Wiring an electric water heater

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-30-14, 07:48 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Wiring an electric water heater

I had an electric water heater 17yrs ago and switched to a gas water heater.
But now Iím going back to an electric one.

The previous 2 2-wire 10 gauge cables are still there. However one of the 2-wire 10 gauge cables goes into my control panel, teams up with another 2-wire 10 gauge cable with wire nuts, white to white and black to black, and then exits out my electric meter.

Why is this?

And to make it hot again, can I just add a 10 gauge black wire from the wire nut connection to a 30 amp breaker and a white wire from the white connector to the neutral bar?
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-30-14, 08:06 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,512
Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like you previously had a second meter for your water heater. In years gone by this was a popular way to save money. Since you would pay a lower rate for electricity at night the water heater only heated water at night.

You want to connect the water heater to your panel which is fine. Most water heaters are 240v which means you'll need a two pole 30A breaker and the white and black wires will connect directly to the breaker.
 
  #3  
Old 05-30-14, 09:40 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3
electric water heater wiring

Thank you. The cable that is presently connected to my outside meter I may not need . Only if I want to heat water at off peak hours then I would hook that cable back up to a 30 amp breaker? So in which case I would have two black hot wires connected to breakers and white wires would be neutral. correct ?
 
  #4  
Old 05-30-14, 09:46 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 43,512
Most of those meters were taken out of use. If it was still in use I'd imagine you'd see two meter readings on your statement.

If your water heater is 240vac then you do not need a neutral wire. If you are using standard 10-2 NM (non metallic) cable then you would end up with a white wire and a black wire on a two pole 30A breaker. The ground would go to the ground bar in the panel.

Be SURE to confirm the voltage of your water heater before connecting it.
 
  #5  
Old 05-30-14, 09:55 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Thank you ,your help is much appreciated!
 
  #6  
Old 05-30-14, 10:09 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,379
I would check the local power company website and/or make a phone call, to see what programs they have. We switched from electric to propane about 10 years ago, so I don't have current firsthand experience, but do know that ours still has a reduced rate for water heaters. I don't recall seeing too many of the older second meters of late, but a majority of ours have been switched to newer digital meters, and whether they may have a second meter within, or whether the rate for heating water is a set percentage of the total, I can't say. And you would almost certainly have to have a contractor involved at that point, but still, I know that our water heating rate was significantly less than our other usage, so it may be worth it in the long run.
 
  #7  
Old 05-30-14, 11:29 AM
braether3's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 415
The previous 2 2-wire 10 gauge cables are still there. However one of the 2-wire 10 gauge cables goes into my control panel, teams up with another 2-wire 10 gauge cable with wire nuts, white to white and black to black, and then exits out my electric meter.

this sounds like the water heater was split wired one cable feeding the top element and one feeding the bottom.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-30-14 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Add quote formatting and remove referer link.
  #8  
Old 05-31-14, 03:10 AM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 699
The electric WH I installed this winter ( switched from gas ) has 2 elements , upper & lower . But the 2 thermostats alternate from top element to the bottom element . Both never operate at the same time .

It is standard 240 VAC 30 amp circuit .

And to the OP , do you have photos ?

God bless
Wyr
 
  #9  
Old 05-31-14, 04:23 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 2,860
I have heard of all-electric water heaters where the top and bottom elements were connected up to different branch circuits and could operate at the same time. These are not standard residential water heaters sold at Home Depot.

These heaters could have the lower element hooked up to the low rate off peak circuit and the upper element hooked up to your regular service. You would need to strategize your hot water usage to avoid making the top element kick on if you want to avoid using the regular (higher) electric rate.

You would have more control over your electric bill using a manual switch to select off peak or regular power going into a standard water heater with just one set of power feed wires and only one element on at a time via the standard water heater internal switching.
 
  #10  
Old 05-31-14, 05:30 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 11,991
I agree with Pedro, check with your power company. Around here off peak metering is a popular option for electric water heating.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'