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Sir Sparks
Sir Sparks, President/Owner/ Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 2532
Experience:  US State Certified & UK Electrical Contractor for all electrical fields/disciplines
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I flipped off the circuit breaker for my electric hot water

Resolved Question:

I flipped off the circuit breaker for my electric hot water heater and it won't stay on when I try to flip it back. This is a double circuit and one of the pair has a metal cap on it which must be some kind of a lock. Can you help me to get the breaker turned back on? Thanks!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Sir Sparks replied 7 years ago.
You must first switch it all the way off then back on. If you have done this and it still will not reset, then why did you switch it off in the first place? is it possible you wired something wrong at the water heater?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The circuit was professionally wired about seven years ago. The system had been working fine all this time. We were not getting very hot water from our sink this morning so I checked the circuit box to see if the breaker had kicked off. It did not appear to have kicked off but I thought it would be a good idea to turn it all the way off and reset it. It will not physically reset. The movement toward full on position seems to be limited by the metal inset which houses the breaker. This same metal inset is on the range circuit and on the dishwasher circuit.

I did nothing to the water heater wiring.
Expert:  Sir Sparks replied 7 years ago.
I understand it is difficult for you to describe this piece of metal but I suspect it has nothing to do with it as it is no more than a joiner piece between the two poles. To make sure you will need to disconnect both wires from the breaker and then try to reset it. If it does reset then you have a bad water heater or water heater wiring (most likely cause) if it does not reset you need to purchase a new breaker.
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