Main Breaker Tripping

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Dunbar Plumbing, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Customer called today, complaining of a water heater I installed last year wasn't providing enough hot water.

    66 gallon electric, the customer is a new owner of this condo, not the original owner I did lots of work for.

    I asked my normal questions, then he told me that yesterday that his main breaker panel tripped the biggest breaker in it, the big one at top which is either a 150 or 200 amp breaker. 4 connected together.

    I asked him if there was a loud bang when it happened and he said since it was downstairs and 2 doors away, he doesn't know.

    I told him to immediately contact a licensed electrician to find out what is causing his problem in his panel.

    I truly believe that this is relative to his water heater, and if the panel is malfunctiong (why else would the main breaker trip) this might be completely relative to the problem at hand.

    Wouldn't surprise me if an element or thermostat was damaged as a result at the water heater.

    I told him i wouldn't touch it till an electrician corrects the problem at the panel.

  2. codeone

    codeone Code Enforcement

    North Carolina
    He needs a liscened contractor. Is he having any other problems electrically?

    It very well coud be how the service is set up for the condos, He could either have a voltage problem caused by the loud bang at another unit, which could have caused bad connections to his unit.

    He actually coul have a lot of other things wrong not getting proper valtage phase to phase or phase to neutral.

    A loud electrical bang as you called it means something shorted somewhere. And the inrush current could trip the main.
  3. Yep, I don't troubleshoot electrical problems, sometimes not even on water heaters knowing the headaches that can be when you need specific parts.

    There's a defective breaker out there that had me replace everything on the water heater twice, before I realized it just might be the breaker.

    So now, I tell the customer to call an electrician first, then we'll come out. :D

    It's just easier this way.

    I've 30's and 40's go off and the sound is amazing when they trip. He's supposed to follow up with me but it seems that never happens.

    If he emails me I'll post it here to show the results.
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