Trying to wire new water heater

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  #1  
Old 07-10-14, 11:18 AM
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Trying to wire new water heater

I'm installing a new electric water after the heater coil on my boiler failed so everything is new. I can't figure out what I did wrong but I got a delayed (2 min. or so) snap, crackle from the wires after energizing the circuit.

The WH is a 50 gallon Rheem unit with a black wire and red wire coming out of the casing and a pinch ground screw on the cover plate.

From the fuse box I installed 10/2 wire to a double pole, single throw breaker. Black to one pole, white to the other pole, and bare to the ground busbar.

I connected the black wire from supply to the black wire in the WH and the white wire from supply to the red wire in the WH, the bare wire went into a slot and was held in place by the green ground screw.

When I flipped the breaker the display on the WH lit up and I was able to switch the WH on. After 30 seconds or so I noticed a smell and assumed it was the new element heating up, then after another minute or so I heard a popping noise and saw sparking from the top of the WH. I flipped the breaker as quick as I could. Now it looks like the burn smell was the plastic wire nut melting, but everything else looks okay.

Can somebody please tell me what I did wrong?
 
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  #2  
Old 07-10-14, 11:37 AM
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Did you fill the water heater with water turning on the breaker ?

If a wire nut melted..... that would mean the connection was loose.
 
  #3  
Old 07-10-14, 11:39 AM
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Yes, filled water heater and gave it 15 minutes at full pressure to check for leaks.
 
  #4  
Old 07-10-14, 11:42 AM
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Make sure your wires are twisted and then put the wire nuts on. You should be using the big blue or gray wire nuts.
 
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Old 07-10-14, 11:45 AM
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The wire nuts are red but the box says they are suitable for #12 or #10 wire, so they should be okay?
 
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Old 07-10-14, 11:48 AM
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If you twist carefully they are fine. I just like the extra room in the next larger side.
 
  #7  
Old 07-10-14, 11:50 AM
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Okay, I'm just glad to hear that I hooked up the wiring correctly!

I think the problem was that the WH wires are strand core and they are hard to wrap with the solid core of the supply. Lousy excuse, but I think that's what it was.
 
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Old 07-10-14, 12:14 PM
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It is hard to connect large solid and stranded like that.
 
  #9  
Old 07-10-14, 07:41 PM
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In the future just align the ends and securely screw on the wire nut.
 
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