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Old 01-05-2013, 09:58 PM   #1
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water heater problem


I wanted to take a quick peek inside the (metal) box that has the on/off switch for my water heater. As I opened it up, I saw a spark. I'll definitely never do that again without turning off the power first. Anyways, I didn't get zapped and no breaker was tripped, but the water heater quit heating water. The switch looked like it might have taken some damage, so I replaced that, which didn't help.

I took off the panels on the water heater to check that power is getting to the heating elements. I get no voltage when I measure across the top 2 leads, but each individually gives 115v when measured to ground. So, power is getting there, but it doesn't seem right that I don't get 220v across any combination of the leads. I just wanted to check with the experts to see if this is the way it's supposed to be.

The water heater is on a 30 amp circuit with 10 gauge (red and and blue) wires. There are other similar circuits (220v dryer outlet, 220v range, etc.) that seem to be wired the same way. The water heater breaker looks like it needs replacing, since it doesn't snap with much authority. But, I don't see how that could be preventing water from heating.

I'd really like to get hot water back by tomorrow (the wife, even more so...), so any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:09 PM   #2
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water heater problem


Take your panel cover off and test for voltage across the two screws on the breaker you should have your 220 if you don't test each screw to ground and if you have only 120 volts you need to replace the breaker

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Old 01-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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water heater problem


Can you check for voltage at the breaker terminals? Did you try to reset the breaker?
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:56 PM   #4
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Turn in your tools.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Turn in your tools.


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Old 01-06-2013, 12:15 AM   #6
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water heater problem


You have probably lost one hot !
And your measuring backfeed.

Were the wires connectted to the heater when you measured ?

Try disconnectting the wires from the heater,
then measure again,
if its a backfeed situation this will show it up.

Last edited by dmxtothemax; 01-06-2013 at 12:17 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dSilanskas View Post
Take your panel cover off and test for voltage across the two screws on the breaker you should have your 220 if you don't test each screw to ground and if you have only 120 volts you need to replace the breaker
Problem solved---it was indeed a bad breaker. Thanks for all of the (non-sarcastic) comments/suggestions.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Hillary Boob, PhD View Post
Problem solved---it was indeed a bad breaker. Thanks for all of the (non-sarcastic) comments/suggestions.
Was this causing you to lose one of the hots ?

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