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Thread: Hot water braker trips once in few weeks

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    DIY Member keano016's Avatar
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    Default Hot water braker trips once in few weeks

    I have an oil hot water heater and once every few weeks the breaker on the heater trips. I find out that is does when I am ready for shower. What kind of an overload would cause the breaker to trip?

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    As long as it is the circuit breaker and not the ECO on the thermostat, then it is usually a problem with the elements. But since that would usually be a constant problem, and not every few weeks, one possibility is something internal to the upper element which would only operate when you used enough hot water to turn it on, which could be a rare occurance.

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    DIY Junior Member curlysir's Avatar
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    Could also be the circuit breaker. If the heater checks out you could try changing out the breaker to see if it has lost some capacity with age.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It could also be a thermostat deciding to send the power to both elements...

    Or,
    A bunch of stuff only trouble shooting the water heater will tell you for sure.

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    DIY Member keano016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    As long as it is the circuit breaker and not the ECO on the thermostat, then it is usually a problem with the elements. But since that would usually be a constant problem, and not every few weeks, one possibility is something internal to the upper element which would only operate when you used enough hot water to turn it on, which could be a rare occurance.
    It is the actual braker on the burner, not the braker in the electrical panel.

    I was trying to see if there is anything that would overload the unit so that the burner trips.

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    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keano016 View Post
    It is the actual braker on the burner, not the braker in the electrical panel.

    I was trying to see if there is anything that would overload the unit so that the burner trips.
    Well than that is the ECO that is tripping and not a circuit breaker.

    The ECO trips when the water in the tank becomes dangerously hot cutting off power to the unit.
    Common causes are bad thermostats or, a element shorted to ground firing on 120-volts...

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