Breaker wont reset

Old 06-25-02, 02:17 PM
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Breaker wont reset

Had no Hot water and noticed that the breaker for the hot water heater was tripped. Each time I try to reset it, it just returns to the tripped position. First noticed this on Monday, after we had a very bad storm, lots of rain and lightning. The water heater is about 4 yrs old and never had a problem before this. Everything else in the house seems fine. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.
Old 06-25-02, 03:52 PM
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Are you just trying to go from tripped right to on??

You must switch to off first then go to on.

Post back if this was it, or we will keep helping
good luck
Old 06-25-02, 04:13 PM
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Four possibilities

Hello mike561 this is mike 540

First of all lets make sure you are trying to reset the breaker properly. Most circuit breakers when tripped need to be turned to the "OFF" position first. Then try to flip it to the "ON" position.

If it still will not reset then you have three possible areas of failure. The breaker may be bad. The wiring from the breaker panel to the water heater may be bad, or the water heater may be bad.

Isolate the water heater first. Make sure the breaker for the heater is in the off position. Find the junction box closest to the heater, it may be behind a panel on the heater or on a nearby wall, and disconnect the connections or splices, remembering which wire goes where. Tape up the ends of each individual wire coming from the panel to isolate them from each other and from other objects. Try to reset the breaker. If it resets OK, you have a problem in your water heater. If the breaker does not reset properly then your problem is in the wiring or you have a bad breaker.

At this point unless you feel very comfortable working around live electrical connections that can cause you great bodily harm, I would suggest that you call an electrician to trouble shoot this problem further.

What needs to be done now is to open up the circuit breaker panel, after turning off the "MAIN" breaker if you have one, turn off the circuit breaker for the water heater and remove the wires that are connected to the breaker that go to the water heater. After removing these wires and turning the main back on, see if you can reset the water heater breaker. If you can reset it then you have bad wiring between the breaker panel and the water heater. If the breaker still does not reset properly, you have a bad breaker.

If all of this seems very complicated or scary to you I suggest you call an electrician right now and get it taken care of professionally.

Enjoy the Journey

Old 06-25-02, 10:29 PM
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I do agree with the other responses. But what it usually is in this case is a shorted out element in your hot water heater. And, if I may be bold enough to suggest that it is usually the lower element. Disconnect all power to the HWH. Unscrew the lower element. Whadayasee?
Old 06-26-02, 09:04 AM
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If you decide to unscrew the lower element, drain the water heater first or you'll be in for a really big surprise. If you have an ohmmeter, you can test the element without removing it.
Old 06-26-02, 01:58 PM
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Thank You, re: breaker wont reset

Thank you one and all for the replys and tips. Turned out the Top heating element has a small leak and the water was dripping onto the lower thermostat. Since the unit is only 3yrs old its covered under waranty and I will get a new one tomorrow. Thanks again and I hope one day I can be of service to someone here.

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