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Hot water heater wire nut in control box overheated and melted control box top

Hot water heater wire nut in control box overheated and melted control box top

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  #1  
Old 01-31-12, 06:52 PM
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Hot water heater wire nut in control box overheated and melted control box top

I have a 80 gallon Whirlpool Hot Water heater installed by Lowes about 8 years ago. I have been noticing a smell for a few days we could not figure out until tonight when we narrowed it down to the heater. I threw the breaker and removed the top cover that contains the circuit boards and power in. I found that the white hot wire from the panel had overheated inside the orange wire nut to the point where it melted the plastic control top cover. The nut itself did not melt but is black inside. The connected wires are both brittle on the ends. The wire looks to be 10WG. Should this have had a higher rated wire nut? Or is this just a case of corrosion deteriorating the connection over time?
I am thinking I can strip back both wires, get a good twist and install the heaviest of wire nuts and it should be OK. Any thoughts? I have a picture but as I am new I can't post it. Also I am in King George County VA.
 
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  #2  
Old 01-31-12, 07:17 PM
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Any thoughts?
Yes, I have a thought. The orange wire nut is probably not big enough to properly connect the #10 line voltage wire with the #12 water heater wire lead. I think I'd cut the wires back past the burned area, strip and connect with a red wire nut or wing nut. I wouldn't pre-twist, but would rely on the twisting of the connector to twist the wires. I believe the red connector (76B) will give you a better and tighter connection than the orange wire nut (73B).
 
  #3  
Old 01-31-12, 07:26 PM
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Thanks Casual Joe. I just went out and found some new large red wire nuts in the garage and am about to do what you suggest right now.
 
  #4  
Old 01-31-12, 10:34 PM
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Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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I have a picture but as I am new I can't post it.
Yes, you can but you have to use the same procedure as everyone else. You need to first upload the picture to a photo hosting site such as photobucket.com and then post the public URL of the picture here or use the "photo button" to embed it in the body of your post.

There is a "stickie" near the top of the index page that goes into more detail.


BTW, I agree with CasualJoe's cure.
 
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