4500W Bradford White hot water heater


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Old 10-18-16, 12:04 PM
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4500W Bradford White hot water heater

Hi, I've used a multimeter to determine the lower element is bad. I was just going to replace it, but I noticed one of the wires to the lower element look charred. Could the element going bad cause this or is it something else? All the other wiring on this unit looks fine. The water heater is 5 to 7 years old. The house it is in is much older. And this hot water heater is only on a 20A circuit breaker.
 
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Old 10-18-16, 01:41 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Usually the insulation chars when the screws on the elements are not tight.

As far as a 20A circuit.... that's a problem. A 4500 watt element uses around 19A of power.
That water should be wired with #10 wire on a 30A breaker.
 
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Old 10-18-16, 02:37 PM
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Thank you. The charring still has me a little concerned, the screw is as tight as it will go. I will have an electrician install the 30A breaker soon. I will swap the element myself to save a few bucks.
 
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Old 10-19-16, 04:41 PM
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I will have an electrician install the 30A breaker soon.
It may not be that simple. Since the breaker is just 20 amps it is very possible that the wiring is just 12 AWG and will need to be replaced. It is also very possible that the original water heater was a lower wattage and only needed a 20 amp circuit.

That water should be wired with #10 wire on a 30A breaker.
What PJ said.
 
 

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