Rheem melted/burned wire on lower element


Old 06-10-20, 10:30 PM
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Rheem melted/burned wire on lower element

Black wire completely burned in two. Started a few days ago only getting a tub full of hot water and then only getting less than half a tub full before going cold and also only getting maybe a warm (not hot) 5 minute shower this morning. Pulled panel off lower heating element and this is what we find. Unit is 5 years old. Any idea what would cause this and is it OK to strip and reattach the wire?

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Old 06-11-20, 03:24 AM
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Looks like it was a bad connection.
When electricity passes through a resistance it create heat.
A poor connection is a resistance so heat is produced.
This makes the connection worse so more heat and so on and so on till the connection fails.

Yes it can be cut back and re-attached.
It has to be cut back till you get to nice clean wire.
Note it does look like the connector on the heating element is also messed up pretty bad so I would replace the element !!!!
Old 06-11-20, 04:55 AM
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Usually when that happens the screw, nut whatever gets welded into the part and part needs to be replaced. Be sure all connections are tight.
Old 06-11-20, 06:39 AM
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I agree that it was probably a loose or corroded connection. The resistance builds up heat until things get burned. I would replace the element and cut back the wire to undamaged insulation. When attaching the wire to the new element make sure the copper is all shiny and clean and that the screw terminal is cranked down hard.
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