Replacing a breaker

Old 02-06-03, 08:05 PM
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Replacing a breaker

Hi all...plumber installed a new water heater and after some other problems (whole other story on the plumbing thread) had another plumber come and take a look, and he noticed the electrical breaker is only 20 amp and needs a 30, so I am wondering if it is a fairly simple matter of taking the breaker box cover off, pulling out the old one and wiring in the new 30 amp? Or am I, an electrical novice about to burn my house down and should get an electrician...?
Old 02-06-03, 08:17 PM
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Double check that the heater truely requires a 30A breaker.
Unfortunately most 20A circuits are run with #12, which is not large enough wire for a 30A circuit breaker.
Check the wattage of the heater, wire size of the existing circuit, and post back.
Old 02-06-03, 08:46 PM
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wattage and wires

It says the total wattage is 4500/3380 but I don't know what size the wire is that leads to the actual breaker. I do know that the plumber that hooked it up ran 12/2 wire to the junction box, the wire from the junction box to the breaker looks like it is lighter than is older wire (the house is old) and has black casing. I don't find anything in the documentation that says what amp breaker is required...

Thanks for the help...
Old 02-07-03, 05:37 AM
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You can't just up the breaker without having the coorect wire size. A 30amp breaker requires #10 wire, a 20amp requires #12.
4500watts at 240 volts is 18.75 amps. You might get by without the breaker tripping but I think you need to change to 30 amp breaker and #10 wire.

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