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Old 12-17-2010, 08:29 AM   #1
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


I have Rheem gas water heater with blower, that was plugged into the standard AC socket that is mounted into the top of the heater tank casing.

One morning the water was cold. I reset the breaker and the water heated nicely. A couple days later I had blower plug/socket melt violently! Luckily nothing caught fire. (I guess the breaker was trying to tell me something).

I cut the wire out of the thermostat that feeds this plug and capped it. I plugged the blower into a normal wall outlet, and turned the breaker and water heater back on. All is running just fine now, but the blower is on continuously, plugged into the wall.

My question is, how to wire the blower properly into the thermostat. The old wire that I capped is threaded through the housing of the heater, and I expect that going route to not be an option. I could easily have a wire coming out of the heater's electrical box around to the blower, but I want to do this right. Do I need to drill a hole in the this electrical box and put in a shielded conduit back up at the blower (mounted plug box at end)? This would seem like an electrically safe approach, but I was hoping there was be something easier. There is already a conduit into the box that is providing the power. I could try putting the wire up that conduit to the nearby junction box, and tapping into that box for the plug.

Has anyone had this type of thing happen before? I'm the previous short was at the plug due to conductive stuff somehow collecting, or the wire shorted along the tank wall.

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


sounds like its time for a new powervent. I don't like the idea of hacking the wire up, sounds like a fire hazard to me. Given that you almost had a fire with it, is it worth keeping around? If it were me, I'd dig up the dough and protect yourself and your house

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Old 12-17-2010, 08:39 AM   #3
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


Thanks. I'm all for a new power vent (especially one that is quieter). The question is how to tie this electrically into the water heater thermostat that turns the vent on/off when the water temp drops. The power vent just has (had) and standard AC plug at the end, which plugged into a socket on the heater (melted) that was tied into the thermostat of the heater.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:59 AM   #4
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


Actually, I would eliminate the Powervent all together and replace it with an electric water heater.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:00 AM   #5
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


yea, i saw the question. I don't have a wiring diagram for older rheem pv tanks, and thats what you'll probably need. What i'm suggesting is not to do it, just call a plumber or make a trip to the hardware store.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:14 AM   #6
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


Quote:
Originally Posted by kittf View Post
Thanks. I'm all for a new power vent (especially one that is quieter). The question is how to tie this electrically into the water heater thermostat that turns the vent on/off when the water temp drops. The power vent just has (had) and standard AC plug at the end, which plugged into a socket on the heater (melted) that was tied into the thermostat of the heater.
Has there always been a powervent installed? Is there wiring close by for a standard electric tank? Is there a dedicated 30amp breaker in the panel? During the gas craze days many people converted to natural gas from electric. It may be super simple to just eliminate the powervent and install electric. Cheaper too.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


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Actually, I would eliminate the Powervent all together and replace it with an electric water heater.
personally, i think the benefits of gas hot water and the price of the gas compared to electric outweigh the up front cost of a powervent tank. In my area, a powervent is running about 900 bucks for a 50 gallon, you'll pay off the difference within 5 years. and you'll generally get more hot water than you'll get from an electric
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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Water heater blower needs re-wire


Well said......I agree with the_man.

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