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

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A storage water heater is an essential appliance that provides hot water for various household activities. However, if you find yourself repeatedly dealing with a tripped circuit breaker associated with your water heater, it can be both frustrating and inconvenient. There are several reasons why water heaters may be causing electrical issues, and understanding these factors is crucial for effective troubleshooting. 

In this guide, we will explore seven reasons behind a storage water heater tripping your circuit breaker and provide practical insights on how to identify and address these issues properly. 


Burnt Heating Element


One common issue that may be encountered with storage water heaters is a burnt heating element, often due to a defective build or corrosion over prolonged usage. To address this concern, it is advisable to educate yourself on the reasons behind water heater corrosion, enabling you to take preventive measures and save yourself from potential future problems.

Whether it’s a storage or instant water heater, a burnt heating element can lead to a decrease in resistance, resulting in increased power consumption and the possibility of tripping the circuit breaker. To determine if the heating element is damaged, a useful tool is a multimeter, which can be employed to check for abnormal resistance readings. Any change in resistance, relative to the heating element’s rating, signals potential damage.

In some instances, the casing surrounding the heating element may be damaged, exposing the electrical components to the water in the tank. This exposure can lead to a short circuit, causing the element to trip the limit switch or breaker.

When a short circuit occurs, the installed water heater may remain on, continuously heating the water. As the water temperature rises, a safety feature known as the limit switch activates, triggering a shutdown of the water heater to allow it to cool down. Regular maintenance and awareness of these issues can help extend the lifespan of your water heater and prevent inconvenient breakdowns.


Faulty Thermostat 

Factors that can affect water heaters’ energy consumption include a faulty thermostat. If the temperature surpasses the preset level, the thermostat will interrupt the power supply to the heating element, preventing further water heating. However, in instances where the thermostat is defective, the water may continue to heat, leading the heating element to consume more power and potentially causing the circuit breaker to trip. To diagnose this issue, it is advisable to use a multimeter to check the thermostat.

Most water heaters like Champs SLB25 Storage Water Heater and Viessmann Vitowell Comfort Deluxe (Cube) 30L Storage Water Heater come equipped with a reset button that serves as a thermal safety switch. This button deactivates the electricity when the tank reaches an unsafe temperature. Additionally, it is essential to inspect the wire terminals and examine the thermostat for any signs of burning or discoloration. If such damage is evident, replacing the thermostat becomes necessary. To troubleshoot the thermostat’s functionality, you can turn on the circuit breaker and use a voltmeter in the VAC setting to test for voltage.

Faulty thermostats should be promptly replaced. While it may be more cost-effective to replace only the heating elements and thermostats, a complete water heater replacement is recommended in cases of severe thermostat malfunction. This approach helps avoid prolonged energy consumption issues and ensures the efficient operation of your water heating system.

Bad Breaker Or Wiring


Some homeowners opt to reset the circuit breaker each time it trips; however, what they may not know about water heaters is that failing to address the underlying issue can result in potential damage. This practice poses a risk as constant resetting may harm the circuit breaker. Alternatively, the circuit breaker itself may be defective, tripping even when the current is below the specified limit due to component damage.

Issues with the wiring connecting the breaker to the water heater are another common culprit – irrespective of the water heater brand. This wiring may sustain damage from heating or pests (e..g, mice, or cockroaches) that consume the insulation, resulting in a short circuit. In such instances, it is essential to examine both the wiring and the circuit breaker to pinpoint the source of the problem.

For cases where resetting the circuit breaker’s toggle resolves the problem, a simple procedure is involved. By turning off the circuit breaker switch and then turning it back on, both legs of the circuit breaker can be fully reset.

However, if the circuit breaker continues to trip immediately, seeking professional assistance from a water heater professional is crucial. With the proper knowledge and experience in identifying the root cause of the issue, professionals like Water Heater City Singapore can ensure the safety of your water heaters.


Water Heater Leak


Just as following essential pointers in water heater installation is crucial, it’s equally important to stay vigilant about potential issues that may emerge over time. These issues may include the gasket becoming loose or other components developing holes, resulting in water leakage.

To proactively address and prevent water heater leaking problems, regular inspections are highly recommended. In addition, it’s essential to prioritize safety precautions. Start by turning off the water heater’s circuit breaker before conducting a thorough visual inspection of the pipes and connections. If everything appears dry, proceed to inspect the panels covering the thermostat and elements. Identify and address any type of water heater leaks around the elements promptly. If leakage is detected in the tank, it is advisable to consider a replacement with a similar-sized water heater tank to ensure optimal functioning and safety. 


Overloading the Circuit

One common reason for tripping the circuit breaker among instant water heaters and storage water heaters is overloading. Storage water heaters consume a substantial amount of electrical power during the heating process. If the circuit that the water heater is connected to is already handling a heavy load from other appliances or devices, the cumulative electrical demand might exceed the circuit’s capacity. In such cases, the circuit breaker is designed to trip to prevent potential overheating and fire hazards. This scenario can be particularly common in households with older electrical systems that may not have been designed to accommodate the increased power demands of modern appliances.

To troubleshoot and address overloading issues, it is advisable to assess the electrical load on the circuit where the water heater is connected. Consider redistributing the load by unplugging or turning off other electrical devices when the water heater is in use. This simple tip can help prevent your water heater from tripping the circuit breaker. However, if the problem persists or if the household routinely experiences tripped breakers, it may be necessary to consult with a licensed electrician. The electrician can evaluate the electrical system, determine if the circuit requires upgrading to handle the increased load from the water heater, and recommend appropriate solutions.


Ground Faults

Ground faults pose a potential risk for the tripping of circuit breakers in installed storage water heaters. These faults arise when an unintended electrical connection occurs between the electrical components of the heater and the ground. The most common causes of ground faults in storage water heaters include damaged wiring or faulty insulation. When the insulation around the electrical components weakens or the wiring becomes compromised, it creates a path for electrical current to flow to the ground unintentionally. This situation triggers the circuit breaker to trip, preventing potential electrical hazards and ensuring the safety of the electrical system.

To troubleshoot ground faults in a storage water heater, a thorough inspection of the wiring is crucial. Start by examining the wiring for any visible signs of wear, fraying, or damage. This inspection should encompass all components, including the wiring connected to the heating element, thermostat, and other electrical elements. If any issues are identified during the inspection, it is strongly advisable to contact licensed water heater professionals for assistance. Electrical repairs demand expertise to ensure the correct identification and resolution of the problem, preventing further complications and ensuring the long-term safety and functionality of the water heater.


Corrosion or Loose Connections

Corrosion and loose connections within electrical components are significant factors that affect the lifespan of instant water heaters or storage water heaters. Over time, the persistent exposure to moisture and the corrosive effects of water can lead to the deterioration of wiring and connections within the heater eventually causing circuit breakers to trip. This corrosion manifests as rust or discoloration on the internal components. The corrosive impact is particularly relevant in regions with high humidity levels, such as Singapore, where atmospheric moisture can accelerate the degradation process.

Regular inspection of a water heater’s internal components is crucial to identifying the reasons why the water heater is corroding early on. During routine maintenance, homeowners should carefully examine the heater’s wiring, terminals, and other electrical connections for any visible signs of rust or discoloration. This proactive approach allows for timely intervention, preventing the escalation of corrosion that could lead to electrical malfunctions and circuit breaker tripping.

In addition to identifying and addressing corrosion, homeowners should pay special attention to loose connections within the water heater’s electrical system. Vibration, temperature fluctuations, and general wear and tear can cause connections to become loose over time. Tightening any loose connections during routine maintenance is essential for ensuring a secure and reliable electrical system. Prompt action to water heater issues and maintenance, such as replacing corroded parts and securing loose connections not only helps prevent circuit breaker disruptions but also contributes to the overall longevity and efficiency of the water heater.


Engage A Qualified Electrician To Solve Faulty Breakers or Wiring


To further enhance safety and minimize the risk of accidents, it’s important to recognize that not everyone possesses the expertise to operate tools such as a multimeter or voltmeter effectively. Mishandling these devices can potentially lead to further damage and even cause unwanted injuries. In light of this, it is highly advisable to entrust the inspection and repair of circuit breaker tripping issues to professionals, such as the experienced and well-trained team at Daylight Electrician Singapore. These experts possess the necessary knowledge and skills to swiftly and safely perform circuit breaker services, ensuring a secure resolution without compromising the well-being of individuals or the integrity of the electrical system.



Addressing the frequent tripping of a storage water heater’s circuit breaker involves a systematic approach to identifying and resolving underlying issues. From burnt heating elements and faulty thermostats to issues with breakers, wiring, and ground faults, troubleshooting requires a combination of visual inspections and, in some cases, the use of tools like multimeters. Regular maintenance and proactive measures, such as preventing water heater leaks and avoiding overloading circuits, contribute to the efficient and safe operation of the appliance. Plus, engaging a qualified electrician is crucial for resolving complex issues, and ensuring that water heater to circuit breaker repairs are carried out safely and efficiently. By understanding these potential causes and following proper maintenance procedures, homeowners can extend the lifespan of their storage water heaters and minimize disruptions in the hot water supply.

For quality and prompt water heater services, we encourage you to explore more about Water Heater City Singapore. You can visit us on our website and read through our articles to obtain a deeper understanding of water heaters.


Water Heater City Singapore is your trusted partner for comprehensive water heater services. With over a decade of experience, we pride ourselves on being a reliable water heater company. Our services such as water heater installation/replacement including instant water heater services installation and storage water heater installations are done efficiently by our expert team. Moreover, we will ensure your storage water heaters are Licensed Installation with PUB Submission and all works comply with standards prescribed/stipulated by PUB. 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 supply a wide selection of water heaters from top brands like Ariston, Rheem, Joven, 707, Rubine, and Champs. With a proven track record of successful past projects and several positive customer reviews on Google and Facebook, we ensure every service we provide will be done efficiently and with the utmost attention to detail. Contact us on WhatsApp at +65 8241 0032 for transparent quotations and honest pricing for all your water heater needs!