Hot Water Heater Scorched Black Feed Wire


I just finished replacing the thermostats and elements on my Rheem hot water heater. The insulation on the main black wire feed at the top thermostat was corroded for a couple of inches - long enough back that I couldn't use slack wire. I took the electrical junction box apart with the idea of replacing the wire, but both the black and red wires look to be somehow foamed in or otherwise difficult to remove/ replace. Is there a trick here or do I need to call an electrician? The wire still appears to be in reasonable shape. Could I get away with wrapping some electrical tape around the exposed copper?
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On Mar 2, 10:31 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Do you mean "overheated" for the insulation? If so, you'll want to be sure that can't recur- like, first be sure wire gauge and breaker rating match. And, that wire has proper temp rating. The "foam" raises questions also. Explosion-proof? :')
Seriously, safety issues with this suggest calling an electrician.
I'd pass on taping the line. Wire is cheap.
J
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The wires are embedded in the foam insulation. Sometimes you can give it a good yank and free it up. Make sure you use a replacement of the same gauge, if you do get it out. If you can't remove and replace it, you could splice a piece onto the existing conductor, but cut it back to a point that wasn't overheated, as the copper becomes annealed from overheating and looses its conductive properties

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