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Old 05-24-2024, 05:31 PM   #1
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Water heater breaker flipping off

So I am curious if someone can help?!

Storms came thru a few days and I guess knocked power off while I was away. When I came back I had a few breakers flipped on the inside of camper with the water heater being one. As soon as I flip it back on within a minute or less it flips back off.

Today I replaced the heating element thinking maybe that was the problem but apparently it was not.
Does anyone else have any ideas as why it was working perfect until power was knocked off and now it won’t work?

It works great on propane which is what I am using now
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Old 05-24-2024, 06:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New adventures View Post
So I am curious if someone can help?!

Storms came thru a few days and I guess knocked power off while I was away. When I came back I had a few breakers flipped on the inside of camper with the water heater being one. As soon as I flip it back on within a minute or less it flips back off.

Today I replaced the heating element thinking maybe that was the problem but apparently it was not.
Does anyone else have any ideas as why it was working perfect until power was knocked off and now it won’t work?

It works great on propane which is what I am using now
Could be the breaker was damaged. Try swapping with another breaker from the panel and see if problem goes away or stays.

If cured by breaker swap replace one for W Heater with new.
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Old 05-24-2024, 06:44 PM   #3
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Ok I will give that a try
Thank you
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Old 05-24-2024, 06:53 PM   #4
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by New adventures View Post
So I am curious if someone can help?!

Storms came thru a few days and I guess knocked power off while I was away. When I came back I had a few breakers flipped on the inside of camper with the water heater being one. As soon as I flip it back on within a minute or less it flips back off.

Today I replaced the heating element thinking maybe that was the problem but apparently it was not.
Does anyone else have any ideas as why it was working perfect until power was knocked off and now it won’t work?

It works great on propane which is what I am using now
Assuming the water heater is a Suburban SW6DE, the circuit is pretty simple.

The hot lead (black, 120 Vac) goes:
  • Through the switch at the lower left of the outside water heater face,
  • Then through the thermostat and over-temp limit at the upper center of the outside water heater face. (It's the left one of the pair of switches.)
  • Then to a terminal on the water heater element.
  • Then from the other terminal of the element to the neutral (white, 120 Vac) lead.
The resistance for a cool water heater should be around 10 ohms. (Current =120 volts/10 ohms = 12 amps.

As you have observed, the most common cause of this failure is running the electric element with no water in the unit. Could you possibly have done that with the replacement element?

Do the following with the circuit breaker OFF!
If the element is good, disconnect both leads from it. One should have almost no resistance to ground (anyplace on the metal of the water heater). The other should have a very high resistance. If not, take the cover off the thermostat/over-temp limit switch. One lead comes from the off-on switch, The other goes to the element. Either can be found by wiggling one end and seeing where the wiggle occurs at the other end. Measuring the resistance to ground on while the leads are disconnected should help you determine whether the short is in the thermostat/over-temp limit switch assembly.
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