State Electric Model # ES6-52-D0RT 210 Lower Thermostat Burned Out

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Jay Cradoct

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So I've read a number of threads here concerning the wiring of the hot water heater. It's unclear in many of these if the discussion is concerning the wiring from the breaker box to the hot water heater or the wiring inside of the hot water heater. Here's my dilemma: The lower thermostat of my State Electric Model # ES6-52-D0RT 210 burned out - this after just closing on this house two months ago! As one thread mentioned, the data plate on this tank calls for 4500W at 240V on both upper and lower. I was able to see writing on some wiring jacket inside the tank was 14ga. Again, reading these threads I double checked my breaker box and see that I have 2 x 30a fuses; I cannot see the writing on the jackets coming in to the top / upper thermostat but it appears to be the same as below 14AWG (2.08mm 2) E96824 (P) - not sure what all after the 14AWG even means! I'm wondering if the 14ga is not what caused that lower element to burn up. My upper thermostat appears to still be good (at least hasn't caught on fire yet - anyone hear "Money Pit" in your mind?), I've pulled the upper and lower elements and they have some sediment on them but nothing that I believe would have caused the problem / said fire. The bottom thermostat and wiring is pretty much toast! I'd like to just rewire if I could be certain that was factory and not something a previous owner had done (the upper access panel / housing had been removed before I ever started). So the simple question, do I rewire with 14AWG (seems like bad idea) or run 10 / 2 as I've been reading?
2020-08-29_02 - Lower Thermostat & Heating Element.jpg
2020-08-29_03 - Lower Thermostat Remains.jpg
2020-08-29_04 - Lower Thermostat Housing.jpg


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Rochester NY
The wires inside the water heater are often of smaller size than the external home circuit. Your home circuit should be 10 AWG. You can rewire the inside of the water heater with whatever the manufacturer originally used (sounds like 14 AWG), but it will hurt nothing to upsize to 10 AWG if you desire. The burning indicates either bad contact at one of the terminal connections or else a bad heater element with an internal short. If you rewire and do everything correctly, with all good connections and new heater & thermostat, you should be good to go. AWG = American Wire Gauge.
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