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Old 03-05-2013, 23:16   #1
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water heater pops circuit breaker

just replaced hot water heater with an electric only 6gal
and it keeps popping breaker on my ac panel.
i think it draws more than the 20 amp breaker in panel.
any ideas on best fix?
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Old 03-05-2013, 23:44   #2
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Re: water heater pops circuit breaker

If ya have a users manual, ck the required amps needed for first start! maybe you should have a larger breaker! Or ya have a loose conection, or a ground problem. Did you replace the required wireing?? I would start by cking in the book or if ya don't have one ck online for the heater and find the breaker size needed, if thats not it then ya should ck the wireing for bad connections, either power or ground. At least thats what I would start with !! You do have a meter right??
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Old 03-05-2013, 23:53   #3
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Re: water heater pops circuit breaker

I vote a wiring issue or ground fault. Better check that the wiring done at the factory and on the boat was correct. If its a marine 6 gallon heater then it should not pop the breaker. Most are only 1200 watts.

Though if its a residential heater it might, depending on which element was in it.

Anything else on the 20 amp circuit?
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Old 04-05-2013, 11:43   #4
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Re: water heater pops circuit breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal 39 guy View Post
just replaced hot water heater with an electric only 6gal
and it keeps popping breaker on my ac panel.
i think it draws more than the 20 amp breaker in panel.
any ideas on best fix?
I will assume that your boat's AC system is 120 volts and that the water heater that was replaced did not trip the circuit breaker. This leaves these possibilities:

1) You wired the replacement water heater incorrectly.
2) The replacement water heater is defective.
3) The replacement water heater is designed for a 240 volt electrical system.
4) The replacement water heater is designed to draw more current than the previous water heater.

Does the breaker trip immediately after being turned on or does it take a couple minutes or more? If it trips immediately, I suspect you wired it incorrectly. Go back and make sure (read the instructions) that every wire is connected to the proper terminal.

Check the label on the water heater. Make sure it is designed for 120 volts AC and that it draws less than twenty amps. If the heater is inappropriate for your boat, return it and get one that is appropriate for your boat's electrical system.

Do not even think about installing a larger capacity circuit breaker unless you replace the wiring with higher capacity wiring. You should probably have a pro do this if this is your choice.

If you suspect a faulty circuit breaker (unlikely if it didn't trip with the previous water heater), find another identical breaker on your electrical panel and swap the two. Unplug the shorepower cord first and disable any inverter or genset that might power the circuit.
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Old 04-05-2013, 13:24   #5
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Re: water heater pops circuit breaker

Cal,

without more info it's pretty much impossible to help you. I agree with most of the things stated so far, except that wiring a 240 Volt heater on a 120 Volt circuit won't cause any headaches since the heating power will only be a quarter of the rated one - but that's not your problem...

Can you give us the info on the old and new labels? Especially look for voltage and wattage - with that we should be able to help you in the troubleshooting.

Oliver
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Old 04-05-2013, 19:24   #6
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Re: water heater pops circuit breaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver L. View Post
Cal,

without more info it's pretty much impossible to help you. I agree with most of the things stated so far, except that wiring a 240 Volt heater on a 120 Volt circuit won't cause any headaches since the heating power will only be a quarter of the rated one - but that's not your problem...

Can you give us the info on the old and new labels? Especially look for voltage and wattage - with that we should be able to help you in the troubleshooting.

Oliver
You're probably right about the 240 volts.

Here's another thought - was the water heater full of water before you turned on the electrical power? Without water to cool it, the element will burn out pretty quickly and it's possible it shorted out in the process.
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