Dangerous wiring of hot water heater.

While trying to diagnose why the hot water heater stopped working I discovered, behind a panel under the kitchen counter, a problem that could have burned the trailer (2016 Heartland Prowler trailer) down. I am amazed that the trailer did not burn down and the only reason being that what caused the shorted out electrical connection from starting a fire was that the leaking hot water tank had made the floor wet. But after drying and the hot water heater shutting down the floor was now dry. Now that is a problem. 20230415_122626.jpg

Understanding why the hot water heater was not working is apparent in the above photo. What is apparent is that the hot water heater leaked. Why? I do not know. I'll fix that problem so that I no longer have a leaking hot water heater causing future problems. You can see that the water had reached the electrical junction box and shorted it out. No breaker switched off. That too is a problem. The junction box was fried and I will replace it with a metal junction box that is not on the floor. There is room to do this. Doing these repairs will require me to drain the hot water tank. And, while I'm at it I will most likely replace the hot water heater element.20230415_122620.jpg


Well-known member
I get into a habit of checking my water heater, plumbing connections, and any electrical I can. That looks like a hand tight fitting on the outlet of the water heater, years of expansion and contraction will force a leak. My initial shakedown of my camper when purchased new revealed lots of loose plumbing fittings, and following a foul odor on the first camping trip, I found poorly connected shore cord ends in the J box were badly melted following my use of the electric side of the water heater.


Well-known member
When we brought the rig home from the dealer, I got in there and checked the electrical connections. When I found things like this connection box, I moved it or installed a piece of 4x4 under it.
Our water heater had a leak at the inlet connection. It was a plastic connection that had cracked and was leaking for several weeks before I seen the leak. It was still under the 1-year warranty and Heartland authorized a mobile repair to come to us. While in there, he did find numerous water line connections that were loose.
The biggest issue of this was the floor got a soft spot in front of the stairs, which had to be repaired.