4 Reasons Why A Storage Water Heater Keeps Tripping Your Circuit Breaker And How To Troubleshoot It?

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In Singapore, the power consumption of a storage water heater is typically higher than most other home appliances. As such, it has a dedicated circuit breaker on the circuit panel, allowing it to cut the electrical supply when the safety limit has been breached.

If the homeowner wants to use the storage heater, they will have to switch the circuit breaker on again. In severe cases, the circuit breaker trips repeatedly, adversely affecting the heating of the water. 

Once storage water installation is done, it is only vital to know some of the reasons why the circuit breaker is tripping repeatedly. It can also be a great help to know how to fix the problem. 


Burnt Heating Element 

One of the common issues that you may encounter with storage water heaters is a burnt heating element. This could be from a defective build, or corrosion over prolonged usage.

It is advisable that you read up on the reasons why your water heater is corroding so that you can take preventive measures. This will save you from a lot of pain down the road.

The resistance of the damaged heating element will decrease, increasing the power consumption and subsequently tripping the circuit breaker. You can use a multimeter to check for an abnormal resistance reading. This will tell you if the heating element is damaged. The resistance depends on the rating of the heating element, and if there is a change, it indicates that it is indeed damaged.

In other cases, the casing on the heating element can be damaged. This exposes the electrical portion of the element to the water in the tank, causing the element to short circuit and trip the limit switch or breaker.

When the element short circuits, it causes the water heater to remain on and continuously heating the water. When the water gets too hot, a safety device in your water heater called the limit switch trips which shuts off the water heater for it to cool down. 


Faulty Thermostat 

A faulty thermostat is one of the factors that can affect your water heater’s energy consumption. If the temperature is exceeding the preset temperature, the thermostat will cut off the power supply to the heating element. In this way, it does not heat the water further. 

In some cases, the thermostat is defective, due to which the water will continue heating, and the heating element may consume more power, making the circuit breaker trip. The thermostat should be checked using a multimeter.

Most installed water heaters have a reset button that acts as a thermal safety switch. It turns off the electricity if the tank passes a safe temperature. It is also recommended to check the wire terminals and check if the thermostat looks burnt or discoloured. If so, you would have to replace the thermostat. You can also troubleshoot the thermostat’s operation by turning on the circuit breaker and test the thermostat for voltage using a voltmeter in the VAC setting.

Bad thermostats will need to be replaced. It costs more to conduct a water heater replacement, which is why many recommend just replacing the heating elements and the thermostats.


Bad Breaker Or Wiring


Some homeowners just switch the circuit breaker back on each time it trips, instead of troubleshooting the cause of the problem. This can damage the circuit breaker. In other cases, the circuit breaker may be defective due to component damage. To which it will trip even if the current is below the specified limit. The wiring used to connect the breaker to the water heater, regardless of the water heater brand, may get damaged due to heating, or pests like mice, cockroaches eating the insulation. This results in a short circuit. In this case, both the wiring and circuit breaker should be checked.

In some cases, resetting the circuit breaker’s toggle solves the problem. You simply have to turn off the circuit breaker switch, then turn it back on to fully reset both legs of the circuit breaker. 

If the circuit breaker trips immediately, you need to contact a professional water heater serviceman to help you solve the issue. He will help identify the cause of the issue and recommend the necessary fixes.


Water Heater Leak


One point to note once the water heater installation is done, over time there will be cases where the gasket becomes loose. In some cases, other components develop holes, resulting in the leakage of water. 

For safety purposes, turn off first the water heater’s circuit breaker. Visually inspect the pipes and connection. If it is dry, you can proceed by inspecting panels covering the thermostat and elements. Check the source of the water leak around the elements. If the leak is located in the tank, it is advisable to have a similar sized water heater tank replacement.


Engage A Qualified Electrician To Solve Faulty Breaker or Wiring


In addition, since not everyone knows how to operate a multimeter and voltmeter and might even cause further damage and unwanted injuries, it is advisable to leave everything to professionals who are experienced and well-trained in water heater installation services  to fix the breaker tripping quickly and safely.



Your storage water heater might be causing your circuit breaker to frequently trip and ignoring the signs can lead to a more serious problem. Some of the reasons of circuit breaker tripping are a burnt heating element, faulty thermostat, bad breaker or wiring, and water heater leak. Knowing how to troubleshoot this is vital but in cases like these, you should not hesitate to call a professional like Water Heater City Singapore. We can handle all your tripping circuit breakers caused by a faulty heater and more. 


Water Heater City Singapore offers complete water heater services for both storage and instant water heater tanks including water heater installation and replacement, and water heater leak. We can provide the supply and installation or replacement of Singapore’s most popular water heater brands like Ariston water heater, Rheem water heater, Joven water heater, 707 water heater, Rubine water heater, and Champs water heater. If required, we are also able to open a false ceiling, patch it back up and paint it to restore it to its original condition.

We have over 10 years of experience in the installation of water heaters and have done hundreds of water heater installation cases for landed, condos, and HDB, including complete one-stop installation above false ceilings, plastering and resealing false ceilings. We are a highly recommended Water Heater Services Company in Singapore, with many delighted customers and reviews over the years on Google and Facebook. WhatsApp us at +65 8241 0032 for transparent quotations and honest pricing for all your water heater needs. We also provide fast and efficient service to solve any of your water heater needs!