Wireing for Water Heater & Pump

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Old 03-06-08, 07:40 PM
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Wireing for Water Heater & Pump

Well, my water heaters on the way out, so I'm looking to replace it. While I'm at it my well pump is on the same breaker so I wanted to separate them so I can shut either one off with out both going off.

So I was looking at them and have some questions.

12/2 comes out of 30amp breaker (should be 10/2, right?) goes to a shut off with 2 30amp fuses and from there continues to the water heater. At this shut off it branches to the water pump wired for 115 volts, black wire to black and white under the grounding screw with the ground wires. (this can't be right, can it?)

Anyways, I'll install the new HWH per there instructions (30 amp breaker, 10 Gauge wire), getting rid of the fuse shut off and running new wire from the breaker box the the HWH.

Question is for the water pump (jet) the plate says it draws 8.6amps and 10.8 load amps at 115 volts or 4.3/5.4 at 230. I plan on keeping it 115 volts, it should be fine on a 20amp breaker with 12 gauge wiring, right?

Thanks
Rob
 
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Old 03-06-08, 09:28 PM
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As you already know you never should have had #12 wire protected by a 30a breaker. The pump should never have been on the same circuit as the water heater. WH should be on a dedicated circuit. Probably a jack-leg wannabe electrician upped the breaker to 30a when the pump or water heater was added to an existing circuit.

Your plan sounds good. 20a should be OK for the pump and #12 OK for the wire if the distance is around 100 feet or less. The water heater should be on a dedicated circuit of #10 on a 30a breaker.

Above assumes they are not in a separate building. If they are you can not run two circuits. You will need to install a sub panel.
 
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Old 03-07-08, 06:06 AM
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Thanks

They are in the basement of my house and less then 20 feet from the breaker box. I just thought it seemed odd how they had it hooked up, especially being so close that it wouldn't have cost anymore to run a dedicated circuit.
 
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Old 03-07-08, 06:37 AM
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Just a quick note....how is the water pump wired now?

Performance of the pump may suffer at lower voltages.

Although Ray is absolutely correct about the gauge of the wires being incorrect for the breaker, The "Piggy back" of water pump and hot water heater is somewhat common. If the pump fails, you have no water. No water means a burnt up heat element in the water heater. Although I deplore the Idea, It was a worthy attempt at a failsafe. Likely , this will be unnecessary with a newer HW heater, Due to "Low Water Cutoffs", and built in Safeguards for the heater elements.
 
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Old 03-07-08, 07:00 AM
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It is currently wired for 115 volts, I can switch it to 230. I have space in the panel for a double pole breaker, but will be doing a remodel upstairs and not sure how many spaces I'll need yet. Is it that much better to have it wired 230 volts.

On a side note the pump is labeled 115/230, I always thought it was normal to refer to voltage as 110/220?

The piggy-back thing doesn't make much sense to me. At least how its set up in my house (not sure about some gravity feed systems), if I loose my pump I won't have pressure to push the water out of the water heater.

Thanks for all the help.
Rob
 
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Old 03-07-08, 07:34 AM
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On a side note the pump is labeled 115/230, I always thought it was normal to refer to voltage as 110/220?
Typically yes, on an electric dryer for example, the timer controls run on 120volts. The heat element is 220. This would take the voltage from 1 leg to neutral...the heat element would run across both hots.
It is currently wired for 115 volts
If so, and your comfortable the way it is...thats fine...No need to "Over think it". If it were 220 and you dropped it to 110, you may notice a difference.
if I loose my pump I won't have pressure to push the water out of the water heater.
In theory, Yes this is true. If you had faucets "Below" the level of your water heater, they can in theory empty out.
 
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