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I just installed a new hot water tank (electric) and it

Customer Question
keeps throwing the breaker after...
I just installed a new hot water tank (electric) and it keeps throwing the breaker after about 3 minutes of heating.
Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: HVAC
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Answered in 1 minute by:
11/10/2017
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 10 months ago
Rick
Rick, HVAC Supervisor
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 24,846
Experience: 40+ yrs. experience as a licensed oil & gas technician.
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Welcome to Just Answer, my name is ***** ***** I will do my best to help you with your issue. If my initial response doesn’t answer your question then let me know and we can

continue our conversation.

What's your wire size and breaker amperage rating?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
30amp 12 gauge. same system has been there since 1963.
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 10 months ago

Ok, a 30 amp breaker is too big for 12 gauge wire. 12 gauge is rated for 20 amps. You should have 10 gauge wire. Also breaker get weaker every time they trip so you could have a weak breaker. Beyond that you could have a defective thermostat. Do you have a clamping amp meter to read the amperage the element is drawing?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
no I don't. The same system has been in place since 1963, no problems. This tank is 38 gal, the last one was 30 gal.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
it may be 10 gauge, it's very stout wire. Probably is 10. One fact, the breaker system is Zinsco, but has always worked.
Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Maybe I need to go buy a new breaker.
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 10 months ago

I've detailed the likely culprits. If you don't have the equipment to verify the problem I can't do any more for you. You might want to call an electrician to check out the breaker. Beyond that you have a warranty issue. If the panel is from 1963 you're unlikely find a replacement breaker for it.

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
OK over.
HVAC Technician: Rick, HVAC Supervisor replied 10 months ago

Not sure what that means. I'm logging off for the night. If you have more questions I'll respond in the morning

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