Hot Water Heater Tripping Breaker

Every time the water heater trips a circuit breaker is a clear sign that there may be a possibly hazardous problem that may require immediate attention. By just turning on the breaker back may not solve the problem. This is because water and electricity are a risky combination and you may be required to call a competent professional to do the repairs.

Water heater reset on the other hand is a safety thermostat switch which disconnects the electricity flow of the water heater if the water temperature exceeds the one that has been preset. The button that senses the temperature of the reset is usually in direct contact with the metal tank and can detect water temperature via conduction. The reset may become malfunctioned when the reset keeps tripping repeatedly and may be an indication of a more serious problem.

There are a few explanations as to why a breaker gets tripped, some of which are discussed below.

Faulty Thermostat

One main reason why water heater trips a breaker is a faulty thermostat in which case, the thermostat must be replaced. It may also be wise to change the heating element at the same time. Since each heating system is controlled by a thermostat when the thermostat breaks down, it creates a huge problem especially if both elements run at the same time.

Bad Electrical Wiring or Breaker

This occurs mainly where the breaker itself is worn out and keeps tripping without cause. A loose wire in the electrical panel can also cause a short circuit.

Burnt Out Heating Element

The heating element is a component of the water heater that is responsible for heating the water. Once the heating elements fail, they burn out and can no longer heat the water. Occasionally, the heating element outer covering may become damaged which in many cases leave the electrical wires exposed or in contact with the water or the tank. This short circuit can flip the switch which is usually of high limit on your water heater causing the water heater’s breaker to trip.

Shortened Element

A heating element that is shortened to ground could cause the heating to run endlessly leading to tripping of the reset button. It is advisable to check for a shortened element by carrying out a continuity reading from the terminals and the tank.

Flipping the breaker back on several times should be avoided since it causes the wires in the circuit to overheat which can cause fire and damage to the water heater. When the flipping is avoided, it significantly reduces the chances of your water heater tripping the circuit breaker.

Skip to content