Fire waiting to happen

Inspected a manufactured home yesterday where one of the water heater wires was not tight in the termination block of the water heater breaker. (was able to pull wire out of breaker) The wire had gotten so hot that several inches of insulation had melted away. Apparently the wire had been loose for a long time. Also observed a missing knockout on the bottom of the panel and was able to see the interior of the wall.



Fire waiting to happen? That’s a leap that I might not be willing to take, but it certainly deserves repair. The breaker should also be evaluated for replacement, because the interior components of the breaker will have heated in a similar manner as that visible section of conductor.

Marc, You do not believe that the wire connection could arc or spark? The wire was literally loose. The missing knockout was directly below this area.

By the way I recommended replacement of the breaker and cutting away the damaged end of the wire and re-terminating into new breaker. (there appeared to be enough wire to cut off the bad section) and installing a knockout cover.

I just believe that the phrase “fire waiting to happen” is over used.

Agree on that repair TAB, however we need to evaluate what exactly caused this in the first place.

1.) Was it just a bad connection to the breaker?
2.) Was it a bad breaker?
3.) Examine the load in question for this conductor?
4.) Connect it to a new breaker and AMP Probe it to see the draw?

But regardless KO needs plugged and wire fixed and breaker and circuit evaluated…FYI…this is not a normal condition to that alone should elevate it to evaluation.

FYI- However I only have a " In General" knowledge of electrical issues so don’t take my word for it.:wink:

Loose connection = high resistance, leading to overheating of conductor, melting insulation, potential arcing…

…I think fire waiting to happen is not such a leap.

Certainly would not write it up as “fire waiting to happen”
But would use language that would compel people to act quickly on having it reviewed and repair by a licensed electrician.

Just my 2 cents…

I would recommend evaluation by a Lic Electrician but would not recommend any method of repair (cutting away damaged wire). That’s for the electrician to decide.

Robert that info was for everyone HERE’s knowledge I think…but I agree never put in a report on HOW to fix something because well us Electricians have to eat also…:slight_smile:

I appreciate the comments from everyone. FYI I did refer this to a licensed electrical contractor. I did not put “fire waiting to happen” in my report. By recommended I mean the buyer asked what the repair might consist of and I told him what I wrote above. I did tell him that the exact repair would be determined by the licensed electrical contractor when he evaluated the condition.

Excellent Tab…:slight_smile: Sounds like a good call and a proper way to defer liability…:slight_smile: Very Tactful Defer…:slight_smile: