Why My Water Heater Tripped?

Aug 03, 2023, 12:40pm

The water heater can be electric, thermodynamic or even solar. These models have a specific way of generating the necessary energy and supplying a house with hot water.

These types of water heaters can encounter certain breakdowns: a low water flow, a leak or even a temperature problem. It is even possible that the water heater will trip your installation. In this case, you will need:

  • check the power outlet
  • if your socket does not work, you will have to check the electrical panel
  • empty the tank
  • test resistance

If your water heater has tripped, it can be a nuisance and cause significant inconvenience. To address this issue effectively, it’s necessary to understand the possible reasons behind it. This article will guide you through the most common causes for a tripped water heater.

Why My Water Heater Tripped?

1. Overloaded Circuit

Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home’s electrical system from damage caused by overloads or short circuits. If your water heater and several other appliances share the same circuit, the cumulative demand can overload the circuit, causing the breaker to trip. To prevent this from happening, consider having a dedicated circuit installed for your water heater.

2. Short Circuits

A short circuit occurs when an active or hot wire comes into contact with a neutral or ground wire. This situation leads to a sudden surge of electricity, which could cause the circuit breaker to trip. Short circuits often happen due to faulty installation, aging wires, or damage from pests. In these cases, it’s best to hire a professional electrician to fix the problem.

3. Faulty Heating Elements

Heating elements in water heaters can wear out over time and can eventually lead to a ground fault, causing the breaker to trip. If you suspect that this is the case, you should contact a professional to inspect the heating elements and replace them if necessary.

4. Malfunctioning Thermostat

A thermostat that is not functioning correctly can cause the water heater to overheat. Overheating can cause the high-temperature cutoff switch to trip, shutting off power to the water heater. If the thermostat is faulty, you might need to replace it.

5. Faulty Circuit Breaker

While it’s less common, it’s possible that the problem could lie within the circuit breaker itself. If your circuit breaker trips frequently, it may be worn out and require replacement. In such cases, consult a professional electrician for a comprehensive check of your home’s electrical system.

Why My Water Heater Tripped?

6. Water Leaks

Water leaks can also cause a water heater to trip. If water comes into contact with electrical components, it could lead to a short circuit, causing the circuit breaker to trip. If you notice any leaks in your water heater, you should immediately turn it off and call a plumber.


Tripping water heaters are usually indicative of an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. While some of these problems can be fixed by homeowners, others require professional expertise. Always remember that working with electricity can be dangerous, and when in doubt, it’s better to call in a professional to ensure the job is done safely and correctly. Regular maintenance of your water heater can help prevent many of these problems and ensure your heater operates smoothly.