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Dodged a bullet this weekend

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#1 tater195 OFFLINE  


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Posted December 06, 2015 - 04:24 PM

I woke up saturday morning to the smell of burnt plastic. I didnt think much of it because I had some slab jerky going in the the cheapy dehydrator. It was a little overdone and chewier than I like it, but what the hell, its not a bad mid afternoon snack.


I went out to hide in the shop while my wife decorated for christmas. She came out around 2 needing a base for one of her dozen+ trees made because one of the plastic legs on the original broke. I grabbed a brake rotor and screwed a 2x4 with a 1 1/8 hole drilled in it. After a quick coat of paint, I took it back into the house. Still smelling burnt plastic. She had candles and heaters going, so I didnt get too worried about it.


Back in the house around 5 for a bowl of soup, still smelled the plastic but not as bad. Around 630 the lights blinked, while the satellite TV was booting back up, I went into the house to see if it was just the shop. On the way in , I noticed our pole light was real dim and trying to start back up, but the one across the street was still on bright. Once in the house, the TV tuners were up and running fine and my wife blamed it on someone hitting a power pole. That has happened several times in the past, so I went back out to the shop to check for blown breakers. Everything looked normal.


Around 8 I went to the house finished for the day. After about 30 minutes on the couch, my wife said the water softener or the hot water heater is leaking. I went down to look at it and found the doors blown off the electric water heater with signs of black smoke around the top heater, the element and thermostat had melted. The top of the water softener melted and squirting out water. It appears the element had been hot and melted to the point that the 240v wires touched and welded together but didnt blow the breaker. It must have blown out the thermostat contacts.


After installing the new water heater, I noticed the line going to the humidifier on the heater was leaking a little. I had turned the saddle tap off while I was working on the heater(they tapped in on the hot water out, about 6" from the water heater). It could have just started leaking when I turned it back on. There was water on the top of the water heater when I first looked at it, but could have come from the leaking water softener that was right next to it. That could be 1 cause, the other would have to be a stuck thermostat and faulty over temp cut out. Either way , It could have been real ugly.


The water heater was 11 years old and still clean thanks to the water softener. Now I need to find a head or head and bottle for the water softener, but that is going to have to wait. $400 worth of propane last week and $450 for water heater right in the middle of my wife's Christmas shopping season.  :wallbanging:

Edited by tater195, December 06, 2015 - 04:25 PM.

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#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  


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Posted December 06, 2015 - 04:50 PM

You got very lucky I would say. Glad it wasn't more serious. Also, I like that brake rotor idea.

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, December 06, 2015 - 04:52 PM.

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#3 Cat385B OFFLINE  



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Posted December 06, 2015 - 04:53 PM

Replace that breaker.
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#4 jpackard56 OFFLINE  



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Posted December 06, 2015 - 05:26 PM

Replace that breaker.

Definitely !! Serious problem that it didn't function correctly, YES you really dodged a BIG one. You could have been shopping for a new house or even worse...

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#5 tater195 OFFLINE  


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Posted December 06, 2015 - 06:26 PM

Here is a few pics of the damage. Hard telling how many times my wife walked by this yesterday and never noticed.


The shiny metal at the bottom with the wires on it is supposed to have black plastic to insulate the connections.


20151206 162049 zpsu0rfx8fv
20151206 161343 zpsnawgtvtu

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#6 637Yeoman OFFLINE  

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Posted December 06, 2015 - 07:49 PM

That was a close one. :worshippy1:

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#7 KennyP ONLINE  



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Posted December 06, 2015 - 08:02 PM

You were lucky there, for sure!

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#8 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted December 06, 2015 - 08:47 PM

Replace that breaker.


Ditto!  A bit to close for comfort!

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Posted December 07, 2015 - 08:03 AM

Glad it's no worse than it was.
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#10 tiretrx OFFLINE  


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Posted December 07, 2015 - 09:08 AM

More like you dodged a full magazine! Wow. Just happy to hear it wasn't worse and all are OK.

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#11 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2015 - 09:34 AM

I'm glad that's all it was.  Go get a lottery ticket.  

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#12 tater195 OFFLINE  


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Posted December 07, 2015 - 09:37 AM

I don't gamble, have no luck at that whatsoever. I cant even win at the pop machine



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Posted December 07, 2015 - 09:53 AM

Dodging bullets



Water heater blowing up


Edited by BTS, December 07, 2015 - 09:57 AM.

#14 toppop52 ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2015 - 10:05 AM

Wow! Just make sure the new breaker is proper amperage.