Found holes in a failed element

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Tdbeez

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My 1 yo AO Smith 50 gallon electric water heater tripped the breaker and then would only partially heat water. I replaced the bottom element and found several small holes in the metal that looked as if they exploded outward. I am new to “handymanning” and was wonderIng if this is normal or a sign of a possible safety hazard? Pics attached.
8D402A40-7CF1-4203-9219-081C105D2693.jpeg
 

Reach4

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Not normal. Weird failure.

I would phone the manufacturer. Maybe they will provide the replacement free.

Safety? I don't see this as a safety hazard. The breaker did its job.
 

John Gayewski

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I've seen this. The instance I saw it was related to freezing in the building though. At least that was my guess.
 

Fitter30

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Mineral deposits build up on the element causes hot spots till small hole is formed water enters the element flashes to steam and explodes causing the holes. Need to regularly flush the heater or a softener is needed.
 
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