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Old 30-12-2014, 12:49   #1
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Water Heater

We have a 120V water heater, when the breaker is turned on shows a current draw of 12a for about 30 secs. then it shuts off and unfortunately stays off. If we wait, and go through the process, it does the same thing. Any ideas as to what is happening?
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Old 30-12-2014, 12:51   #2
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Re: Water Heater

Assuming the water isn't hot, I'd first think the thermostat.
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Old 30-12-2014, 13:05   #3
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Re: Water Heater

Yes, if not hot, open the cover and check the Tstat setting... may be too low or defective.
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Old 30-12-2014, 13:13   #4
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Re: Water Heater

The breaker could also be defective. That does happen.
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Old 30-12-2014, 13:23   #5
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Re: Water Heater

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
The breaker could also be defective. That does happen.
That is my second thought, a quick measurment for voltage at the thermostat will eliminate both the wire and breaker though, measuring voltage at the heater element will eliminate the thermostat.
Seemingly a lot of my electrical issues end up being loose or missing grounds though.
Toughest thing about troubleshooting a water heater is accessing the thing
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Old 30-12-2014, 13:44   #6
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Re: Water Heater

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Originally Posted by Sailing Partner View Post
We have a 120V water heater, when the breaker is turned on shows a current draw of 12a for about 30 secs. then it shuts off and unfortunately stays off. If we wait, and go through the process, it does the same thing. Any ideas as to what is happening?
Does the water heater shut off or does the breaker trip? This is important information.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:14   #7
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Re: Water Heater

If the breaker is tripping it could also be a faulty heating element. As it heats up the hot wire inside expands at a faulty spot until it shorts out to the cover, hence the time delay involved.

With the breaker off, measure the resistance through the heating element and record it. After the breaker has tripped and before it cools, measure the resistance again. It should be higher and zero or close to zero would indicate a faulty element.
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