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Author Topic: Water Heater  (Read 303 times)
lmichael
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« on: March 08, 2012, 05:50:06 pm »

Decided to take a short trip off the mountain and pitch camp in the warmer valley of the sun.  On the second day, a strong plastic burning smell filled the pc.  Determined it was coming from under the sink where the hot water tank is located.  Took out the back and floor to expose the tank, opened the plastic junction box and found the hot wire insulation where it connected to the water heater melted below the connection--plus a melted spot in the junction box under the wire.  The connections under the wire nuts were all tight, but the screw connections for both the neutral (white) and hot (black) wires were loose.  I tightened the screws, taped the wire and haven't experienced the problem since - but keeping an eye (and nose) on it for the next few days.  Since our pc is 2 years old, I would suspect vibration probably loosened the screws.  I'm not an electrician, but I've heard loose conncetions in house outlets have caused fires, so that's what I would suspect caused the wire to heat up and melt the insulation.  I wouldn't consider this a problem with pc's or their wiring--rather just one of those freaky things that can happen.  Just wanted to share what to look for in case it happens to someone else.  Really enjoying the warm weather, clear skies and roaming wild life...
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2012, 06:34:11 pm »

Thanks for the "Heads-Up" lmichael.
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bigbadjc
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2012, 07:23:10 pm »

While you are probably correct in blaming vibration for loosening the connections, that is not what typically caused problems in house wiring.  Where most of the horror stories about poor connections causing fires came from was the use of aluminum wiring in many houses when copper prices were quite high.  Aluminim tends to oxidize and form an insulating oxide and also to gradually permanently deform and let the connection loosen up.  It is almost certain that the motorhomes have copper wires.  So, while it could be vibration, it could also have not been tightened down enough when the installation was made.  Few of us ever check things like this, but checking the tightness of wiring connections that are easy to reach, particularly those carrying high ampere loads like heaters, is always a good idea.

Jerry
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billy
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2012, 10:42:51 pm »

I've found when things are tight I use liquid tap, good stuff.
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Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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