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Thread: water heater and melted fuse?

  1. #1

    Default water heater and melted fuse?

    This morning I noticed I had no hot water and after further investigation of my water heater I noticed the separate electrical shut off to water heater (at least I think that is what it is) was melted (not actual fuse in my fuse box)... I uploaded 2 pictures to explain since my terminology is probably wrong b/c i'm not a plumber.

    The only thing that has recently changed is we had a plumber replace the anode with a special zinc anode we got from the manufacturer. This was to get rid of the sulfer smell as we are on a well and evidently the aluminum anode causes that (per manufacturer recommendation)

    Has anyone ever seen this?
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  2. #2
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    That is a quick disconnect. Looks like you may have to replace it.

    You most likely had an element go bad and it took out the quick disconnect, although it may have been just a bad connection at the disconnect.

    You should call a plumber.

  3. #3

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    OK thanks for the response. I would have thought it would trip the breaker on the quick disconnect instead of melt it. Is that common?

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Yes it should have tripped the breaker, but I don't know what brand of pannel you have.

    Federal Pacific is notorious for causing fires because they don't trip when they should. I have seen wires fuse and melt apart, direct short, and the breaker not trip.

    Your disconnect may have had a bad connection.

    I can't tell fron here, just call someone.

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    A loose fitting disconnect "plug" or wire would create a high resistance point which would overheat and melt the unit, but not create an overload which would have tripped the breaker. Check whether you have aluminum wires coming into the box and copper wires going to the water heater. That situation can cause the overheating.

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member jwpatrick1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    That is a quick disconnect. Looks like you may have to replace it.

    You most likely had an element go bad and it took out the quick disconnect, although it may have been just a bad connection at the disconnect.

    You should call a plumber.
    I know this is an old post, but there may be someone who searches and reaches it as I did. I wanted to note that while Cass is most likely correct in how it should be done, I can tell you from recent experience, that calling a plumber and him determining the fuse is melted only results in him leaving after accepting your service call payment and you then calling an electrician to replace the disconnect so the plumber can return another day to actually replace the water heater. At least that is the way it is done in Louisiana. If you identify a melted disconnect, you may as well go ahead and contact the electrician first. It might save you some of the eight days it is taking me to get a hot water heater replaced.

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; , I can tell you from recent experience, that calling a plumber and him determining the fuse is melted only results in him leaving after accepting your service call payment and you then calling an electrician to replace the disconnect so the plumber can return another day to actually replace the water heater

    That depends on the plumber you call. I have replaced, and serviced, many "disconnects", whether a part of a heater replacement or because they were causing hot water problems.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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