The Tank › triped circute breaker
- December 19, 2004 at 5:45 pm #3014
HI , my delama , I have an a.o.smith 50 gal electric aprox age 12 years.
no hot water, i went to check the heater, no power to my hot water heater. it had had triped the 20 amp circit breaker. i fliped the circute on,again the circute breaker tripe after aprox 10 min later. the top elememt was warm to touch but the bottom ellement was cold. i then replaced both top and bottom thermaststate controlers and only the bottom heating ellement, but it still tripping the circute breaker after 10 min I had rplaced both heating lements last year. any ideas of why the water heater would trip the circute breaker
thanks genesram 🙁December 20, 2004 at 12:55 am #3016Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: For a start, try reading the post “electric water heater stopped working”, (the upper element may be leaking to ground). That will give you some ideas on how to check out the heater. Beyond that, 20 amp breakers are not the norm for modern heaters. It’s usually 30 amps. That assumes larger wire serving the heater as well. It may be that you have undersized wire and breakers serving the heater and that the breakers are working at their limit. Replacing the breakers (once the water heater has been checked out), would make sense. But first, you need to know the wire size to the heater. If it is sized right, 30 amp breakers can go in, and the nuisence tripping will go away. I am assuming your heater has 4500 watt elements. If not, nothing I’ve just said makes sense! You may want to have an electrician take a look.
Yours, LarryDecember 20, 2004 at 8:49 am #3017
genesram, thanks larry for responding.
yes, both heating elements are 4500watts. I tried replacing both control units last year at the same time when I replaced both heating elements,but I was tripping the breaker, so I switsthed back to the old controll unites,and had no problems with triped breakers untill the other day!
Also do the # have to match up on the replacement controllers? mine are#4100@4000. I picked up new controllers at lowes and the #was 4190, my builder stated the # have to match up. Is this True? I do not see a great varaity of controllers at he store, it seems to be one kind fits all electic heaters!
What gauge wire are you recomending for an 30 amp fuse?
Thanks again, see if i cant solve this before x-mass!
genesramDecember 20, 2004 at 10:57 am #3018Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: Yes, controls need to match. There are three types; upper, lower and single element. The upper thermostat has a high limit and can switch power down to the lower thermostat once the upper is hot. The lower is a thermostat only. The single element type has a high limit, but no extra switch for powering another element. So, you need to match thermostats up by type and also by fit.
As for wire size, it really depends on the length and load. You know the load. Once you know the length, you can see if what you have is sufficient. 12 gauge is usually used with 20 amp breakers, but is too small for 4500 watt elements unless it is a very short run of wire. 10 gauge is the usual for 30 amp breakers, but this is where you need to look it up or get an electrician in. Another option would be to install smaller elements, but that has its own set of problems.
Yours, LarryDecember 20, 2004 at 12:29 pm #3019
thanks larry ,
yes, my builder came over and he said the same thing it should have been on an 30amp breaker and they should have used 10 ga instead of 12ga, so we have calll out for the electrition .
again thanks for your help!
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