Electric Water Heater shorting out the breaker


  #1  
Old 10-27-11, 11:36 PM
M
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 919
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Electric Water Heater shorting out the breaker

I'm a journeyman electrician, and also do all my own plumbing, including replacing several water heaters in my day, but I'm trying to diagnose this one for a friend before condemning it. It is old, the serial number says 1990.

He bought a house, and I've been helping him fix it up to rent it out. So the history of the water heater is unknown. I've rewired the house, and have also tested the wires to the point of connection with the heater. It is a 30- or 40-gallon (based on remembering how big it is) with upper and lower elements as usual. I don't remember the brand at the moment, but it wasn't what I remember as being a popular brand like GE or A.O. Smith.

When everything is connected, the breaker trips immediately upon resetting. If I disconnect the wires at the top of the water heater, the breaker stays on. But, I get "OL" on my meter when I test the resistance of the wires going down into the water heater, both in testing them to each other or either to ground. That's the part that makes no sense to me. How can I have a short with "OL" for resistance?
 
  #2  
Old 10-28-11, 05:18 AM
tldoug's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 284
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
So, your friend wants to rent out a place with a water heater that's old enough to vote? Has he never been a landlord before? He should save himself a ton of grief and extra expense and replace that relic now while it's convenient.

As for your question, I have one that's almost too painful to ask: What does the meter read when the test leads are shorted to each other?
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-11, 02:25 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 25
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
We had 40 gallon old electric water heater, and had the same problem.After we replaced the old rusted heating elements/rods inside it and a new thermostat.It was working good....
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: