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Old 10-26-2017, 05:00 PM   #1
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Location: East Texas till end 2016
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Water Heater circuit breaker keeps tripping..

We have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40ft. Yesterday the water heater breaker in the circuit breaker under the residential refrigerator kept tripping.

Today I have changed the heating element in the water heater, put in a new anode, put in a new 15 breaker - it tripped, took it back, put in a 20 and it tripped once, waiting to see if it trips again. Takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes before it trips.

The 50 amp RV park voltage is good.

Any ideas?
Thanks,
Randy
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:15 PM   #2
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Sounds like a 'feeder wire' insulation has chaffed and causes a 'short'
Or element is shorting to ground....flange making contact with case

Suburban uses 120V AC 'directly'
120V AC comes from CB to ON/OFF switch to/thru set of t-stats then to element.

ON/OFF switches (outside compartment) are suspect due to exposure to elements
Wiring at t-stats is suspect cause of sharp edges on draw pan cut out where t-stats are installed
Element can be shorting due to bad gasket/gasket install

OEM ON/OFF switch fail


Black wire---120V AC
See where it can make contact with the rolled edge which is sharp




Wiring at element could be making contact with draw pan when cover is put back on






Should Never increase CB amp or fuse size ---especially when experiencing trips
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:47 PM   #3
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The thermal breakers which are shown in the middle picture above will also cause a short when they fail. I always carry a spare.
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Old 10-27-2017, 07:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Sounds like a 'feeder wire' insulation has chaffed and causes a 'short'
Or element is shorting to ground....flange making contact with case

Suburban uses 120V AC 'directly'
120V AC comes from CB to ON/OFF switch to/thru set of t-stats then to element.

ON/OFF switches (outside compartment) are suspect due to exposure to elements
Wiring at t-stats is suspect cause of sharp edges on draw pan cut out where t-stats are installed
Element can be shorting due to bad gasket/gasket install

OEM ON/OFF switch fail


Black wire---120V AC
See where it can make contact with the rolled edge which is sharp




Wiring at element could be making contact with draw pan when cover is put back on






Should Never increase CB amp or fuse size ---especially when experiencing trips
Thanks will check it all out.
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Old 10-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #5
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Have you check disconnecting the element and turning on the breaker. This will check he wiring for short.
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:54 AM   #6
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Hi guys Iím new to the forum and Iím resurecting this thread to hopefully get some further guidance please!😬

We have a Suburban 10 gallon SW10DEL and the 15 amp breaker is tripping.

I have replaced the element, old one was possibly suspect.

I have run the electrics with the on/off rocker switch off and the breaker does not trip

Have disconnected the wiring at the heater element and run electrics and breaker does not trip

Iím thinking about connecting the two heater element wires together to complete the circuit to see if breaker trips (Iím not an electrician and Iím thinking this would trip the breaker as a ground?)

I have ordered another element to be sure in case the new one was defective off the shelf.

After replacing the element I did pull all the wires around to make sure that ther werenít any obvious sheathing problems or earths and couldnít find any. The wire referenced as a problem in the pictures above has lots of silicone sealant around that area so itís a) hard to tell if thereís a problem b) looks well protected. After doing that the breaker didnít trip for about 12-14 days. Then it started again yesterday.

The fuseable links with the resets are in good condition and other than the outside of the tank having some corrosion I can find no other challenges at this point.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FT2016 View Post
We have a 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus 40ft. Yesterday the water heater breaker in the circuit breaker under the residential refrigerator kept tripping.

Today I have changed the heating element in the water heater, put in a new anode, put in a new 15 breaker - it tripped, took it back, put in a 20 and it tripped once, waiting to see if it trips again. Takes anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes before it trips.

The 50 amp RV park voltage is good.

Any ideas?
Thanks,
Randy
First thing you need to do is replace the breaker so it is sized to the conductors it is protecting.

14 AWG - 15 amp breaker
12 AWG - 20 amp breaker
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:53 AM   #8
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Did you run the heater element without water in it. If you did, the element would have been damaged.
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Old 10-04-2018, 05:36 PM   #9
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Suburban has a good diagnosis chart on their web site. If I recall, a resistance check across the heating element will tell you if it failed. I wouldnít personally be shorting things to see if the breaker trips.
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