Purpose of plastic on water heater element rods


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Old 05-12-17, 01:07 PM
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Purpose of plastic on water heater element rods

I notice there's approximately 3/4' of clear plastic around the base - i.e. where they insert into the threaded base on both sides of the heater element rods on a water heater. What's the reason for that plastic being there? If it breaks off due to deterioration as I notice it's doing will that cause a problem?

Looking at pics online of heater elements such as the one below I don't find that they have this plastic. If you go directly to the link the image is larger.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/vtMv-MkIaQI/maxresdefault.jpg

[ATTACH=CONFIG]80671[/ATTACH]
 
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Old 05-12-17, 01:20 PM
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We know what a new element looks like. A picture of what you have would be more helpful.
 
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Old 05-12-17, 02:55 PM
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If you are talking about the plastic plate that covers the connections on the switches and elements, well it's there to protect you from sticking your hands in it and getting electrocuted. Pictures would help so we would know exactly what you are referring to.
 
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Old 05-12-17, 10:12 PM
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Here's what I'm talking about. Both of the originals in the heater have this plastic around the element rod, the new ones I just got at Lowe's don't have this.

Name:  heater element plastic.jpg
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Old 05-13-17, 02:50 AM
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That plastic sleeve material has no operational value to the element, and I would not worry too much about not having it. I have never seen it on an element, so it must be proprietary to your water heater manufacturer. You are good to go without it.
 
 

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