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AssuredElectrical, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4241
Experience:  Contractor-42+ Years in the ElectricalTrade
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The breaker hot water heater keeps tripping, causing the

Customer Question

The breaker for the hot water heater keeps tripping, causing the water heater to lose heat. is it the breaker box or water heater? Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Welcome. My name is ***** ***** would be glad to assist.

Do you have a 2 lead voltage tester for troubleshooting?

What is the timeframe on the breaker tripping? Is it right away, or a certain amount of time after resetting that it trips?

Are you comfortable opening the covers on the water heater for inspection?

Let me know and we can continue,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not have a voltage tester. The breaker is tripping at least once a day. Someone is taking the covers off.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks.

The situation could have several causes, so lets list them out.

1. The breaker could be failing, difficult to tell unless you can feel the breaker when it trips, not later to see if it is hot.

The other way, would be to move the wires to the water heater to another breaker the same size, like an electric dryer breaker.

2. It could be wiring connections at the breaker or in the water heater wiring compartment.

Inspections at both locations would show signs of overheating and possible connection damage.

3. One of the heating elements is failing in the water heater.

There are 2 elements and the top one heats first, then the power switches to the bottom for heating. Once the bottom has reached temperature, it switches back to the top.

Turning the thermostat completely down on the bottom may help to determine if it is the problem, that way the top will heat and then switch to the bottom, but the bottom will not heat due to the thermostat being off.

Unfortunately, you would have to monitor the situation to see what happens, so running the water to make the water heating to start is needed and the time to watch.

A multi meter tester helps to find out if the elements are failing with a continuity test and the easiest way to find the problem.

Those are the possibilities, the most common problem is one of the heating elements failing and needs replacing before it will trip the breaker instantly and lose hot water all together until repaired,

Let me know any questions, here to help as needed


Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

The below is look at how the thermostats are wired to the elements. You would see these under the top and bottom covers on the side of the water heater.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thanks for your help. I will check out those options.
Expert:  AssuredElectrical replied 1 year ago.

Ok, very good, just let me know any further information needed,


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