How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Sir Sparks Your Own Question
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
Type Your Electrical Question Here...
Sir Sparks is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I pressed the GFI button in my circuit breaker box for kitchen

This answer was rated:

I pressed the GFI button in my circuit breaker box for kitchen area. THere is no reset button. The circuit breaker switch is in off position (there is no halfway position) and I can't turn it back on. How can I reset it?
Try turning it fully off then back on first
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Sir Sparks. Thank you for responding. The switch is in the fully off position.
The water heater will most likely be 220 volt so this would be a two pole breaker and would not be associated with the kitchen receptacle. Also you in your last comment you say this breaker is not gfci but it does have a white test button? and is it 1 pole or 2 pole?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry to keep you waiting. The toggle switch in question is the top switch on the right side of the circuit panel. The switch beneath it is marked 15 and is labeled "living room." The side of the water heater with labels is toward the exterior wall. I have shoved myself under the kitchen counter as far as I can go and can make out some of the top line of information. The first slot is blank and is labeled upper element, 1650 appears in the next two slots, one of which is labeled 'lower element' and the other label I cannot read. The next slot down says 120 and I'm pretty sure that is labeled volts. The make is Kenmore Economizer 5. It is a 20 gallon heater. This is a very small house.
No problem with the delay, take your time but; you speak of "slots" under the kitchen cabinet! Is that where your sub panel is? It does appear that your water heater is only 120 volts but where is this panel located?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have misused the word slots. Initially I was describing the circuit breaker panel. The 20 amp breaker which operates in the kitchen area has an associated white test button ('at the other end of the slot').

In my last reply I was describing what I can read on the water heater label which is somewhat in table format. There are labels in an upper row in very small print and values in the row beneath in larger print. I assume there is just one heating element in this small tank. Sorry for the sloppy English.
No problem I do it too sometimes. Now let us recap here. Your water heater is not working, your kitchen receptacles are not working, and one ( only one) single pole 20 amp breaker with a white test button won't reset! Is that ALL correct so far?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Good now I have the situation down exactly. It is very unlikely (actually impossible) that your water heater at 1650 watts could be on the same circuit as the kitchen receptacles (at least impossible for them all to ever have worked together.) So we have at least two faults here. I suspect that the breaker with the test switch is GFCI and it feeds those kitchen receptacles. I would suggest the first thing to do is to remove the hot wire from that breaker and put in on another 20 amp but NO test button breaker. Also to at this GFCI breaker you should see a white wire also entering the breaker, this needs to be placed on the neutral bar. This will be a temporary test you cannot leave it that way but it will eliminate several things in the trouble shooting. Let me know if either the receptacles come back on or if the w/h does.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hello Sir Sparks. We are in over my head. I know nothing about working with electrical wires. I have copied your suggestion into a document to share with my handyman when he comes again. Unless I can find a working receptacle that will reach my refrigerator I will call an electrician. I appreciate your help and wish we could have gotten to a solution but I am ignorant about handling electrical wiring. Just trying to eliminate obvious things before replacing the hot water heater. So I will accept your answer and thank you for your time. Can't be helped.
I understand and safety is the first concern. I suspect(but cannot be sure) that your water heater is defective and that either the breaker with the test button is too or there is a fault in the kitchen wiring. Thank you for your "accept" and good luck to you.
Sir Sparks and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you