I recently rebuilt an eighty gallon waterheater.I changed upper and lower thermostats & elements.
I recently worked on a home with a 100 amp box which the metal bar the breakers stab into is breaking apart. So I carefully changed main feed wire,breakers,elements, thermostats &rewired the old 80gal waterheater to make sure the main wasn't failing. If I got the old 4500watt waterheater operating correctly that meant the 100 amp. service was still holding on and the problem would have to be in the waterheater. I was going to install a 30 gal. 3000watt tank with a lighter 220volt feed wire. I lucked out and the electric pannel was able to handle the 30gal heater and 1500watts less.
I am a military trained master electrician with twenty years experience. I am licensed by the state of Georgia as an electrical contractor. The biggest problem you mentioned is that the bus bar, the metal bar the breakers stab into, is broken. This is a major issue that could cause a fire and should be addressed immediately. The power requirements of the equipment you mention are not based on luck, they are based on mathematics. No offense, but it sounds like you should have a qualified electrician look at your breaker panel as soon as possible.
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