There can be a number of reasons why a circuit breaker trips, but it usually boils down to one of two things: too much load on the circuit or a problem with the wiring.

With water heaters, it's most often because they're overloaded. When you have more appliances drawing power from the same outlet than it's meant to handle, it'll trip the breaker. The water heater is usually the biggest draw on a circuit, so if you have other appliances running on the same circuit, it can easily overload it.

Another reason for water heaters tripping breakers is because of faulty wiring. If there's a loose connection or a short circuit somewhere in the wiring, it can cause the breaker to trip. This is usually a more serious problem that will require an electrician to fix.

If your water heater keeps tripping the breaker, it's best to troubleshoot the problem so you can avoid damaging your home or risking an electrical fire.

How To Troubleshoot The Problem

There are several steps that you can take to trouble the problem of why your water heater keeps tripping the breaker.

Checking The Water Heater

To troubleshoot the water heater tank itself...

  • Check the water heater for any leaks. If there is water leaking, it could be shorting out the electrical current and causing the breaker to trip.
  • If you have an older water heater, make sure that it's not clogged or corroded. A clogged water heater can overheat and cause the breaker to trip.
  • Check that the water heater element is not rusted (which can happen with older water heaters).
  • Make sure that the water heater is properly grounded. If it's not properly grounded, it could be causing a short and tripping the breaker.
  • Check the wiring to the water heater. If any of the wiring is damaged or corroded, it could be causing a short and tripping the breaker.
  • Check the thermostat on the water heater. If it's malfunctioning, it could be causing the water heater to overheat and trip the breaker.
  • If you're still having problems, call a qualified electrician to troubleshoot the problem. They will be able to determine the cause of the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Checking The Circuit Breaker Panel

To troubleshoot the circuit breaker panel...

  • Check to see if there are other appliances on the same circuit as the water heater. If so, you may have to hire an electrician to dedicate one circuit breaker to the water heater.
  • The circuit breaker should be large enough to handle the water heater. This often happens when a new water heater is connected to an old circuit breaker box. (30 amps can usually handle most water heaters).
  • Next, check the circuit breaker panel for any loose or damaged wires. If you find any loose or damaged wires, they will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Next, check to see if any of the circuit breakers are tripped. If a breaker is tripped, reset it by flipping the breaker switch to the "on" position.
  • If the water heater still continues to trip the breaker, there may be a problem with the water heater itself and you'll need to call a professional to investigate and correct the issue.

If you've checked all of these things and the breaker still keeps tripping, it might be time to call a professional plumber. They can help you troubleshoot the problem and find a solution.

Keeping your water heater healthy is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it provide you with hot water, but it can also help to keep your energy bills down. If you're having problems with your water heater and it keeps tripping the breaker, there's a good chance that it will need to be repaired or replaced.

If you have any questions about water heaters or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.