Electric Water Heater (TRIPS CIRCUIT BREAKER & NO HOT WATER)

Published by Darron Toy on



and welcome back to another video in today's video I'm going to show you how to repair a water heater that continuously trips the circuit breaker the heater you're looking at right here is a 15 year old GE dual element electric heater the first thing you want to do is make sure the circuit breaker for the heater is in the off position once the circuit breakers been turned off the next thing you want to do is remove the cover right here on top of the heater that protects the wires you have two hot leads and a ground wire you want to use a digital multimeter set to 600 volts or 750 volts ac take one of the probes and start it into the connector touch the other one to ground and you should not see 120 volts repeat the process with this one make sure you go all the way in to where the spring is and then you're going to touch it to ground as well and you should not see 120 go between both and you should not see 240 once you verify there's no voltage you can then go on to the next step okay now that the plate is back on top of the water heater we're going to be opening up the panels on the side in this case there's an upper and a lower your water heater may only have one so let's unscrew this now the most common problem why a water heater trips a circuit breaker is because of a faulty heating element let's pull this out of here and this is a reset if the water gets too hot due to a faulty thermostat usually this will pop out you can push reset and it's a temporary fix until it overheats again and then it will also pop out now over here is the heating element in order to test the heating element you're going to want to remove the wires connected to the element the purpose of removing the wires is to eliminate any chance of a false reading during the two tests that I'm about to show you so let's remove this one okay push this down out of the way and let's remove the upper one the next thing you're going to do is take your digital multimeter set it to the lowest resistance range in this case 200 and you're going to measure between the two screws and right here you can see it's 17 point 2 ohms usually this will be between 12 and 20 ohms that's an indication that there's continuity between this screw and that screw for the next test you're going to take your digital multimeter and you're going to put it on the highest resistance range in this case 200k ohms and you're going to measure between the screw and the body of the tank you should not get any reading go between this screw as well and this element here test good so you know that this one here is not a problem so let me put this back together okay so that's tight after I replace the cover we're going to do the bottom one next since we ruled out the top as the problem okay this heaters been tripping on and off for about a week so more than likely the lower element is corroded away to the point where current is allowed to flow from the actual element into the water inside the tank and then to ground let's pull this off let's lift that out here we have the lower thermostat and the lower heating element let's do the same thing pull that off get out of the way now we're on the same two hundred ohm range go between the screws and it was going high and out of range that's not a good sign yeah that's much much higher resistance than it should be the next thing you want to do is put this – 200 K and you're going to check from the screw to the tank and that is not good you can see there's a resistance reading there yep and this one here is lower which means there's a corroded area on the heating element which is closer to this screw and when powers apply to this screw not only does the current flow between the screws but it's flowing out of the heating element into the water and then to ground and that's what's causing the circuit breaker to trip right here's a look at a heating element brand new one over time these corrode allowing the current to flow outside of the heating element into the water so when I removed more than likely it's going to have a lot of corrosion on it there's two ways to remove the heating element you can purchase a socket like you see right here Lowe's Home Depot or any other hardware store the only problem with these sockets they fit on there but there is a little bit of clay and they're also not good enough many times to remove older elements because you get some corrosion with the threads and these just can't do it and the way this works you would put this on here and insert that through and then you'd rotate counterclockwise problem is many times these do not work well so what I like to use is a half inch breaker bar along with an inch and a half socket the inch and a half socket I picked up at an auto parts store and they're only around nine or ten bucks the breaker bar you can get anywhere Home Depot this one was from Sears Craftsman so this would slide right over nice and easily yeah man and then I could put all the leverage on it turning counterclockwise now there's two ways to swap this out you can either turn off the water supply at the top of the heater or at the street where the maintenance drain the water heater and then once it's drained you can unscrew this and then screw the new one in if you want you can also leave the water in the heater you want to turn off the valve at the top which supplies water into the heater and then you want to let the pressure out just a little bit at a nearby fixture close the fixture and then you can unscrew the element and pull it out I'm going to be replacing this element which is a 3500 watt with a brand new one leaving the water in the tank this one has foam between the tank and the outside edge not loose insulation please push this down we have to work quickly once it starts to come out let's put some pressure on it okay and as you can see didn't lose that much water make sure the rubber gaskets on there that is it baby see it's dry in here just wipe any little bit of water that might be in there wipe this I'm gonna allow this to air dry for a minute just in case is any water on these terminals and then I'm going to reconnect the wires and then it should be good to go you want to put it between the metal piece that sticks up and the screw that's good they put the insulation back in put the cover back and that is it you should no longer have any problem with the water heater tripping the breaker okay before putting the insulation back with the cover I turned on the water pressure to make sure there was no leak around the heating element now let me show you the heating element that was inside and right here you can see the element that I removed the whole inside is corroded away and that's it I hope you enjoyed this video if you did be sure to rate thumbs up share and check out my extensive video playlist for other videos of interest to you thank you very much for watching