Water too hot, tripping circut and shutting down heater


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Old 08-01-09, 09:09 AM
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Water too hot, tripping circut and shutting down heater

Hello. I have a 13 year old Bradford White, 50 gallon, electric heater (two 240v heating elements, 4500 watts each).

The problem I am having is that the water gets too hot to the point that moisture begins condensing on the outside of the elements (the outside of the tank, under the insulation) and the relief valve begins to let off pressure. The result is always the same; it trips the circuit (the one on the heater itself, not the main one in the house) and cuts the electricity to the heater. I have to hit the reset switch to kick it back on, but in a few hours the results will be the same.

Part of the problem I have noticed is the Water Softener. Whenever I bypass the water softener, this happens with the Water Heater (I've been having issues with the softener and I think it's ready to go). As long as the softener runs, the water heater is fine, but without it, the water overheats and it trips.

I don't really need the softener (it was here when I bought the house) as we are on fairly decent city water (my neighbors don't have softeners) but without it, my water heater cannot function. I am thinking the correlation there is that the softener is taking out some of the heavier elements in the water and that has something to do with the heater overheating the water...or something to do with the thermostat in the water heater).

The heating elements I replaced a year ago. I am going to religiously drain the water heater each month (or more) to clear it out. I am wondering if there is anything more I can do with the water heater to address the problem and extend the life of it. I don't want to invest in a new water softener just to get my 13 year old water heater to work.

Looking for options and info. Thanks for the help!
Mark
 
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Old 08-01-09, 09:30 AM
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it sounds as simple as your thermostat is sticking

on most electric water heaters the replacement is a simple procedure. With dual element heaters, there are two thermostats to consider as well.

thermostats are often a generic part as well. You may find you can replace both t-stats for well less than $50.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 09:43 AM
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I agree with nap, as the stats I have seen are not in the water, but on the side of the tank. I can see no connection with the softener. As Nap said, they are inexpensive and they should be cutting off the power before it gets too hot. Let us know.

Bud
 
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Old 08-01-09, 11:16 AM
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--edit--
I think I answered my own questions, by scouring the FAQ on the manufacturer website. Again, my thanks for the info
-------

That makes perfect sense, thanks. One more question; Looking at the manufacturer website, I cannot find my specific model anywhere (M150S). The closest I can find is a M150L. I took the part numbers off the thermostats on my heater...again, I cannot find those specific part numbers anywhere on any part's list for the Bradford White heaters. Any idea why that might be?

Also, where would be the best place to buy the thermostat (once I figure out which part I actually need of course)? Are they fairly common amongst local dealers or would it be best to buy directly from the manufacturer?

Again, thanks to both of you for your assistance.
 
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Old 08-01-09, 10:00 PM
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this is a pic of a generic t-stat. an upper t-stat



they aren't all like that but a large portion of the heaters do use such generic stats.

this is a lower t-stat



if they are the same as those, then you can find such stats at just about any home builder supply store.

If yours is specific to your brand, you will need to find a dealer for your brand or a supply house that sells such. A pro plumbing supply house may be able to help you with that.
 
 

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