Go Back   Thor Forums > Thor Tech Forums > Maintenance and Repair
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-27-2016, 12:26 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Thor Vegas 25.1 water heater wiring fire

Vegas smoke and melting wires!

Has anyone else experienced this: on shore power, flipped the toggle for water heater and within minutes the camper was filling with smoke and stench of burning plastic and wires. Immediately turned it back off and smoke dissipated.

I removed the wooden slat cover (which is a painful design), to find the cover off the electrical box and a cluster of wires melted together. I separated what I could and narrowed it down to the two black wires. The wire nut was melted through and wires melted together. I snipped it all off, redid the connection with new wire nut and tested. Fixed the issue but I'm somewhat fearful there may be an underlying cause I'm missing. Had I flipped the switch and left the RV to walk the dogs or something I truly expect the RV would have been on fire when I returned. It took me longer to get the cover back on the box than it did to make the repair. I suppose the cover could have popped off and bounced enough to cause friction and a bare wire? The crazy thing to me was that the black wire connections and the 2 white wire connections were taped together with electrical tape. I see no reason to group them. What am I missing?
__________________

__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2016, 01:09 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Hurricane 32n
State: Georgia
Posts: 168
THOR #2983
When we got our Hurricane, the water heater wouldn't work on 110. Took it to the dealer, CW, to be fixed. They fixed it so it worked just like yours. We were not happy when we clicked it on and smelled smoke. Took it back and they fixed it properly. All is well now, but not a good experience.
__________________

__________________
Tom Bowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Had the issue with the windshield washer and wipers failing and it took them 4 months to have it fixed. So I wasn't happy when I pushed the washer button and no juice. I checked and have a full tank of fluid. Pulled the motor and have a new one on order, coming in Monday. If it ain't one thing its definitely too many.
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 12:54 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 29fe
State: Florida
Posts: 531
THOR #4656
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20161030_154117_268.jpg
Views:	144
Size:	59.8 KB
ID:	3288

Just had the identical issue as you with the water heater, only we were sleeping and it occurred at 3:00am. We woke to choking smoke and the smell of burning electrical wires. The smoke alarm, which I test before each trip, did not warn us. That will be replaced with two very good alarms.

I had previously hinged the cabinet entry area at the back of the water heater to make winterizing easier. When I opened the access area, I found the same as you. This morning, now that we are back home in the driveway, I will tackle the fix. I will replace every residential wire nut used in this unit with crimp on connectors. Wire nuts have no use on an rv other than to reduce manufacturing costs. If it happened to you and to me as well, how many other potential wire nut problems are just waiting to vibrate loose and cause problems.

Further, the breakers in the panel are not labeled correctly. An example was the breaker, factory labeled, stated microwave/water heater. I dropped that breaker to insure no further connection to the burnt out connection. Guess what, the microwave still remained on. I did not have my meter with me so I could not tell if in fact the water heater was disabled from further electrical connection. Today as well, I will ring out every electrical connection and label the breakers with the outcome.

I feel sorry for the ignorant who buy these units and do not know anything about how their RV's operate and there is no end to them on these and other forums. Hopefully anyone reading this will have these connections checked for either by a technician or themselves if they feel competent to do so.
__________________
nosticks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 01:40 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Wow. It just scares me to think what could have happened and still, what could happen to others.

Yes there are a lot of "newbies," myself included, who have to learn the hard way all the ins and outs of an RV. I don't think we have to be electricians or plumbers to own an RV and we sure should be able to trust that a manufacturer or dealership is competent enough to not take such common and life threatening shortcuts.
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 01:49 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Thanks for the heads up about the breaker labels. None of my camping party had meters so I just trusted the breaker labels. Glad I'm still here....
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 01:52 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Nosticks

Thanks for the tip. I'll be crimping the wires. Sure is a very tight space to do these repairs.
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 07:13 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Hurricane 27K
State: California
Posts: 488
THOR #2544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmhawv View Post
Nosticks

Thanks for the tip. I'll be crimping the wires. Sure is a very tight space to do these repairs.
If you can, use solder and then crimp the connection. Crimps are still a mechanical connection and are subject moisture and corrosion more than a soldered connection.
__________________
This post is opinion based on experience.
2015 Hurricane 27K
2013 Sea Ray 220SD
brucev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2016, 09:12 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
I'll try! Thanks
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2016, 11:41 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 29fe
State: Florida
Posts: 531
THOR #4656
For inquiring minds, here is what I found.

The black plastic electrical box containing the 110v wiring and the 12v relay was so badly melted that I had to cut it out with snips. The white (hot) 110v wire and what was left of the wire nut had fused itself to the inside of the electrical box. The white wire had melted insulation for about 3Ē from the tip. All other wires were undamaged, although I had to cut some to remove the melted box. I removed the wire nut on the neutral (black) wire and found what I think contributed to the problem. The black wire had only about 1/8Ē stripped from the end and was jammed in the wire nut without twisting the wires together first. The connection was not very secure. I suspect the white nut was the same. I also think the wire nut technician needs some remedial training.

The relay still functioned so I rewired everything using butt connectors. I tested both electric operation and gas operation. The water heater cycled as it should. Iím off to buy two good smoke alarms to replace the original $1.98 one that did not work for me when needed.

As a final note, I know I mentioned there are many novice and first time rv owners out there, let me just say to you, just because you donít have a Four Winds 22e, or a Vegas/Axis 25.1 doesnít mean this does not apply to you. Itís about safe practices in the manufacturing process and things that can go wrong along the way. Check those connections.
__________________
nosticks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2016, 03:18 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: North Carolina
Posts: 8
THOR #2004
Thumbs down Fix it - your life could depend on this $3 repair

So Thor was kind enough to have me call them about my concerns. They suggest I take it to a dealer to have some tests run at MY EXPENSE. The coach has 10,000 miles on it. I'm the second owner so it is completely acceptable to Thor for me to risk my life and others over a few dollars to redo the wire connects. At first, I thought they were actually going to give a damn.
__________________
Dmhawv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2016, 05:44 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: California
Posts: 244
THOR #3186
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucev View Post
If you can, use solder and then crimp the connection. Crimps are still a mechanical connection and are subject moisture and corrosion more than a soldered connection.
I'm not to familiar with the electrical codes but it is my experience that 120v connections should not be soldered. The proper 120/220v solid wire crimp should work just fine. I'm not sure about stranded wire crimping. Any licensed electrical contractors around here to chime in.
__________________
Forest Grump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:51 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Hurricane 32n
State: Georgia
Posts: 168
THOR #2983
Did Thor actually use white for hot? Normally white should be neutral, green or bare as ground, and any other color as hot. Misidentified wires can be dangerous. Maybe we need to look inside our breaker panels.
__________________
Tom Bowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 10:57 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: ACE 27.1
State: California
Posts: 244
THOR #3186
On mine the white 120v wires are all grounded together on a bus external to the fuse panel. So check it with a multimeter.
__________________
Forest Grump is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 11:20 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Freedom Elite 29fe
State: Florida
Posts: 531
THOR #4656
Ok, Ok I got my terminology reversed. For the nit pickers out there, white is neutral and black is hot.

Main point is, no wire nuts on any connection on an RV, none, not any. It's a practice that has been going on for some time. Check to see if you have any and if so, replace them with something that will not vibrate loose. Nuff said. Over and Out.
__________________
nosticks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2016, 04:28 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2015 Hurricane 32n
State: Georgia
Posts: 168
THOR #2983
Sorry if I sounded nit picky. I actually wouldn't have been surprised if the factory reversed the wires. They certainly aren't good at hooking up water heaters.
__________________
Tom Bowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2016, 05:39 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Florida
Posts: 896
THOR #1249
Had the a couple of wires and their nuts melt down last trip on the ATS under a bunk. Was on shore power running A/C and smelled smoke and then saw it. My take on it is, and I am not an electrician, that when you have stranded wire connecting to solid wire with a wire nut, it is likely that the wire nut threads cut thru the stranded wire making for a bad connection.
MY ATF looks as if it was supplied with stranded wire pigtails that were wire nutted to the solid wires. I have since removed all the stranded wire pigtails and wired the solid wires directly to the ATS screwed connections. Sleeping much better now.
As nosticks mentioned, a close insp. of these connections should be made to look for signs of overheating and loosening.
__________________
MR 2015 Thor Vegas 24.1 in Ocala
mcr1010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: vegas 24.1
State: Florida
Posts: 126
THOR #1466
wiring issue?

Say it isn't so....a wiring issue in a new Thor product? I guess they didn't catch all the assembly line druggies in their drug-test process. I understand that manufacturers get about 60% of job applicants with drugs in their system. So, they are short-handed, and maybe some safety issues go unanswered. I have checked carefully most of the wiring on my 2014 Vegas, and have made some mods that I feel enhances electrical safety. I have owned 25 year old RVs, and never gave a thought to a possible problem with electrical, because there never was an y problems. A cryin shame that we have to double-check brand-new coaches for safety issues in this day and age of great strides in fire and electrical safety.
__________________
davidgebo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 12:11 PM   #19
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Illinois
Posts: 25
THOR #4001
started water heater on gas water heat selection smoke rolled outside panel shut off switches and wires were melted together, vegas 24.1 2016.
__________________
rgriffis52@gmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2017, 12:15 PM   #20
Junior Member
 
Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Illinois
Posts: 25
THOR #4001
Exclamation vegas 2016 24.1water heater wire fire

started water heater up on l p mode smoke came out panel outside , open panel after shutting down all the wires melted together no breakers off when checked and no hot water on 110 or lp
__________________

__________________
rgriffis52@gmail.com is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Thor Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.




All times are GMT. The time now is 01:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
×