Hot water heater keeps tripping breaker
The past few weeks I would wake up with no hot water only to find the breaker tripped in the box. I would reset the breaker and hit the red buton on the heater and it worked. this evening I again had to reset the breaker and it popped and sparked. I tried later and it won't reset and goes to the middle. (My heater is electric)
I need an electrician but is there a reason why this should happen. My home is 4 years old.
Most likely a failed thermostat or ground fault at the heating element.
Check for a recall on the heater; plumbers are in the know for this kind of thing, or maybe it's on the Internet.
Could be a bad breaker or loose connections at the breaker.
You could also check that the resistance of the heater elements are within spec. E.g., 6000w at 240v should read 25 ohms. The "cold" resistance of nichrome wire is probably the same as the "hot" resistance.
Off course, turn off the upstream breaker and confirm that there is no voltage on the heater elements before you measure the resistance.
The following instructions are just a design idea and are not complete as to safety measures, etc.
If you're up to it:
For the time being, you might be able to use an alarm that turns on when the power goes off (basically a DPDT relay with a 240v coil, or equivalent, hooked up so the contacts power up a radio that's been turned on, volume turned up and set to a station).
The relay from Hosfelt.com [PN 45-613] costs $0.99; you wire and test.
If you are not electrically inclined, a new water heater will be less money than a service call.
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