Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Cold Shock

Jumped in the shower last night, only to be greeted with cold water.  Donning what I'd just doffed, I went to the utility room.  The hot water heater was quiet.

Grab a meter.

No voltage to the thermostat.  Returning after resetting the breaker at the meter outside, a fairly spectacular sight greeted me.  Arcs and sparks from the blue and white tank evoked an image of R2-D2 having a catastrophic meltdown after meeting up with the Jawas.

Turn it off. Turn it off. Turn it off.

60 year old wiring in the tank housing apparently arced, contacting the tank, sending sparks and smoke from every  point of contact.  After mustering up a bit, and game-planning, I pulled the wires from the housing with a pair of pliers.   Both legs were burned completely in two. 

Stripped wires and a couple of wire nuts later, it was ready to re-energize.  Stepping back inside, the sound of water heating greeted me.  Thankfully, a hot shower was soon to follow.

Is it safe? 
Brand new wire nuts on ancient wires.  Add it to the list.