Why Does Hot Water Heater Breaker Keep Tripping?

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

  1. Only a small number of people volunteer to take ice cold showers.
  2. As a result, when your water becomes icy and your electricity fails, you’re hit with a double whammy.
  3. Even after you’ve reset your circuit breaker, it continues to malfunction, and you’re not sure what to do about it.
  4. It might be aggravating to have to choose between hot water and a functioning electrical system.
  5. It is possible that there is a problem with the power supply between your electric water heater and your circuit breaker.
  6. 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?
  1. Get free, no-obligation quotations from professional contractors in your area.

How Does a Water Heater Work?

  1. The water heater supplies hot water to the entire home, which is used for bathing and other household cleaning purposes.
  2. It accomplishes this by siphoning water through a dip tube and heating it within the water storage tank.
  3. Once heated, the water rises to the surface and flows via the heat-out pipe into the home’s water distribution system.
  4. Heating elements, thermostats, relief valves, drain valves, insulation, and anode rods are all standard features on all water heaters.
  5. The sole difference between gas and electric water heaters is the power source: electric water heaters are powered by electricity.
  6. This is the one and only case in which water and electricity are allowed to interact.

Why Is My Water Heater Tripping the Breaker?

  1. In order to function, electric water heaters must be powered by a high voltage electrical current.
  2. A dedicated circuit on the electrical system will thus be provided for it in many instances.
  3. It is possible that this power consumption will be too large for the circuit breaker, causing the system to go down.
  4. If your water heater trips the breaker, it might be for any number of reasons (or for absolutely no cause at all).
  5. If the breaker continues to shut off even after many attempts to reset it, turn off the power and investigate.
  6. 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?

  1. There are various frequent causes for a water heater to trip the circuit breaker.
  2. Here are some of the most prevalent ones.
  3. 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.
  4. Before initiating a repair, use the multimeter to ensure that the voltage and electrical flow of each component are within specifications.
  5. The most prevalent reasons for water leaks are three things: corrupted or broken components, damaged or inadequate wiring, and water leaks in the system.
  6. Identifying the underlying reason will guide your approach to the resolution of the problem.

Bad Heating Element

  1. The heating elements of water heaters are situated at the top and bottom of the water tank, respectively.
  2. They are often composed of metal and enclosed in a protective case to keep them from corroding over time.
  3. Over time, the casing may fracture or break, allowing the metal to come into direct contact with the water supply.
  4. This can cause the element to short circuit or burn out, resulting in either underheating or overheating of the water.
  5. Either the water temperature will drop, or the breaker or high limit switch will trip, whichever occurs first.
  6. 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

  1. Heat is generated by alternating between the two components of the water heater, which is used for domestic purposes.
  2. Each element is equipped with a thermostat, which ensures that only one is turned on at a time.
  3. A properly operating thermostat ensures that the system operates effectively and that the water temperature does not exceed 180 degrees.
  4. 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.
  5. As a result, the heater’s temperature rises over 180 degrees Fahrenheit and it consumes more power than is necessary.
  6. 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

  1. The majority of the time, the components of the water heater prevent water from accessing the electrical circuitry.
  2. When a gasket fails, the likelihood of water entering the electrical system and tripping the breaker is increased significantly.
  3. This is an extremely risky circumstance that might result in a catastrophic electrical shock or a fire if not addressed immediately.
  4. When water comes into contact with the electrical system, the primary breaker is normally tripped automatically.
  5. If it doesn’t, turn off the breaker and try to discover the source of the leak as soon as possible.
  6. Once the leak has been repaired, you may re-energize the circuit breaker and ensure that the water heater is operating.

Internal Wiring

  1. If the heating components and thermostats are in working order, it is possible that there is a problem with the heater’s internal wiring.
  2. If there are any burned connections, broken wire, or evidence of electrical arcs in the heater’s wiring, you’ll need to replace it.
  3. It is probable that you will detect smoke before you see any visible damage.
  4. Before you begin troubleshooting, make sure that the water heater’s electricity is completely turned off.
  5. Open the exterior panel and look for the connection between the water heater and the rest of the house’s wiring.
  6. Before restarting the water heater, inspect it for any broken wiring or connectors and replace them.

External Wiring or Electrical Problem

  1. You’ve checked for water leaks, tested the heating components and thermostats, and examined the internal wiring.
  2. Now it’s time to put it all together.
  3. All of those components appear to be in working order, but the breaking is still tripping.
  4. The problem has now progressed from a plumbing issue to an electrical one.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

  1. Proper maintenance of the water heater can help to extend its life and reduce the likelihood of having to make repairs.
  2. There are certain easy things that the homeowner may complete that will save him or her both time and money.
  3. Maintaining your water heater on a regular basis will help it work more effectively and improve its life expectancy.
  4. 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.
  5. The same may be said about silt settling in the tank, which might cause the heater to shut off prematurely.
  6. 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?
  1. Get free, no-obligation quotations from professional contractors in your area.

Related Questions

When do I need to call the plumber?

  1. 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.
  2. With the correct tools, several diagnostic procedures and part replacements may be completed quickly and easily.
  3. Knowing what has to be done and being able to execute it correctly, on the other hand, are two very different things.
  4. 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.
  5. For example, a homeowner may easily check the voltage and resistance of a circuit and replace a heating element with little work and expense.
  6. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. Try to get an Energy Star-rated (or lower) water heater to save money on your utility bills.
  3. When considering lifetime energy expenditures as well as rebate incentives, investing in an Energy Star certified heater is a wise and cost-effective decision.
  4. Another factor to consider is the sort of water heater you have.
  5. Tankless units are becoming increasingly popular, despite the fact that they are less prevalent and less expensive than tank units.
  6. 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.
  • 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.
  1. In addition to being a wife and mother, Stacy Randall works as a freelance writer in New Orleans.
  2. She has always had a passion for do-it-yourself projects, house organizing, and creating beautiful environments.
  3. 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.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s look at the probable problems that are causing your electric water heater to trip your breaker.

Burnt out heating element

  1. Heating element: The heating element is the component of your water heater that actually heats the water.
  2. Typically, two heating elements are used in electric water heaters: a top heating element and a bottom heating element.
  3. An electric water heater with two heating components is depicted in the diagram.
  4. Photo courtesy of the author.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Photo courtesy of the author.
  4. When a thermostat malfunctions, however, it might result in a situation in which both heating components are activated at the same time.
  5. 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.
See also:  What Causes A Water Pump To Go Bad

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 Is My Water Heater Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

  1. Skip to the main content What is causing my water heater to trip my circuit breaker?
  2. Have you ever had something like this happen to you?
  3. The circuit breaker in your home is tripped by your water heater tripping.
  4. As a result, you go and reset the circuit breaker breaker.
  5. A few minutes later, the same thing occurs once more.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. However, rather of controlling the flow of power to the heating components, this imbalance of surplus electricity is sent directly into the circuit breaker.
  3. A circuit can trip if it is subjected to high power because the circuit is unable to withstand the load.

Burnt Heating Elements

  1. The element in the heater that warms the water might sometimes be the root of the problem.
  2. 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.
  3. And we all know that water combined with electricity is a dangerous combination.
  4. As a result, it may produce a short circuit, resulting in your water heater tripping your circuit breaker..
  5. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. In the event that you’re considering installing your own updated breakers, be sure to talk with an experienced specialist first.
  4. 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.
  5. Higher-rated circuit breakers are thus recommended.
  6. 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.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Page load link

Why Does Your Water Heater Keep Tripping the Breaker?

  1. Have you been having trouble with cold showers lately?
  2. 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.
  3. Examine the water heater, the circuit breaker, and even the cabling that runs between them.
  4. You will, however, need to dig a little deeper into the matter and figure out what activities need to be taken to rectify it.
  5. 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

  1. So, what exactly is the source of the problem?
  2. You must be aware of the many circumstances that your heating system may confront.
  3. Because your breaker is constantly tripping, you should include all electrical components that are involved in powering up the tank in your calculations.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

  1. We’ll start with your hot water tank, which is the most likely suspect in this malfunction.
  2. If you’ve used this gadget for a long period of time, it’s possible that symptoms of wear and tear have already shown.
  3. Every time it is used, you may notice some corrosion, whirling noises, and leaks in the system.
  4. Because of the tank’s age, expect the water heater to trip the circuit breaker on a regular basis.
  5. Failure in the thermostat is never impossible, even if you’ve purchased a brand new heater, on the other hand.
  6. 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.
  1. Another item to look for is any damage to the electric water heater’s general wiring.
  2. Wires tend to degrade with time, and rodents that nibble through the insulation are a problem as well.
  3. Damaged wires should be handled with extreme caution.
  4. Not only are short circuits possible, but there is also the possibility of electrocution.

2. A Short Circuit in The Wiring Lines

  1. When we talk about wiring, we aren’t only referring to the lines that go from the water heater.
  2. Keep an eye out for the connectors that link the dedicated CB to the water tank.
  3. – 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

  1. There are a variety of ways in which a circuit breaker might exceed its capacity.
  2. 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.
  3. After years of constant use, the usability of a circuit breaker diminishes, just as it does with other appliances or electrical gadgets.
  4. 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.
  5. Make certain that the circuit breaker you choose is the appropriate size for your water heater.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Check the wiring of the thermostat using a multimeter to discover if there is any impedance in the system (Ohmic resistance).
  4. 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.
  5. (See Figure 1).
  6. 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.
  1. Next, with one probe still on the tank, attach the other probe to the second terminal screw using the same procedure as before.
  2. If your multimeter did not generate a beep when you turned both screws, your heating element is in good working order.
  3. Finally, examine the tank’s outside to see if there is any noticeable damage.

What Can You Do to Fix the Issue

  1. It is necessary to repair component parts or perform wire maintenance after you have determined the source of your problem.
  2. 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.
  3. if the water heater circuit breaker keeps tripping, get in touch with an electrician or a reputable plumber right away.
  4. 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.


  1. 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.
  2. It is vital for you to determine the source of the irregularities in order to resolve the situation properly.
  3. Is it a problem with the water heater’s internals?
  4. A misplaced comma in the incorrect place?
  5. Or is it simply the circuit breaker that has to be replaced?
  6. 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.

Why does my hot water heater keep tripping?

  1. There are a variety of other issues that might cause your high-limit switch to trip.
  2. Other common reasons are as follows: Heating element that has been shorted—It is possible that the thermostat is functioning properly but that it is turning off the heating element.
  3. a loose wire in the water heater can create enough heat to trip the high-limit switch a loose wire in the water heater can cause the high-limit switch to trip What Could Be Causing Your Water Heater To Trip The Breaker?
  4. It is possible that the breaker has been worn out and has tripped.
  5. It is also possible that a wire is loose in the electrical panel, resulting in a short circuit.
  6. Your thermostat – If your thermostat malfunctions, it can use more electricity than the circuit can manage, causing the circuit breaker to trip and the connection to be disconnected.
  • In addition to the aforementioned, how can I repair my hot water heater?
  • Examining the Condition of Your Water Heater
  1. Disconnect electricity from an electric water heater by turning off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse from the water heater circuit in your home’s breaker box or fuse panel
  2. this will save you money.
  3. Turn off the gas supply by putting the gas pilot control valve on the water’s gas valve to the ″pilot″ position.
  1. Will a faulty heating element cause the circuit breaker to trip in this manner?
  2. The heating element of an electric water heater is only activated when the water heater is turned on.
  3. When a thermostat malfunctions, however, it might result in a situation in which both heating components are activated at the same time.
  4. This uses more electricity than the circuit is capable of handling, resulting in the circuit breaker tripping as a result.
  5. What is causing my hot water to get so hot all of a sudden?
  6. Most likely, a faulty thermostat is to blame for the rapid increase in temperature of your water heater.
  • The on and off cycle of water heater elements is controlled by a temperature controller.
  • An automatic safety mechanism is activated in the event of a fault, such as when the thermostat fails to turn off the electricity to the boiler elements during regular cycling.
See also:  How Water Heater Leaking From Bottom?

What Does It Mean If Your Hot Water Heater Keeps Tripping the Reset?

  1. The hot water heater reset is essentially a high limit safety thermostat switch, which disconnects the electricity to the water heater if the temperature of the water reaches a certain threshold temperature.
  2. Due to the fact that the temperature detecting button on the reset is in direct contact with the metal tank, conduction is used to detect the temperature of the water.
  3. While it is possible that the reset is faulty, when the reset fails frequently, it is typically an indicator of a more serious problem.

Defective Thermostat

  1. It is possible that a thermostat that is jammed closed is the source of the reset button tripping on and off.
  2. It is possible that a thermostat that does not open permits the element to function constantly, resulting in the temperature of the tank water rising to a potentially dangerous level.
  3. A simple continuity test via the thermostat, performed with a digital multimeter, can demonstrate that this is the source of the issue.

Taking a Continuity Reading

  1. Switching off the water heater’s electricity at the service panel, as well as disconnecting the wires from the thermostat, is recommended.
  2. Make sure the meter’s function switch is set to the R X 1 scale and that the test probes on the meter are placed on the thermostat’s terminals.
  3. If the thermostat is in excellent working order, the LCD, or liquid crystal display, on the meter should display ″O.L.″ while the thermostat is in the ″Off″ position.
  4. If the meter reads ″0.000,″ this indicates that the thermostat is stuck closed and that it is necessary to replace it.

Shorted Element

An electrical short between your heating element and ground will also cause your heating element to run constantly, triggering the reset button. Make a visual inspection for a shorted element by detaching one of the wires and getting a continuity reading between its terminals and the tank. A ″0.000″ indicates that an element has been shorted. Replace the element with a new one.

Problems With an Electric Hot Water Heater That Trips a Breaker

  1. The fact that your hot water heater is tripping a circuit breaker on a regular basis indicates the presence of a potentially dangerous condition that must be addressed immediately in your house.
  2. A simple re-activation of the circuit breaker will not resolve this issue.
  3. A trained specialist should be called in to do the repairs since water and electricity may be quite dangerous when combined.

Breaker Breaker

  1. The presence of a hot water heater on an electrical circuit might result in the trip of the breaker for three reasons: water leaking on the electrical wires, a problem with the unit’s thermostat, or an issue with the breaker.
  2. The most typical reason for this is a dysfunctional thermostat.
  3. In this scenario, it is necessary to replace the thermostat.
  4. The replacement of the heating element may be advantageous in this situation.
  5. A leak that allows water to get into touch with any of the electric components is harmful and can cause the circuit breaker to trip and cause the breaker to trip.
  6. A leak produced by a failed gasket must be fixed, but the device must always be treated as though power is still flowing and a specialist should be contacted.
  • In certain cases, a malfunctioning circuit breaker is the root cause, and the old circuit breaker should be replaced with a new one of the same size to prevent further damage.

Water Heater Tripping Your Breaker? Follow These 5 Steps

  1. The presence of a hot water heater on an electrical circuit might result in the trip of the breaker for three reasons: water dripping on the electrical wires, a fault with the unit’s thermostat, or an electrical circuit breaker malfunction.
  2. It is most often caused by a faulty thermostat.
  3. A new thermostat should be installed in this situation, as previously stated.
  4. It may be advantageous to replace the heating element at the same time.
  5. A leak that allows water to get into touch with any of the electric components is harmful and can cause the circuit breaker to trip and cause the breaker to flip.
  6. A leak produced by a failed gasket must be fixed, but the device must always be treated as if power is still flowing, and a specialist should be contacted right once.
  • In certain cases, a malfunctioning circuit breaker is the root cause, and the old circuit breaker should be replaced with a new one of the same size to avoid further damage.

Why Does a Circuit Breaker Trip?

  1. Now, you might be asking why your circuit breaker is tripping in the first place.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You could believe that merely leaving the circuit breaker open would fix the problem; however, this should never be done under any circumstances.
  5. A cause for your circuit breaker to be shutting off has been identified; nevertheless, you must ascertain what that reason is.
  6. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Alternatively, someone might have unknowingly connected another item to the same circuit without your knowledge.
  4. Check anything that is linked to the same circuit while it is being tested.
  5. After that, check to see if anything has been connected that shouldn’t be there.
  6. 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

After all is said and done, these are just a few of the numerous reasons why your electric water heater may be continuously tripping your circuit breaker.If your electric water heater is not performing as expected, it is natural to become irritated.However, it is important to realize that there is a reason why the circuit breaker continues tripping on and off.Under no circumstances should you ever attempt to force your circuit breaker to remain closed.

This has the potential to be a significant safety hazard.If you have followed all of these methods and are still unable to determine why your electric water heater is not functioning properly, you should seek the assistance of a professional who can assist you.It is possible that you may want the services of a plumber or an electrician to determine what is wrong with your electric water heater.

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.

See also:  How Does An Electric Water Heater Work

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.Normally open (NO) thermostats should have no resistance.Thermostats that are not working properly will need to be replaced.

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 upper and lower heating elements that we’ve discussed, most electric water heaters have additional heating elements. They collaborate in order to keep the water hot. If you have a large tank, this is especially important. Typically, when a heating element fails, the water ceases to heat and becomes significantly colder than normal. It is possible that the internal heating element is open, in which case the heating element will not cause any damage. The truth is, however, that is not always the case. It is possible for the casing around the heating element to split. When the electrical portion 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 can be too short as well. As a result, the element continues to operate, continuously heating the water in the tank. When the water gets too hot, this will cause the limit switch to trip. A multimeter can 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 points 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.


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.

Hot Water Heater Tripping Breaker

Every time the water heater trips a circuit breaker, it is a clear indication that there may be a potentially hazardous condition that requires quick attention to be resolved.It is possible that simply turning the breaker back on will not solve the problem.The reason for this is because water and electricity are a dangerous mix, and you may need to bring in a qualified specialist to do the repairs….In contrast, a water heater reset is a safety thermostat switch that disconnects the power flow to the water heater if the water temperature exceeds the temperature that has been established.

Conduction is used to measure water temperature through conduction.The button that senses water temperature is often located in direct contact with the metal tank and may detect water temperature by conduction.A malfunctioning reset can occur when the reset button is pressed repeatedly, and this might be a symptom of a more serious problem.

Many factors can contribute to the tripping of an electrical circuit breaker; a few of the most common are addressed further below.

Faulty Thermostat

One of the most common reasons for a water heater to trip a breaker is a broken thermostat, which must be changed if the problem persists.It may also be a good idea to replace the heating element at the same time as the heating element.Because each heating system is regulated by a thermostat, when the thermostat fails, it causes a significant difficulty, particularly if both heating components are operating at the same time.

Bad Electrical Wiring or Breaker

Most commonly, this occurs when the breaker itself has been worn out and repeatedly tripping without a reason. A short circuit might also be caused by a stray wire in the electrical distribution panel.

Burnt Out Heating Element

The heating element is a component of the water heater that is in charge of heating the water to a desired temperature.When the heating components fail, they burn out and are no longer able to heat the water properly.Occasionally, the outer covering of the heating element may get broken, which in many cases results in the electrical wires becoming exposed or coming into touch with the water or tank.This short circuit has the potential to flip the switch on your water heater, which is normally set to a high limit, causing the water heater’s circuit breaker to trip.

Shortened Element

An electrically shorted heating element might allow the heating to continue indefinitely, resulting in the reset button being triggered by the heating system.It is recommended that you conduct a continuity reading from the terminals and the tank to check for a shorter element.Avoid repeatedly resetting the circuit breaker since doing so causes the wires in the circuit to overheat, which can result in a fire and damage to the water heater.When the flipping is prevented, the likelihood of your water heater tripping the circuit breaker is greatly reduced.

Why Is My Electric Water Heater Tripping My Circuit Breaker?

Although it is true that electricity and water do not mix, there are instances when they must.Consider the following example: an electric water heater.It is necessary to utilize electricity to heat the components within the tank, which in turn heats the water that will be used in your Auburn or Montgomery, Alabama house.Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air receives calls from customers who are concerned that the circuit breaker for their water heater is tripping on a regular basis and want to know what is causing the problem.

What NOT to do

Turn the breaker back on repeatedly:

The circuit breaker is critical to the safety of electrical and water systems. Turning it back on without identifying the source of the problem might cause wires to overheat, perhaps resulting in a fire. It can potentially cause the circuit breaker to malfunction.

Install a breaker with a higher amperage rating:

This is a really risky situation. A greater amperage indicates that you will need to update to stronger wire in order to handle the additional load. If you don’t, you’re putting yourself and your family in grave danger.

Common Causes

So, what is it that causes a water heater’s circuit breaker to trip in the first place? There will always be exceptions, but we believe you can break it down into three general categories of reasons:

  1. A heating element that has failed—Most water heaters have two heating elements. When one or both of these components fail, there is little or no hot water. Sometimes, when the ingredients fail, they might separate into two halves. It is as a result that electrical components are exposed to the water contained within the tank, which causes a short circuit.
  2. We noted that most tanks contain two components, and this is one of them. Each has its own thermostat, which regulates the temperature. A single element is heated at a time, and this is ensured by the technology. Alternatively, if a thermostat fails on both counts, both components can be switched on simultaneously. Circuit breakers are tripped as a result of the higher amperage demand.
  3. A faulty breaker or wiring—If a plumber has examined the water heater and is unable to identify the source of the problem, it may be necessary to bring in an electrician. Circuit breakers can wear down over time, resulting in their tripping for no apparent cause. A short circuit can also be caused by a faulty connection in the electrical panel
  4. for example,

Call Dixie, and It’s Done

Fortunately for you, no matter where the problem is located, it just takes a single phone call to resolve it.Our company’s name, Dixie Electric, Plumbing & Air, says it all.For more than 110 years, we have had a team of professional plumbers and electricians on hand, ready to help you.Keep up with us on social media, including Facebook and Twitter, for more fantastic content just like this.

Tuesday, August 2, 2019

Electric Water Heater Keeps Tripping a Breaker

Is your electric water heater tripping the circuit breaker on a regular basis?This may be irritating because there are several causes for this, and it is more upsetting when you are unsure of how to resolve the situation.Let’s face it, having to contact a plumber (or an electrician) for every minor issue may become tedious.Not to mention the influence it has on your wallet and level of comfort when traveling.

But that is exactly why we are here.Continue reading if you want to know what to do when your circuit breaker keeps tripping all of the time.You will learn some useful strategies for dealing with the situation.

Get Quotes from Highly Qualified Water Heater Professionals!Get Free Estimates on Your Project!

How electric water heaters work

The majority of the time, an electric heater will heat water by using one or two directly submerged heating components.Typically, a microprocessor control module or a thermostat is in charge of controlling these parts.The output and options will be influenced by the materials that were utilized in the construction of the pieces.For the most part, the voltage and wattage you receive, along with the tank’s storage capacity, are some of the possibilities you may encounter.

In addition, the insulation’s thickness is taken into consideration.Residential electric water heaters that have two heating elements also include an upper and lower thermostat that regulates the amount of energy used to charge the heating element and begin heating the water, respectively.These are also fitted with a high limit switch to avoid overheating, and they may be manually reset if the switch trips.

All of these components work together to prevent overheating or underheating of the water, as well as to maintain the integrity of the heater’s construction.To figure out why the breaker continues tripping, you’ll need to know more than the rudiments of electricity and water heaters, as well as the proper instruments, such as a multimeter or a non-contact voltage tester, to do so.

So, what is the relationship between an electric heater and a breaker?

The circuit breaker, on the other hand, is a crucial safety feature in your house.When there is an excessive amount of current going to the appliance, the power is turned off until the problem is resolved.You will therefore have an unpredictable supply of power entering your home in the absence of a circuit breaker.This indicates that the water temperature may be either too hot or not hot enough.

Additionally, if there is an excessive amount of current flowing into your home, there is a possibility of a fire erupting.Overloaded wiring is a common so

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.