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Old 07-22-2014, 10:40 AM   #11
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Thanks. Taking it in to shop this week. Repair guy on phone said that wire overheating can happen sometimes if element was badly corroded and someone turned on heater without water in tank. Not enough draw to trip the breaker but enough sustained draw to overheat the wire. Gonna check everything out and replace the melted 14 gauge with 12 gauge.

Thanks everyone for the quick and detailed responses!!
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:50 AM   #12
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Not sure that would be a good idea.

A 14/2 Romex can handle sustained current draw of up to 15A without overheating. Think about it. It's protected by a 15A circuit breaker. Why would the circuit only trip if the current goes over 15A, but the wiring can overheat and become a fire hazard at less current?

As I said before. The wire is symptom. Putting in a 12/2 on a circuit that is problematic is treading on dangerous ground. It's the equivalent of putting a shorting bar on a fuse block.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmbrady77 View Post
Not sure that would be a good idea.

A 14/2 Romex can handle sustained current draw of up to 15A without overheating. Think about it. It's protected by a 15A circuit breaker. Why would the circuit only trip if the current goes over 15A, but the wiring can overheat and become a fire hazard at less current?

As I said before. The wire is symptom. Putting in a 12/2 on a circuit that is problematic is treading on dangerous ground. It's the equivalent of putting a shorting bar on a fuse block.
Upgrading the wire to 12 GA is a bad idea IMO as well. Fix the problem and not the symptom.

Replace the wire; check the connection at the breaker for security; make sure there is no damage to the duplex outlet (replace the crappy RV type with a good quality 15 amp home store duplex) and replace the heater element with the correct 110 volt AC part.

Also check the power cord from the water heater to the duplex. If the wire burned and it was the element (I for one doubt it - more a loose connection in the duplex outlet box is my guess), that cord should also show signs of high temperature.
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Old 07-22-2014, 12:03 PM   #14
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Agree... the plan is not just to replace the wire and hope for the best Service guy is going to take a look at the whole system, make any repairs that caused the problem in the first place, and then replace the wire...
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