Another Electric Hot Water Heater Question

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  #1  
Old 12-02-06, 09:06 AM
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Another Electric Water Heater Question

I have purchased a new Richmond 50Gal. (Model # 6e50-2) Electric Water Heater to replace my old one that has gone bad. I originally was not worried about it being to complicated as removing the old one was simply a disconnect and 'unplug' process. Now I realize that I apparently had the only 240v water heater in existence to be plugged into a 3 Prong Dryer Outlet (with no electrical issues. All of the work for the previous water heater was done by a local plumbing company for the previous home owners.)

The situation that I have now is a brand new water heater that is the same power ratings and capacity as the old one, however it does not have a dryer cord attached like the old one, so I have purchased a new one. Now as I understand dryer outlets, there is 2 seperate 110v lines on it with a neutral on the L blade, and this all goes to a 30amp 2 pole breaker (I have comfirmed that, that is true in my breaker box). Now if all of that is true, then what do I do to hook the 1 Red, 1 Black, and 1 Green wires coming from the water heater to dryer cord so that it will work with the dryer outlet and not burn something up?

(I really wish I had known enough to examine the old water heaters wiring closer before I had thrown it away...)

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-02-06, 09:16 AM
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I suggest you call an elecxtrician.

Do not attempt to use a dryer cord. You need to install a junction box in place of the dryer receptacle and then run flexible cable to the water heater. Using a dryer cord is not legal.
 
  #3  
Old 12-02-06, 09:25 AM
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I appreciate your response. I suspected that it wasn't a proper way to do it. My first concern on that note was when I noticed that the dryer cord was braided copper and not solid copper wire, then I realized that the wire configuration wasn't correct. Which is why I posted. Unfortunately I can't afford an electrician right now, so my choices are to figure this all out myself and do it (if it will cost me no more than about $50 to do what you described), or wait a couple months to do what you propose. As you might guess, going without hot water for a couple more months for my family is not overly attactive.

Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 12-02-06, 09:46 AM
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Make sure that the circuit breaker and the wire are the correct size and that they are properly connected.

Install a junction box in place of the receptacle.

Use flexible metal conduit with the appropriate sized wires. Connect the hots, and the ground at the junction box and at the water heater.
 
  #5  
Old 12-02-06, 09:52 AM
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Thanks. Sounds simple enough. I'll let ya know what I find. Really appreciate the help. Cold showers are getting old.
 
  #6  
Old 12-02-06, 09:55 AM
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"Sounds simple enough."

Yes, electricity can be simple, but do it wrong and you could burn down your house. Please be careful.
 
  #7  
Old 12-02-06, 10:59 AM
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Komp remember to fill the tank with water completely before you apply power to the heating elements. They maybe destroyed if they are not submersed in water while heating. Also give some thoughts to installing a disconnect at the junction box location. Generally code requires one of to things. That the circuit breaker can be used as the disconnect if it is within sight of the water heater. Or if it isnt in sight then it must have a locking tab installed so that it can be locked out in the off position. I would just install a 30 amp dpst disconnect at the junction box where the receptacle was located. The box stores have these disconnects, they look just like any wall switch only are rated 30 amps and are double pole. If you have any more questions about the wiring be sure to ask here as many professionals monitor this site and will be glad to assist.

Roger
 
  #8  
Old 12-02-06, 03:18 PM
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This is a DIY project, Give us ALL the info and we can walk you thru it.
The hardest part is getting the right stuff at the store.

Info: Size breaker- 2pole amp size?
Wire size from panel to heater? Method; cable or conduit?

After you buy the stuff 1 hr or 2 and your in the heat.
 
  #9  
Old 12-02-06, 03:34 PM
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You might want to consider this. I have an electric water heater timer installed next to my water heater. It also serves as a junction box and has a shutoff switch. It is wired with 10/3 because the timer has terminals for the neutral even though the water heater doesnt. Currently I have it set to shut off at 10:00pm until 4:00am. You can set multiple shutoff times which I will figure later. It does save money.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=26399-000000251-WH40-6-250V
 
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Old 12-02-06, 03:48 PM
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Thats a good option. My friend is saving about $25/month, I'm told.
This clock would need a 220v clock motor.
 
  #11  
Old 12-04-06, 10:31 AM
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"Now I realize that I apparently had the only 240v water heater in existence to be plugged into a 3 Prong Dryer Outlet"

Nope. There are hundreds of houses in our development that are wired this way (most of these houses also have Federal Pacific breaker panels :O). The electric furnaces are also wired with a 50 amp stove cord AND a 30 amp dryer cord and plugged into 2 receptacles. Probably not code today, but it was when the area was built.

That being said, it would definitely be best to convert to hard wire as has been suggested. Just didn't want you to be angry with the previous owner. There was a time when what you have was common acceptable practice in some areas.

BTW: My existing gas furnaces are wired with appliance cords plugged into 20 amp receptacles. Most all houses around here are being built with this configuration. I'm not real crazy about it and will probably eventually convert the plugs to shut-off switches and hardwire the furnaces, but the code inspectors aren't having any problem with the cord and plug practice. Dishwashers and disposals are all cord and plug around here too.

Doug M.
 
  #12  
Old 12-05-06, 04:08 PM
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The cord and plug gas water heater is probably fine, as the cord is built onto the heater. My brothers each have a near identical electrical assist gas WH connected with an apparently factory installed cord and plug.
 
  #13  
Old 12-05-06, 04:30 PM
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Wink

classicsat Lost here. Why would you have a electric cord on a gas water heater????? From about 85 to 90 the elec. water heaters in Fl all where plugins
 
  #14  
Old 12-06-06, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ed Imeduc View Post
classicsat Lost here. Why would you have a electric cord on a gas water heater????? From about 85 to 90 the elec. water heaters in Fl all where plugins
Direct vent fan
 
  #15  
Old 12-07-06, 07:36 AM
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"From about 85 to 90 the elec. water heaters in Fl all where plugins"

Interesting Ed. Here it was around 1975 to 80. The house I built in '84 was hardwired. Perhaps this is kind of a Southern practice.

I'd venture to guess that we haven't had a builder install any electric water heater or furnace in the city since the early 90's. Gas has been readily available and more desirable (cheaper, although that's debatable these days).

As was said, power vent units come with a pre-attached plug. If code calls for hardwire of a "permanently installed" appliance, I wonder how this gets around it?

Doug M.
 

Last edited by dougm; 12-07-06 at 07:27 AM. Reason: Add signature
  #16  
Old 12-07-06, 07:36 AM
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Power vent models have a cord and plug. If to be hardwired then the plug is cut off and the cord wired into a junction box.
 
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