Electric Supply to Water Heater

(Art Simon, HI-10360) #1

Was I wrong to call out this “electrical connection” to an Electric water heater installed in 2001 in a house that was built in 1958?
Evidence of cloth wiring?

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(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #2

Water heater has very old electric feed wires and Tank is well past a normal life . recommend a immediate upgrade to avoid a serious repair expense .

Check your tank for any rust or corrosion. Most hot water tanks are made out of steel and will eventually rust. You may have even noticed rust in your hot water as it is drawn from the tap. If you find rust or corrosion by the temperature and pressure relief valve, and/or the water inlet and outlet connections, it’s a good indication that your tank is rusting and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, there is not a way to repair a tank once it has started to rust and corrode. If your water heater has not started to leak, it will only be a matter of time.

Where your water heater is located within your home may determine your next step. Leaking water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Your best option may be to replace your water heater right away to prevent unnecessary expenses and damage. However, if your tank is located in a garage, you may choose to wait until it begins leaking, as the water damage may be minimal.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #3

Roy
The WH is a 2001.
The only thing I see is the romex connector isn’t tight.

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(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #4

Yes that makes it 17 years old

Clue #1: Age

The older the water heater, the more likely it is to break down. As a general rule, a tank type water heater will last, on average 8 to 12 years.
With proper maintenance and a little luck, you may be able to nearly double the lifespan of your water heater. But sometimes even with the best care, a water heater will need to be replaced after only a few years. However, if your water heater is pushing the 10-year point, there’s a good chance it’s time to replace the unit.

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(Art Simon, HI-10360) #5

Roy,
Yes, the date of the WH is 2001 and made mention of it’s age, but no visual indications of leaking. My question is… "Should I not have made mention of the “cloth wiring”?
Thanks for your feedback.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #6

Nope! It has nothing to do with the WH.
However, I would call out it is ungrounded…And it should be.
See attached image…

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(Marc A. Goldenberg, Inspector Lic # HI1365 Mold Assessor Lic #) #7

GOOD CATCH Roy! :slight_smile:

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(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #8

not unless the cover has been removed to see if it is grounded .
All the Cloth multi wires I have seen have a ground . I expect this is grounded

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #9

Yes! Roy C.
However, The green screw should have the grounding conductor attached to it.
I would not want to be the inspector that missed that…Nope!
My guess … It is supplied with 2 conductors with no grounding conductor. Which is typical for a home of this age.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #10

Yep!
Are you gonna nominate me as the MOTY this time? LOL! :smiley:
You didn’t last year…Did you?

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(Roy D. Cooke, Sr) #11

I am not paid to guess looking at the wire it looks round if it was only two wires it would be flat .
, The only way to be sure is to open the cover .

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(Art Simon, HI-10360) #12

Thanks Roy. I did mentioned that there was “no visible evidence of the unit being grounded”. I guess I shouldn’t have mentioned the cloth wiring. Thanks again.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #13

There isn’t nothing incorrect in mentioned the cloth wiring…Not at all…Nope!
But, what did you see when you opened the electrical panels?
Had any wiring been upgraded?..Just curious?

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(Chuck Evans, CMI TREC 7657) #14

I’m with you Roy. The equipment ground should be visible on the green screw. I might have said “not properly grounded” in case they did something unusual under the cover buy my money says it’s not.

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(Dominic DAgostino, CMI HI3957) #15

I’ve removed electrical cover plates on water heaters to find the ground connected, but not under the top mounted green screw.
You won’t know 'till you look…

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(Scott Laird, LHI #11078) #16

On a related note–I commonly see this wiring on an electric water heater. I usually recommend that that wiring be encased in flexible metal conduit. Am I just being overly cautious? I just hate seeing romex exposed in the open.

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(Roy Lewis, CMI - North Florida Inspector) #17

It isn’t necessary, but If it were mine I’d install it in conduit.
However, Any wiring subject to damage should be in conduit.
The wiring at the WH you posted needs a strain relief installed.

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(Scott Laird, LHI #11078) #18

Thanks Roy. I did also mention the need for a strain relief in my report.

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(Joseph Burkeson, CMI) #19

To my knowledge non-metallic cable was never produced with ‘cloth covered wiring’ the wires inside this cable are in fact thermoplastic coated, most likely rated TW or THW and in 1958 had a ground bonding wire. Cloth covered wiring was predominately installed in armored cable (bx) and conduit. It wouldn’t have made it into my report as a defect.

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(Michael Bitterman, CMI HI7792) #20

I agree… got here a tad to late. I do not believe this is the bad type of cloth wiring that contains tin coated copper where the insulation breaks down. I would note the lack of a proper connector at the water heater and recommend proper ground be checked but not the wiring.

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