I have diagnosed an error in my water heater. A control board is defunct and needs replacement. Unfortunately it is winter now and the replacement delivery will take a week or longer. The water heater still functions properly but trips the circuit breaker of one phase occasionally. Is it still safe to use until the replacement arrives?


It is probably "safe". However, a problem which results in an overcurrent trip on one breaker might be causing damage to the related equipment (heating element, relays, etc.) in a way that doing so repeatedly (even for a week) might result in other parts of the heater breaking. Nearly impossible to tell, especially over the internet, as there are a lot of variables involved.

If it is possible to run the heater with that phase (leg) off, then that may be a temporary solution. However, depending on design that may not work at all, or it may result in the other heating elements running at a higher duty-cycle and cause other problems.

This is one of those situations where a few extra $ for fast shipping may be worth it.

  • 1
    Thanks for your reply. Problem is that the phase which is tripping is L1 (first phase) so it cannot be replaced because all the controls are powered by L1
    – Rubus
    Jan 13 '21 at 17:30
  • Unfortunately I am unable to download the German link, which I speak, read and write. A grounded element will cause the reset button to pop and the breaker to shut off the power. If heater is electric, check the elements for continuity and replace.i have ignored this issue on my own hot water heater and it has not adversely affected any adjacent breakers, fwiw.
    – DAS
    Jan 16 '21 at 9:26
  • @Hndygrl Thx for the input. Strange the links work fine for me. The control board has some black spots (smut), so I ordered a new one..It's also annoying if the circuit breaker trips more than once a month..
    – Rubus
    Jan 17 '21 at 17:05
  • Tell me about it! I am troubleshooting mine now!
    – DAS
    Jan 18 '21 at 7:00

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