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Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'll do my best to help. Troubleshooting often requires meters and test equipment. Let's get started and see what we can do. Yes this is not uncommon at all. These wires are exposed to sunlight sometimes will crack and break. When wires do, often they touch the cabinet and short , ending motor windings to ground.
Most Rheem units made six years ago had a 10 year parts warranty if registered at time of installation. Do you know if it was registered? Can you give me the serial number and I can try to verify.