240 or 120

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  #1  
Old 06-05-07, 07:08 PM
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240 or 120

i would like to buy a timer for my hot water heater, and im not sure what it is 240 or 120, its on a 20 amp breaker but the breaker is bigger then all the other ones and its got only one switch with a 20a marked on it. the wires going to the breaker are white and black. i looked on the back of the hot water heater and it says it can use 240 208 and 120 so im not sure what one it actually is and at the store where im gonna buy the timer every timer is diffrent, thanks for the help in advance
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-07, 07:34 PM
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Most WH will be marked 240 or 208. Not 120. You need to verify the voltage.
Some 240 volt breakers have 1 handle. If you have a friend thats an electrician he can remove the panel and see if 1 or 2 wires go to the breaker.
240 ckts use red and black. 120 volt use black and white. If you think this will save you money on your electric bill you are wasting your timer.
Better you use a WH with good insulation around the tank.
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-07, 07:44 PM
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If the white is going to the breaker and not the neutral baar then it is a 240 volt breaker.
 
  #4  
Old 06-05-07, 08:00 PM
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99% of all residential electric water heaters are 240 volts, and most are 30 amps. Only a small one or a very old one would be 20 amps. In some industrial or commercial building, or in some large apartment buildings, you might see a 208-volt one. In most situations, a 120-volt one would be impractical, since the recovery time would be extremely long.

They sell special water heater timers specifically designed for this purpose. Don't even think of using anything else.
 
  #5  
Old 06-06-07, 05:04 AM
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both wires are going to the breaker so i guess its 240, it funny how people say that it wont save you money on yhour hydro bill but ive been turning the breaker off at 6 at night turning it back on at 6 in the morning and then off again during the day untill 3 o clock and i saved 45 dollers on my hydro bill 2 months in a row actually it was like 44 the one month and 43 the next so i think my timer will help out, and i bought the timer that was designed especially for hotwater heaters and got it verified by an electrician from work today, i guess the only thing i find wierd is that my 240 hotwater heater is on a 20 amp breaker should i get this changed while the electrican is here putting in the timer?
 
  #6  
Old 06-06-07, 05:14 AM
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Why would you consider changing your water heater breaker? Has it ever given you a problem? Why do you think it is wrong?

If your water heater name plate indicates that it can run on 120 volts then it is a small water heater. As such, 20 amps is likely the correct 240 volt breaker size.

If you really saved that much money with a small water heater in one month then you either have a hot water leak (dripping faucet or something), or you have the temperature set too high, or you have a broken water heater, or you have an extremely inefficient and/or uninsulated water heater.

I would investigate why the water heater uses so much electricity or consider replacing the water heater. If you do the math, even considering 20 cents per kilowatt hour (a high figure) you water heater would have been running much too long during those hours you now have it off.
 
  #7  
Old 06-06-07, 01:59 PM
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i did turn the thermostat down to the minimim level too, is there two thermostats on hot water heaters, i havnt taken the lower cover off yet, but i know on my old one there was, i had to do some diging through insulation to find it but it was there, just wondering before i dig all the insulation out of the covering if there is one there or not.
 
  #8  
Old 06-06-07, 05:36 PM
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On most residential water heaters, there are two elements and two thermostats. The two elements never run both at the same time. But you apparently don't have the same kind of water heater that most homes have, so all bets are off.

Just curious, but how many gallons is this heater? And how tall is it?
 
  #9  
Old 06-07-07, 04:53 AM
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its a 40 gallon water heater
 
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