to help you find the source of the problem, you should seek expert assistance when it comes time to repair and maintain your vehicle.

Water Heater Tripping Your Breaker? Follow These 5 Steps

Are you becoming increasingly irritated because your circuit breaker keeps triping?If this is the case, the source of the problem might be your water heater.Water heaters are classified into two categories.The first type of water heater is referred to as a gas water heater.

  • The second type of water heater is referred to as an electric water heater.
  • If your gas water heater requires electricity to operate, there is a danger that it will trip your circuit breaker.
  • Both types of water heaters have the potential to trip a circuit breaker.
  • If your water heater is tripping your circuit breaker on a regular basis, there are numerous things you should look at.

Check the thermostat, the heating element, the internal wiring, and the electrical system as a whole to make sure everything is working properly.You should also check for any other appliances that might be causing the circuit breaker to trip as well.You rely on your hot water heater to function effectively, and when it fails to do so, it may be quite annoying.Despite the fact that you may be under a great deal of pressure, we have conducted extensive study to determine the most common reasons why water heaters trip circuit breakers in the first place.Consider the findings of our investigation and see if you can determine why your water heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker.Are you prepared to investigate your electric water heater in greater depth?

  1. If this is the case, continue reading and let’s see if we can figure out why your electric water heater is not functioning properly.

Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?

Now, you might be asking why your circuit breaker is tripping in the first place.An electric water heater can overload one or more of your appliances, which is why your circuit breaker has been carefully built to prevent this from happening.Whenever a circuit breaker detects that anything dangerous is happening in your electrical system, it will shut off the electricity to that portion of the house.You could believe that merely leaving the circuit breaker open would fix the problem; however, this should never be done under any circumstances.

  • A cause for your circuit breaker to be shutting off has been identified; nevertheless, you must ascertain what that reason is.
  • It is possible that you will overload one or more of your appliances if you decide to leave your circuit breaker open for an extended period of time.
  • It has the potential to cause an electrical fire.
  • As a result, you must gather the necessary resources in order to conduct a thorough examination of your water heater.
See also:  How To Know If Water Pump Is Leaking?

You will be able to find out what is going on and correct it this way.

Materials Needed To Fix an Electric Water Heater

  • If you want to repair your electric water heater, you’ll need a few essential supplies. Some of the materials you’ll need are as follows: You will want access to your electric water heater in order to do this task. This is often kept in the garage or in a utility closet
  • nonetheless,
  • Furthermore, a torch will be required in order to see properly behind the electric water heater
  • and
  • To figure out where all of the separate pieces are located, you should have access to the owner’s handbook.
  • If you need to disassemble any of the water heater’s components, you’ll most likely need a basic toolbox as well.
  • When working around the water heater, make sure you have enough of towels on hand in case any water leaks.
  • Furthermore, a multimeter must be brought with you in order to test each individual component of the water heater.

After you have acquired all of the essential supplies, you can proceed to your water heater and attempt to determine what is causing the problem there. What are some of the steps you’ll need to take to get started?

Fix an Electric Water Heater in 5 Steps

If you want to figure out why your water heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker, there are a few measures you need to do to get there. These are some examples:

Step 1: Look at the Other Appliances

First and foremost, you must examine the circuit breaker and determine whether or not any other appliances are connected to the same circuit as your water heater.Examples include additional appliances that have been connected into neighboring outlets and which may have been a contributing factor in the circuit breaker being tripped.Alternatively, someone might have unknowingly connected another item to the same circuit without your knowledge.Check anything that is linked to the same circuit while it is being tested.

  • After that, check to see if anything has been connected that shouldn’t be there.
  • If you can identify something else that has recently been added to the circuit, it is likely that this is the source of the circuit breaker’s incessant tripping.
  • Disconnect the new appliance from the circuit and reinstall it.
  • After that, observe whether or not the circuit breaker operates as it should.

If this is the case, your water heater was not the source of the problem, but another item.

Step 2: There Might Be a Bad Thermostat

If you suspect that the source of the problem is your water heater, the first thing you should do is check the temperature setting on the thermostat.Water heaters are often equipped with a limit switch that prohibits the water from reaching temperatures higher than 180 degrees Fahrenheit.If the water gets too hot, a limit switch is activated, which prevents the water from being any hotter than it already is.In order to avoid getting burnt, it is essential that you do this.

  • A large number of water heaters contain two thermostats and two heating components, for a total of four.
  • Each heating element is equipped with its own thermostat.
  • Typically, the thermostats communicate with one another in order to ensure that only one element of the water heater is heating at a given moment.
  • The water heater may start heating both elements at the same time if the thermostat becomes locked in the ″on″ position for an extended period of time.

Because of this, the electrical circuit may experience a substantial pull in power, resulting in the circuit breaker tripping.A multimeter will be required if you want to take a closer look at the thermostat.Make use of the multimeter to check each individual thermostat to ensure that it is functioning properly.If the readings from each thermostat are significantly different, it is likely that one of them is malfunctioning.Most likely, the thermostat is not working properly because it does not have a lot of resistance or electricity running through it.It’s possible that it will need to be replaced.

Step 3: A Bad Heating Element

In addition to a faulty thermostat, it is possible that the heating element is malfunctioning.The individual heating components must be examined in the same way that the thermostats were examined above in order to diagnose the problem.If your water heater has two independent heating components, you must inspect each one individually to ensure that they are both operating properly.It is possible that an older heating element will have an issue with the casing.

  • After a period of time, the casing around the heating element begins to fracture, exposing the electrical section of the water heater.
  • Because of this, it is possible for the heating element to short circuit, resulting in the trip of a limit switch.
  • This will cause the circuit breaker to trip, resulting in the water heater being turned off.
  • There is also the possibility that the element will continue to function even when it is not meant to.

Consequently, the water will get too hot, causing the limit switch to be tripped.This might potentially cause the circuit breaker to trip, resulting in the water heater being turned off.In order to test the various heating elements, you’ll need to make use of your multimeter.This is a sign that the heating element is damaged and must be changed if the resistance reading does not match the expected value.

Step 4: Check for a Water Leak

It goes without saying that you must inspect the water heater to ensure that there is no water leaking from the heater.Many older water heaters are susceptible to developing leaks.If this is the case, water may begin to gravitate toward all of the electrical elements in the area.In order to avoid injury when working on your water heater, you must always prioritize safety first.

  • If there is standing water surrounding the water heater, it is possible that it will come into touch with one of the electrical components.
  • This has the potential to create a catastrophic electrical shock and maybe cause the entire system to short circuit.
  • If you notice a leak in the water heater, you must shut down the power to the unit immediately.
  • Make certain that no electricity is being supplied to the water heater at all times.

Afterwards, you may take a closer look at the water heater to determine what steps you need take to resolve the problem.It’s possible that you’ll need to hire an expert to assist you with this.

Step 5: Look at the Internal Wiring

Finally, there might be an issue with the water heater’s internal wiring, which would cause it to malfunction.If you are not an electrician, you may wish to seek the assistance of an electrician to complete this step for you.Before you begin working on the water heater’s internal wiring, you must first turn off the circuit breaker and turn off the electricity to the water heater.When you examine the interior wiring, you are searching for any indications of faulty wires or connections.

  • There might be a symptom of corrosion in the water heater at some point in the future.
  • Alternatively, you may detect the smell of smoke emanating from some of the cables.
  • If this is the case, it is possible that there is a serious problem with the internal components of the tank water heater.
  • You should consult with a specialist to determine if it is more cost effective to fix these cables or to have the complete system replaced.

Solve the Mystery of Your Water Heater

The internal wiring of the water heater may also be faulty, which brings us to our final point.This stage may require the assistance of an electrician if you are not familiar with electrical work.Before you begin working on the water heater’s internal wiring, you must first turn off the circuit breaker and turn off the electricity to the unit.The internal wiring should be examined for any evidence of frayed or broken wires while the vehicle is being serviced.

  • Possibly, there is an indication of corrosion in the water heater at some point.
  • In certain cases, you may notice smoke emanating from a few of the cables.
  • If this is the case, it is possible that there is a serious problem with the internal components of the heater.
  • To determine if it is more cost effective to fix these cables or replace the complete system, you should consult with an expert.

Water Heater Tripping Your Breaker? Follow These 5 Steps

Are you becoming increasingly irritated because your circuit breaker keeps triping?If this is the case, the source of the problem might be your water heater.Water heaters are classified into two categories.The first type of water heater is referred to as a gas water heater.

  • The second type of water heater is referred to as an electric water heater.
  • If your gas water heater requires electricity to operate, there is a danger that it will trip your circuit breaker.
  • Both types of water heaters have the potential to trip a circuit breaker.
  • If your water heater is tripping your circuit breaker on a regular basis, there are numerous things you should look at.

Check the thermostat, the heating element, the internal wiring, and the electrical system as a whole to make sure everything is working properly.You should also check for any other appliances that might be causing the circuit breaker to trip as well.You rely on your hot water heater to function effectively, and when it fails to do so, it may be quite annoying.Despite the fact that you may be under a great deal of pressure, we have conducted extensive study to determine the most common reasons why water heaters trip circuit breakers in the first place.Consider the findings of our investigation and see if you can determine why your water heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker.Are you prepared to investigate your electric water heater in greater depth?

  1. If this is the case, continue reading and let’s see if we can figure out why your electric water heater is not functioning properly.

Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?

Now, you might be asking why your circuit breaker is tripping in the first place.An electric water heater can overload one or more of your appliances, which is why your circuit breaker has been carefully built to prevent this from happening.Whenever a circuit breaker detects that anything dangerous is happening in your electrical system, it will shut off the electricity to that portion of the house.You could believe that merely leaving the circuit breaker open would fix the problem; however, this should never be done under any circumstances.

  • A cause for your circuit breaker to be shutting off has been identified; nevertheless, you must ascertain what that reason is.
  • It is possible that you will overload one or more of your appliances if you decide to leave your circuit breaker open for an extended period of time.
  • It has the potential to cause an electrical fire.
  • As a result, you must gather the necessary resources in order to conduct a thorough examination of your water heater.

You will be able to find out what is going on and correct it this way.

Materials Needed To Fix an Electric Water Heater

  • If you want to repair your electric water heater, you’ll need a few essential supplies. Some of the materials you’ll need are as follows: You will want access to your electric water heater in order to do this task. This is often kept in the garage or in a utility closet
  • nonetheless,
  • Furthermore, a torch will be required in order to see properly behind the electric water heater
  • and
  • To figure out where all of the separate pieces are located, you should have access to the owner’s handbook.
  • If you need to disassemble any of the water heater’s components, you’ll most likely need a basic toolbox as well.
  • When working around the water heater, make sure you have enough of towels on hand in case any water leaks.
  • Furthermore, a multimeter must be brought with you in order to test each individual component of the water heater.

After you have acquired all of the essential supplies, you can proceed to your water heater and attempt to determine what is causing the problem there. What are some of the steps you’ll need to take to get started?

Fix an Electric Water Heater in 5 Steps

If you want to figure out why your water heater keeps tripping the circuit breaker, there are a few measures you need to do to get there. These are some examples:

Step 1: Look at the Other Appliances

First and foremost, you must examine the circuit breaker and determine whether or not any other appliances are connected to the same circuit as your water heater.Examples include additional appliances that have been connected into neighboring outlets and which may have been a contributing factor in the circuit breaker being tripped.Alternatively, someone might have unknowingly connected another item to the same circuit without your knowledge.Check anything that is linked to the same circuit while it is being tested.

  • After that, check to see if anything has been connected that shouldn’t be there.
  • If you can identify something else that has recently been added to the circuit, it is likely that this is the source of the circuit breaker’s incessant tripping.
  • Disconnect the new appliance from the circuit and reinstall it.
  • After that, observe whether or not the circuit breaker operates as it should.

If this is the case, your water heater was not the source of the problem, but another item.

Step 2: There Might Be a Bad Thermostat

If you suspect that the source of the problem is your water heater, the first thing you should do is check the temperature setting on the thermostat.Water heaters are often equipped with a limit switch that prohibits the water from reaching temperatures higher than 180 degrees Fahrenheit.If the water gets too hot, a limit switch is activated, which prevents the water from being any hotter than it already is.In order to avoid getting burnt, it is essential that you do this.

  • A large number of water heaters contain two thermostats and two heating components, for a total of four.
  • Each heating element is equipped with its own thermostat.
  • Typically, the thermostats communicate with one another in order to ensure that only one element of the water heater is heating at a given moment.
  • The water heater may start heating both elements at the same time if the thermostat becomes locked in the ″on″ position for an extended period of time.

Because of this, the electrical circuit may experience a substantial pull in power, resulting in the circuit breaker tripping.A multimeter will be required if you want to

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