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Why Does My Hot Water Heater Keep Tripping?

the fuse inside of the hot water heater keeps tripping and i have to keep pressing the reset button. why is this? i tried turning down the heat level but it still does it. does anyone know what the problem is?

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  1. Comment by scott_ke
    September 18, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    The red reset button on the upper thermostat Is tripped when the water is too hot,it is not tripped by any electrical problems.You have a bad thermostat,but it could be either one of the two thermostats.They are not that expensive so I usually just replace both of them.There are people answering this question that don’t seem to know how an electric water heater works.

  2. Comment by mla
    September 19, 2009 @ 1:55 am

    this is a warning something in the safety mech is going off. need to get a professional to look at it.

  3. Comment by Carson
    September 19, 2009 @ 8:25 am

    It could be any of several things, the top thermostat also controls the electric to the lower one, and if the lower one has dampness on it or a short in it, it will break the reset in the top one. You need some one to test the elements and the thermostats to try to find the problem. Be sure to have the electric off in doing so, unless a electrician needs the electric on for further testing.

  4. Comment by life_lov
    September 19, 2009 @ 9:41 am

    It seems as though you have power coming to the heater, otherwise, the breaker wouldn’t be tripping. A water heater has two heating elements, one lower and one upper. I suspect that one or both of them has burnt out, hence, the cause of the breaker tripping.
    Turn the main water supply off.
    TURN THE BREAKER OFF TO THE WATER HEATER!
    Open up the valve to the hot and cold water to any sink or tub that is at the lowest point in the house. Open the hot and cold water valves to any sink or tub closest to the water heater if you live in a ranch style home.
    Connect a hose to the water heater at the bottom of the heater. It will look like an outside faucet. Open the valve and drain the water.
    There are two small covers on the heater, upper and lower, that can easily be removed. Take them off and you will see wires attached to something that looks like a large nut. Those are the “elements”. Disconnect the wires. Use a socket (You may have to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot to purchase a tool specifically designed to remove the elements. They cost under $10.00) to remove the elements.
    Install new elements and follow this procedure in reverse to put everything back together. However, skip the part about turning the breaker back on UNTIL THE TANK IS FULL OF WATER AGAIN. Flip the breaker on when the tank is full and you should have hot water withing fifteen minutes or so.
    Go to my icon to contact me directly if you have any questions. It’s really a very easy process.

  5. Comment by hoboson
    September 19, 2009 @ 2:52 pm

    Can’t be sure, but it could be that the thermostat is shot, therefore it’s constantly calling for the heater element to come on, even though you turned down the hot level. It could be a bad breaker also, hard to say, but that’s what I’d look into.

  6. Comment by oldman49
    September 19, 2009 @ 5:20 pm

    this question or related breaker trip has been resolved 65 times already…go to Discover section and search water heater tripping,,,,

  7. Comment by firespar
    September 19, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    It needs a new element

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