220 Hot Water Heater breaker

Old 08-18-03, 12:00 PM
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Question 220 Hot Water Heater breaker

This weekend I wound up having to replace my hot water heater. The wiring where the thermostat control is must have shorted and started a fire. Luckily for us the insullation contained and stopped the fire. I recently bought this house and we knew the hot water heater needed to go, it is 20 years old. My question is that while it shorted and started a fire, it never tripped the breaker. My guess as to why it shorted was there was alot of corrosion on the tank and water on and around the wiring.

A quick run down of its layout. The HWH has its own breaker, nothing else is wired to that circut in the panel. The wire comes over from the panel to a junction box and then a wire comes out of that down to the HWH. My guess is that they ran the wire too short so they had to do the junction box. I don't know for sure thats why I am asking questions. Should I have the circut breaker in the panel replaced or is there possibly another problem. Thanks in advance. Mark
Old 08-18-03, 12:37 PM
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What is the rating of the HWH?
(I admit I have had a hard time decifering some HWH's, tell us the ratings for the elements if there is no total or max. rating on the nameplate.)
What size wire and what size breaker?
(20, 25, 30 amp, and #12, #10, or other AWG?)
Lets make sure the sizing of these is correct for the new unit. The cost of a nrw breaker for common models is ~10 to 15.00 for a regular 2-pole.
Tell us what kind of panel.
(squareD, GE, Cutler-hammer, murray, siemens, etc.)
and which series (style of breaker: QO, BR, CH, etc.)

Depending on what happened inside there, there is a remote chance that the breaker had no reason to trip (no overload, and no short) but I think it should have had a reason to trip. Replacement wont hurt.
Double check the connections in that junction, and size or wires.


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