point of use hw heater electric

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  #1  
Old 01-05-06, 06:16 PM
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Question point of use hw heater electric

I'm in the process of installing a 2.5 gal "point of use" electric hot water heater under vanity to get quick hot water; the unit is rated at 1440 watts, came with a 120v plug which the manual says can be removed and the unit hard-wired into a circuit; can I simply run 14awg, 3 line copper wire to a nearby receptacle and push the hot and neutral wires into the wire holes in the back of the receptacle and then ground? I assume the recptacle is GFI as close to sink, it says 15 amps and the receptacle is in the middle of some sort of run, i.e., the 3 wires continue from receptacle back into wall and power other things.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 06:56 PM
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If the water heater comes with a plug on it, why would you want to defeat its purpose. If anything, install a longer plug cord of the appropriate gauge to reach your receptacle, or move it closer to the receptacle, since it already exists. Don't assume the receptacle is GFCI protected. If you have no test equipment, plug a radio into the receptacle and turn it on. Trip the test button on the GFCI and see if the radio goes off. If it doesn't, then it isn't protected by that GFCI.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 07:23 PM
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wiring for hw heater

Larry, tks for reply:
if I used plug supplied I'd be running the plugged wire out through the vanity door, looping it over the sink and into outlet-doesn't work aesthically. With plug off, I drilled hole in vanity side, through drywall and fished wire to receptacle directly above; my only question now is if it's kosher to get juice by pushing the wires into the wire holes on back of receptacle.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 07:45 PM
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You need a separate, dedicated circuit for that instantaneous water heater. Art. 210.23(A)(2) says that if you have "utilization equipement" (a device using electricity) that is fastened in place (this must be plumbed into the water line), then that equipment cannot exceed 50% of the branch circuit ampere rating. Assuming that the 1440 watts is rated by the manufacturer as a continuous load, that translates to 12 amps at 120 volts. That is more than 50% of a 20 amp bathroom circuit.
From a practical point of view, even if those other cables in the outlet box do not go to other loads, one hairdryer or space heater will draw about 12 amps on that circuit, overloading a 20 amp circuit when the water heater kicks on.
BTW, a dedicated load, fixed in place on its own circuit, properly grounded or double insulated, does not need to be GFCI protected.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 08:18 PM
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Attempting to power this unit from an existing circuit will likely lead to a tripped breaker. While 1440 watts is less than what a 15 amp circuit can supply, it quickly exceeds a 15, or even a 20 amp circuit when you add a hair dryer, or curling iron, or other devices likely to be used in a bathroom.

To properly power this device and comply with bathroom code, you need to install a dedicated 20 amp circuit.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 10:04 AM
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I know this is no big deal, and certainly not a safety issue, but Iíve noticed a number of contributors to this forum often use the word ďdeviceĒ when referring to utilization equipment. This use may fit Websterís definition but it does not fit the NECís. IMO, since the majority of advice given here is based on the NEC the terminology used should be consistent with the NEC, otherwise one might think you donít know or donít care, in any case it just doesnít look right.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jwatters
my only question now is if it's kosher to get juice by pushing the wires into the wire holes on back of receptacle.
In addition to what the other posters have said, the cord for the heater is not rated for in-wall use; and cutting off the plug violates its UL listing (this is different than removing the cord and hardwiring with romex). Furthermore, the quickwire or backstab connectors on a receptacles are not acceptable for stranded wire (which the cord is made of). Those connectors are only rated for #14 solid copper wire, and even then do not make great connections.

The correct installation is to install a new, dedicated 20A circuit using #12 wire for the heater with a receptacle under the sink.
 
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Old 01-06-06, 03:00 PM
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Thumbs up cord for hot water heater

Ben, tks for reply; yes, I totally disconnected the cord all the way to the one heating element and have Romex in the wall; but from what i'm hearing from your kind replies is that a dedicated circuit is the way to go; now all I have to figure out how to do is get romex up the wall into attic, down the other wall into basement; manual says if less than 1500 watts(1440), i can get away with 14awg and 15 amp circuit; i'm almost tempted to try it to see what happens. Tks for your reply!
 
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Old 01-06-06, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jwatters
Ben, tks for reply
You're welcome.

i can get away with 14awg and 15 amp circuit; i'm almost tempted to try it to see what happens.
Yes, you can get by with a 15A circuit on #14 wire, but it is right at the 80% of the circuit maximum load specificed by code. The price of #12 wire over #14 wire is not that significant (maybe $5 at most for this distance), so I would install a 20A circuit using #12. The price of a receptacle and breaker will be the same for either 15 or 20A.
 
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