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Old 06-26-2016, 11:08 AM   #1
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Hot water tank throws breaker

During our recent camping trip, our water heater stopped working. When I checked it, I found it had thrown the breaker. I reset it, and it happened again.
I had changed the heating element before we headed out and thought it was working fine for about a week, then the issue arose.
Any suggestions on things I could try?


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Old 06-26-2016, 11:11 AM   #2
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it sound like possibly the element is fried. Do you always make sure there is water inside the tank before turning on the electric element (or do you leave the electric switch on even when there is no water in the tank).

If so, then this will destroy the element.

Not knowing what brand water heater you have, the operation is somewhat similar when it comes to making sure there is water inside the tank before turning on the electric heating element. This thread may help:

Suburban's electric switch and much more
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:55 AM   #3
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Thanks, wmtire. I thought it was full. I'll replace it again and give it another fry, er, try.


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Old 06-26-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Larry Tiner View Post
Thanks, wmtire. I thought it was full. I'll replace it again and give it another fry, er, try.


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Old 06-26-2016, 12:15 PM   #5
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I would get an ohm meter out and check the wiring for shorts to ground before repowering it. It is cheaper than getting another heating element if the one installed is still good.
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Old 06-26-2016, 12:23 PM   #6
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Excellent idea!


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Old 06-26-2016, 01:02 PM   #7
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I would get an ohm meter out and check the wiring for shorts to ground before repowering it. It is cheaper than getting another heating element if the one installed is still good.
If you have an ohm meter check the element. If it is fried the circuit will open, if good probably in the 10-20 ohm range...

Disconnect all wires to the element before making measurement.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:25 AM   #8
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heating element

When you removed the heating element did it looked fried? if you don't have water in the tank it will almost burn it self in half. Check the old element for continuity and if its OK start checking down the line like the Beast said.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:44 AM   #9
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Thanks. I haven't made it back to the RV yet.


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Old 06-27-2016, 10:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
If you have an ohm meter check the element. If it is fried the circuit will open, if good probably in the 10-20 ohm range...

Disconnect all wires to the element before making measurement.
Actually, if the breaker is popping the element will show a dead short not an open.
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