Electric Meter Connected to Water Heater

Old 08-17-08, 08:05 PM
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Question Electric Meter Connected to Water Heater

Came across something on my old water heater and was wondering if anyone had a good theory on why it is like this. There are two electric cables going into my water heater electric box, but only one is connected to the water heater wires. The other just goes into the box and isn't connected to anything. I followed both wires back and the one connected to the wire heater wires goes into the electical panel(as expected), and the wire that is not connected to anything in the water heater box actually goes outside (next to the main house wire) and connects to my electric meter.

So my question is why do I have an electrical wire going from my house electric meter to my water heater, but not connecting to anything in my water heater? My house was built in 1979 and my water heater is quite old (old commercial stone water heater from I think the 80's), but I have only lived here a few years. Did older water heaters connect directly to the electic meter? Did some previous owner/contractor just not know what they are doing? Can I just remove this wire? Will my electric company get mad at me if I screw with this wire?

Any help, theories, etc. is appreciated.
Old 08-17-08, 09:37 PM
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Photos would be helpful. Are both cables the same type of wire? What type of wire are they both? Is it possible there was an interruptible controller at one time for the water heater? The ones I have seen are a grey box with a few LEDs and a label telling what's going on based on the LED status.
Old 08-18-08, 12:25 AM
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Location: NE Wis / Paris France{ In France for now }
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Some of the homes have second meter designed for waterheater and they used have specal rate for them but however with modern metering and some of the POCO do have TOU { Time Of Use } meter which a standard meter socket but have specal timer circuit inside which it will control either electric waterheater or Central Air cond unit.

My POCO used to have that set up but now they went remote reading meter which it is all electronic unit and they did have few extra functions in there

Can able read the KW load anytime

Can able give mulit rate shedule { for X amout of hours on one rate while other X amout of time will have diffrent rates}

Can able control electric waterheater and Central A/C { If your POCO do have that feature which it will have polit wire going to the relay box to enerized either waterheater element or A/C compressor

There are few more function in the remote reading meters like they will know if you have power outage it will show up in the POCO computer if it is local outage or widespread outage.

those above are common with modern resdentail metering devices

The other thing you have to watch out when you work on some of the electric water heaters espcally if you have one set of element controlled by meter while other element is by reguar breaker.

that type of set up is not very common found but it will show up one way or other and one very fast giveaway is you will see 4 lead at the junction box above waterheater so one set of wires is for upper element while other set for lower element and with electric meter controlled in old way it used controlled the lower element but now with modern one it will control both elements.

Hope that help you with some info.


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