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What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 8:48 AM

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#1

Re: What would make my element do this? Its only 3 months old

11/15/2017 9:06 AM

Assuming that is a water heater heating element, I would guess your element was contaminated by elements in your water.

If instead this element came out of this element then the elemnt of fire may have a factor, too.

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#2
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Re: What would make my element do this? Its only 3 months old

11/15/2017 9:12 AM

I found a simple solution. Replace your water instead

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#25
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Re: What would make my element do this? Its only 3 months old

11/16/2017 4:07 PM

You see how the cop has got his fingers up to his mouth ?

It seems like this image should of been posted in,,

Caption This.

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#27
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Re: What would make my element do this? Its only 3 months old

11/17/2017 5:45 AM

He's trying to work out how to fix the parking violation ticket under the windshield wiper.

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#3

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:17 AM

You put the wrong elements (of the periodic table) together in the same water.

What are you actually heating with that? Coal mine seeps containing sulfuric acid??

Perhaps more time at the chalk board is in order.

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#4

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:18 AM
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#17
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 8:50 AM

That would be the sacrificial anode.

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#28
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/27/2017 3:30 PM

Yup, that little rod of metal there is supposed to "die" just as your experiencing it, in order to protect the other, more expensive components from acidic water pH.

I would recommend to the Original Poster that he talk to a local plumber, that professional will know what the conditions are like in your neck of the woods, and can install a water treatment system to reduce the acidity of your water.

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#5

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:18 AM

I'd be concerned about the pH of your water (and what it might be doing to your innards).

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#6

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:23 AM

Earth leakage current from the element through the water could cause it. E.g faulty insulation, or current from elsewhere leaking to the earthed sheath of the element.
It doesn't need much current to cause corrosion.
Del

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#7
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:30 AM

That's a clever failure mode. GA

I wonder if a low water level exposing the element to air while ON could also produce this kind of damage.

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#8
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 9:35 AM

That is a pretty good answer, as any anodic potential on the sheath metal can cause early rupture (failure). It could be aggressive (low pH) conditions, resulting in the metal having a spontaneous corrosion potential, or could be from failure to properly ground the item(s) such that a ground loop is passing internally in the water.

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#9

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 11:05 AM

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#10
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 12:08 PM
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#11

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 7:44 PM

Several good answer so far. Here are some other possibilities, perhaps not very likely, but still worth considering:

Switched in/out water connections. This could keep the heater from fulling fully, which could leave an element unsubmerged.

Stuck thermostat. After a while, this could generate steam, possibly leaving an element unsubmerged.

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#12

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 8:58 PM

Are you sure you didn't turn the power on before the tank was full? I purchased a house in 1984, that sat empty for 6 months with water heater off, and main house water shut off. The heater was in the basement. I turned the power on, and then realized that the water was off.

I heard this sizzle sound that was not normal.

Turns out the water heater tank had been partially emptied from a siphon.

Your damage looks similar.

The heater element still worked for several months.

I have hard water here, and had the same scale build up, but the outer metal shielding had been melted.

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#13

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/15/2017 10:28 PM

I would say that the anode has disappeared or you have the wrong element type for your cylinder (eg. a brass one in a stainless steel cylinder).

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#14

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 5:05 AM

Is the water heater only three months old, or, was the element a replacement in an old heater?

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#15

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 7:34 AM

my first thoughts go to the cathodic protection as others have stated but looking at the element i notice that it is curved. Was this element the top element? how does the bottom element look? you could have dissolved gases in your water or you did not properly purge the air from the tank when you filled it after your initial repair 3 months ago. i am guessing this is the culprit. after replacing the element, fill your tank and then hold open the pressure relief valve (assuming it is on the top of the tank) until all air is purged. if the prv is on the side of the tank, you can just unscrew the sacrificial anode until water comes out the joint.

btw: if the "gas" bubble is coming from condensed gas in your water, you may have really big issues. this sometimes happens when a gas well in not installed properly or is leaking into the water table. the gas then collects in water heater. the gas expels from the liquid when the liquid is heated similar to CO2 expelling from a warm soda.

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#16

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 7:58 AM

Is this a mains pressure cylinder? if it is, where on the cylinder is the element? if it's on the top then my guess is that the element is in the air gap at the top of the tank, the air gap is to facilitate expansion, if the heater is in the side (normally half way down) I think looking at your element that it's too small, you need one that's twice as long but folded in half, also you need to install a system of inhibitors & I would install a water softener, If you look at the state of your element imagine what your pipework is like also the cost of the installation will be recovered in the savings in soap powder, hand soap, shampoo and cleaning products.

Bazzer

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#18

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 12:13 PM

I overlooked this at first, but I am pretty sure the curvature of this element is a clear sign of overheating failure (due to exposure above the water line).

Get a new one, or look it up to verify this.

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#19

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 1:40 PM

Gerbils... it's the gerbils wot dun it!
<Step away from the keyboard Del, you've had too much wine with your dinner>.
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#20
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 1:56 PM

Was that the BIG GULP box wine again?

At least we can't blame this on the Black Velvet Band.

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#21
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 2:22 PM

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#22
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 2:33 PM

First ya'll make my hungry, then you turn around and make me thirsty. Unfair!

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#23
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 2:36 PM

While I'm happy to provide the excuse, I suspect it would've happened anyway.

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#24
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Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 2:43 PM

ROFLMAO! Good one red bro!

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#26

Re: What Would Make my Element Do This? It's Only 3 Months Old

11/16/2017 8:56 PM

I've had the lower element burn out because built-up precipited minerals shorted the element and increased current burned it out.

I've had my first replacement lower element burn out in 3 months because there are cheap elements and there are better and best elements. I should have 'shopped' for an element because the cheapie did not look or feel as substantial as the original element, but I was in a hurry.

3 months later, I was shopping for yet another replacement, which was maybe $5 more than the cheapie, but it's been in service for 5 years now, outlasting the cheapie 20x over.

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