Rheem Performance 30 gal. Short 6 Year 4500/4500-Watt Elements Electric Water Heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by wynown, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. wynown

    wynown New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    New York
    Hi, Installed and wired hot water heat when I flipped the breaker it blew, After disconnecting the wires from the heater I flipped the breaker on and it worked fine and the wires tested fine, I'm using a basic double poll 30 amp square D breaker I bought from home depot, Is there a certain type of breaker I should be using. Thanks
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,109
    Location:
    IL
    It seems likely that you either have a short to ground , or you have a wire to wire short circuit in the water heater. I would turn off the power and troubleshoot with an ohmmeter.

    With the wires disconnected from the heater, I would measure the resistance of either heater wire to a metal pipe on the water heater or another good ground that is not part of the electrical system. Each should be something over 1 megOhm normally, and it would be something less than 10 Ohms to blow the breaker. The same applies to the terminals on the water heater.

    A wire to-wire-short would be a bit harder to detect. I would expect the resistance between the disconnected hot wires of the water heater to be more than 40 ohms for each isolated element, and more than 20 ohms if there are two elements.

    Assuming you track the problem to the water heater, with ohmmeter readings in hand, I would try phoning the manufacturer or seller.
  3. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    It's simple he dry fired the upper element by not totally filling with water first, hince a direct short
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,508
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Are you sure you did not wire nut the "hot wires" together instead of to the heater's wires?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,508
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Dry firing will damage the upper element but seldom to the point where it trips the breaker.
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