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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3341
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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The main breaker on my tenants unit was tripped. After I

Customer Question

The main breaker on my tenants unit was tripped. After I turned the circuit back on the electric hot water heater didn't seem to run. The hot water heater is less than 6 months old. The tenant also showed me that when she plugged in her hair flat iron in the GFCI outlet in the bathroom the lights dimmed in the rest of the unit. The unit has 50 amp panel. A fridge, the hot water heater and lights and plugs run off this. Propane stove and heat. Any ideas on what's going on or how to trouble shoot?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) Do you have either a 2 wire lead AC voltage tester or an AC multi-meter available to take a few voltage measurements inside the electrical panel?

2) Is 1/2 of the tenant dwelling without power? Do all lighting and receptacles have power or only 1/2 of them have power?

3) Does the H2O heater work?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
1. I do have a voltage tester, but can't test until tomorrow.
2. Everything else is working and when I shut off the breaker for the water heater the bathroom lights go off, so the circuit for the hot water heater seems to work.
3. The hot water heater doesn't seem to be running.
Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the replies.

1) I assume that the water heater is a 240 volt type, is that correct?

2) Turning OFF the water heater breaker should not have any impact on the bathroom as they should reside on 2 separate circuits.

3) Based on your replies, sounds like there may be either a loose phase connection at the main breaker or inside the meter socket or the main breaker is failing or also a loose connection at the main breaker.

4) A 2 wire lead AC voltage tester (a contact type) or a multi-meter will be required to take voltage measurements inside the electrical panel.

Reply back to me tomorrow when you obtain a meter and I can walk thru the easy measurement process...........Thanks............Kevin:)

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
1. It's a typical 30-50 gallon resistance hot water tank. I assume 240 volt.
2. The light for the bathroom is on the same circuit as the hot water heater. I didn't check to see if the outlet is too.
3. Will reply back when I have the meter at the panel.
Thanks
Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) A typical 50 gallon electric H2O heater is always a dedicated 240 volt circuit that is protected by a 30 amp double pole circuit breaker. The bathroom lighting/receptacle is a 120 volt circuit and should reside on it's own dedicated 20 amp/120 volt circuit protected by a single pole circuit breaker. The bathroom can be shared with other bathrooms, but cannot be configured as a shared neutral circuit with the H2O heater.

The bathroom should NOT be sharing the same circuit as the H2O heater.......ie....... 2 separate loads and 2 separate voltages. If load sharing, that's a code violation. This needs to be confirmed.

Reply back to me once you have a meter and we can continue...........Thanks............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks..............Kevin:)

Expert:  Kevin replied 9 months ago.

If you have any additional questions, just let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.

Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.

Thanks.................Kevin:)