Damaged wiring inside a water heater - questions - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum > Electrical Forum > General Electrical Discussion


Like Tree17Likes
  • 5 Post By MechanicalDVR
  • 3 Post By Semi-Ret Electrician
  • 2 Post By MechanicalDVR
  • 2 Post By PlugsAndLights
  • 1 Post By sbrn33
  • 2 Post By Big John
  • 2 Post By Islander
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-31-2016, 10:39 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Islander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 315
Rewards Points: 630
Default Damaged wiring inside a water heater - questions

A plumber sent me this picture yesterday. It's at the bottom element of a water heater tank (GSW Series 6). Apparently there was a short circuit, and the wires melted.

I have a few questions about this:

1) Are we allowed to replace wiring inside the tanks insulation? If yes, what temperature rating would that wiring be?

2) How far back would that wiring likely be damaged? Just inside the tank's insulation? All the way to the connection point at the top of the tank? Beyond that?

3) If one element and/or thermostat has gone, isn't the other one like due to go as well? Should I recommend just replacing the whole tank?

4) What would cause this to happen? A short circuit, most likely, but where? Faulty wiring from the factory?

Thank you

Damaged wiring inside a water heater - questions-hot-water-tank.jpg

Damaged wiring inside a water heater - questions-water-heater-exterior.jpg

Last edited by Islander; 12-31-2016 at 10:43 AM.
Islander is offline   Reply With Quote
Join Contractor Talk

Join the #1 Electrician Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

ElectricianTalk.com - Are you a Professional Electrical Contractor? If so we invite you to join our community and see what it has to offer. Our site is specifically designed for you and it's the leading place for electricians to meet online. No homeowners asking DIY questions. Just fellow tradesmen who enjoy talking about their business, their trade, and anything else that comes up. No matter what your specialty is you'll find that ElectricianTalk.com is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally free!

Join ElectricianTalk.com - Click Here JOIN FOR FREE


Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ElectricianTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-31-2016, 10:59 AM   #2
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,290
Rewards Points: 996
Default

The wires from the bottom element only go up to the top thermostat. The bottom element tends to go 3x as fast as the top as it gets the coldest water with the most mineral and oxygen content. No telling from a pic what caused the original problem, could have been several things. I believe the wires are marked 90deg c on the jacket. Pulling new wires with the old is easily done.

As far as swapping out the whole thing, look at the date on the label. They don't last much longer than the warranty period as a rule of thumb.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 11:24 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Semi-Ret Electrician's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 3,109
Rewards Points: 486
Default

Did the WH have an insulation blanket?

A few manufacturers I talked to say it voids the warranty.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Semi-Ret Electrician is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 12-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
Band Member
 
emtnut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 5,735
Rewards Points: 848
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander View Post

1) Are we allowed to replace wiring inside the tanks insulation?
I'd do it on my own tank, but I would take the risk doing it for a customer!


4) What would cause this to happen? A short circuit, most likely, but where? Faulty wiring from the factory?

Thank you
Depending on the age of the tank, a call to the Mfr might get you a helluva deal on a new tank
__________________
_____________________________________
Your Mother was a hamster, and your father smells of Elderberries. ... Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
emtnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,290
Rewards Points: 996
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Semi-Ret Electrician View Post
Did the WH have an insulation blanket?

A few manufacturers I talked to say it voids the warranty.
Looking at the dust on the top I'd say there was no blanket.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 12:05 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
sbrn33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: middle america
Posts: 11,438
Rewards Points: 3,276
Default

Looks to me like it was just a bad connection at the bottom element. Good luck getting that out.
sbrn33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 12:09 PM   #7
Old Grumpy Bastard
 
MechanicalDVR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Old Dominion"
Posts: 59,290
Rewards Points: 996
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrn33 View Post
Looks to me like it was just a bad connection at the bottom element. Good luck getting that out.
Socket wrench!
jw0445 and circuitman1 like this.
__________________
I'm as Christian as possible in the times we live in.

Always just a stallion in a china shop
MechanicalDVR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 12:23 PM   #8
Safety Pin Member
 
PlugsAndLights's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Eastern Ontario
Posts: 2,255
Rewards Points: 2,880
Default

Punch new holes in sheet metal and run powder coated EMT between top
and bottom burners. Get rid of that BX and put the feed in coloured EMT
too. Post pics to Mech's fancy wiring/pipe thread.
Must have too much time on my hands..........
P&L
MechanicalDVR and circuitman1 like this.
__________________
Malignant narcissism is a psychological syndrome comprising an extreme mix of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, aggression, and sadism.[1] Often grandiose, and always ready to raise hostility levels, the malignant narcissist undermines organizations in which they are involved, and dehumanizes the people with whom they associate.
PlugsAndLights is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 12:37 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
sbrn33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: middle america
Posts: 11,438
Rewards Points: 3,276
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlugsAndLights View Post
Punch new holes in sheet metal and run powder coated EMT between top
and bottom burners. Get rid of that BX and put the feed in coloured EMT
too. Post pics to Mech's fancy wiring/pipe thread.
Must have too much time on my hands..........
P&L
That;s funny because I thought that looked like a pretty hacky install also. My guys may have been redoing that one.
PlugsAndLights likes this.
sbrn33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 03:49 PM   #10
Donuts > Fried Eggs
 
Big John's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Portland
Posts: 17,054
Rewards Points: 300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrn33 View Post
That;s funny because I thought that looked like a pretty hacky install also. My guys may have been redoing that one.
I like to secure the flex to the tank with 3" long self-drilling screws.
macmikeman and Islander like this.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Always wear your gloves.
Big John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 03:58 PM   #11
Senile Member
 
macmikeman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Honolulu
Posts: 26,951
Rewards Points: 16,261
Default

That's too much work. Just do it like me and use a hilti gun and the long nails with a washer the carpenters shoot into bottom plates of partitions to hold them to the slabs.
__________________
Thought for the Day: President Trump is the first sitting U.S. president to EVER step foot in North Korea... Obama got a Nobel Peace Prize for being black.
macmikeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 04:54 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,230
Rewards Points: 4,394
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big John View Post
I like to secure the flex to the tank with 3" long self-drilling screws.
Just don't forget the rubber washer and just a dab of silicone.
LawnGuyLandSparky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2016, 05:05 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fleetside, RI
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 1,181
Default

That's you, buckaroo
samgregger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 04:36 AM   #14
nbb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Midwestland
Posts: 400
Rewards Points: 516
Default

Me personally, I would never just replace burnt wire without figuring out why it burned. A bolted short would not do that, and are the only "quick" fixes in my book.

And please strap that flex, those cheap ass connectors are not designed to take that torque.
nbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2017, 04:37 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Islander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 315
Rewards Points: 630
Default Update

So, the existing wire was stuck in with the insulation pretty solidly. One wire on the bottom element was melted about 6" up from its connection. I just looked at it and told the plumber that there was no way I was going to install new wire down to the bottom element, as I considered it to be a sealed unit. He's putting in a new tank next week.

Oh, the wire insulation rating was 105 degrees C, btw.

Thanks for the info, and the humour.
readydave8 and circuitman1 like this.
Islander is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Water Heater Pulls 18A But Water is Cold?? swimmer Residential Electrical Forum 33 12-29-2016 05:21 PM
RV Water Heater sparkysean40 Services and Service Equipment 4 10-31-2016 12:17 AM
Appliance whip on a hot water kick space heater shocksystems General Electrical Discussion 2 06-03-2016 12:31 AM
Panel to water heater distance AK_sparky Canadian Electrical Forum 2 05-20-2016 11:24 AM
shaking my head (water heater) hardworkingstiff General Electrical Discussion 34 04-25-2016 04:11 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:17 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PaintTalk.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com