Has this ever happened to you?
Your water heater trips the circuit breaker in your house. So you go and reset the circuit breaker.
Then after a few minutes, it happens again. So you reset it again.
But immediately, the water heater trips your circuit breaker again.
This continual pattern can be indicative of a more serious issue that you may not be able to see. But suffice it to say, you’re in need of some kind of repair, or even a brand new water heater.
There are three big reasons why a water heater trips a circuit breaker, and we’re going to break them down here and help you figure out what you can do to fix it.
When your water heater thermostat is faulty or improperly installed, it loses ‘communication’ with the breaker, which can cause an electrical imbalance of power. Rather than regulating the electricity to the heating elements, this imbalance of excess electricity feeds into the circuit breaker instead. The excessive power can be too much for the circuit to handle, causing it to trip.
Burnt Heating Elements
Sometimes the element that heats the water in the heater can be the source of the issue. If the heating element breaks or burns out, this can cause a spit in parts of the heater, exposing wires and electrical components to direct contact with water.
And we all know water plus electricity equals bad.
In this case, it can short circuit and cause the water heater to trip your circuit breaker. Just as well, with a broken heating element, you’ll notice your water isn’t as hot as you’re used to.
Faulty Breaker or Wiring
The issue may not even have to do with your water heater. Your circuit breaker could be worn and faulty from age. Or there could be a loose wire in the electrical panel, causing the system to short circuit. In either case, it’s the breaker causing the issue, and not your water heater.
What Can You Do?
The first and most important thing to remember is to not continue flipping the breaker back on after it shorts out. Doing this repeated runs the risk of overheating wires and causing a fire, which will be significantly worse than a broken water heater.
If you’re thinking of installing your own newer breaker, make sure to consult a professional first. Higher-rated circuit breakers are great, but if the issue is not within the breaker, and an imbalance of electricity is still running through your system, then you still run the risk of overheating wires and causing a fire.
If you’re sure the issue is in your water heater’s thermostat, then you can purchase and install your own new water heater thermostat in your home. Just be sure to consult a professional to make sure it is installed properly, or better yet have the professional come install it for you!
Your best option is always to call in a professional to handle the situation for you. Technicians are trained how to look for these types of issues and can determine them without risking further damage to your breaker and water heater. And if you’re ever looking for a dependable water heater specialist in Tracy, Mountain House, or Manteca, don’t forget your friends at Simpson Plumbing!