Where to start with Electric Tankless Heater install

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  #1  
Old 09-11-14, 09:41 AM
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Where to start with Electric Tankless Heater install

Picked up an ECO Smart 27 unit last week as it got good reviews. I was looking to install this but not too great with electrical and not sure where to start. I know it takes 3x 40amp breakers. Im thinking I need to create a separate break box for these 3 40s (so 6 spots) and then feed it from the main power.

Is that the general process? Any good tutorials on how to do this? I called an electrician and he was telling me I would be looking at $1000+ just to wire this up and parts (wire and breakers). Seemed crazy high but shrug, maybe thats about right

Anyways, any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 09-11-14, 09:50 AM
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What's the service to your house in the first place?
 
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Old 09-11-14, 09:52 AM
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Best solution is to return it and get a storage tank water heater.
t takes 3x 40amp breakers
Which means if you have a 100 amp service the requirements of the tankless are greater than the total power available. If you have a 200 amp meter and no electric heat (including backup for a heat pump) and gas dryer and gas stove the 200 amp may be enough. Otherwise you need to replace your electric service. $1000-$2000 would be cheap for that. Of course the electric company may need to upgrade their service by replacing a transformer. They may charge for that.
I called an electrician and he was telling me I would be looking at $1000+ just to wire this up and parts (wire and breakers)
. That was probably a low-ball figure without seeing the job and assuming no service upgrade.
 
  #4  
Old 09-11-14, 10:02 AM
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I believe its 200 to my house although this is just based on the outside of the unit. There is a lock on there from the power company. (I hope Im thinking the right thing). I will post a picture of what I believe to be the unit. (sorry, yes im a first time homeowner)
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:18 AM
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200 is, as Ray mentioned, likely to not be enough power so you may need a service upgrade.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:23 AM
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Here are pictures that may help. This is my current setup. House was built in 2000

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  #7  
Old 09-11-14, 10:27 AM
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I have an electric stove and electric dryer actually

Is the unit I posted a picture of where I would find the service to the house? Or would it be underneath the box cover? Thx
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:29 AM
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You may be looking at adding a second 200 amp service just for the tankless. This could easily add 1 to 3000 dollars to the job.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 10:30 AM
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On that box with the blue label its hard to make out but in the blue area is says CL 200 which is what is making me thinking the service is 200. But again, Im just assuming and not really sure.

Thanks
 
  #10  
Old 09-11-14, 10:34 AM
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Also worth nothing that the Ecosmart 27 can run off just 2 of the 3 breakers (so 80 instead of 120). It will flow less but would have less requirements. Would using just 80 keep me still well within range or not really?

Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 09-11-14, 12:07 PM
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Would using just 80 keep me still well within range or not really?
You would need to do a load calc but of course you may be un happy with the lower flow rate. May not be able to use two showers at once or one shower and a washer and dishwasher at the same.

Bottom line the extra cost of the tankless is unlikely to be paid back within the life time of the tankless from what I read.
 
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Old 09-11-14, 04:58 PM
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The CL200 on the meter just means that the meter is rated for up to a 200 amp service. You would have the same meter on a 100 amp service. It is the default size.
 
  #13  
Old 09-11-14, 07:01 PM
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Are you sure that there is not a disconnect outside below the meter? Your picture is a little too close to tell. Also, the inside panel looks like it does not have a main breaker which is another indicator.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 11:50 AM
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the disconnect im wondering if its under the cover. The cover is locked however I suppose I can break it off if needed
 
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Old 09-16-14, 12:04 PM
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the disconnect im wondering if its under the cover. The cover is locked however I suppose I can break it off if needed
What cover? If you mean the cover at the meter, don't do it, you could get fined by the utility company. Is there a cover adjacent to the meter or over another box outside that is locked? All I saw was a seal on the meter socket, is that what you are calling a lock? It appears there is an eclosure separate from the meter socket under the meter, is that the one that is locked? There has to be a main breaker or switch somewhere and the main panel doesn't have one.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 12:17 PM
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Although im not looking at it now, I think that in order to order the lower panel, I need to first open the top panel (which has the lock). I will take another look when I get home from work though and report back. Thanks all!
 
  #17  
Old 09-16-14, 12:22 PM
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Typically the metering space is for utility access only and is sealed and/or locked. The main disconnect is the customer's property and the customer must have access to it. It is very unlikely you have to open the meter socket in order to open the main disconnect section. If there is a lock on the disconnect, it was probably installed by the previous owner. Utility owned padlocks are almost always identified as company owned with the name of the utility stamped on the side of the padlock.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 07:30 PM
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Ok guys so I got into it. I had to kinda force the bottom panel open. You see, it really should be closed first, and then the top one with the meter kinda lays over it. Anyways I was able to get it open without touching the lock. Took a few pics but having issues posting now so I will simply convey what I see


Cat. Number = RC816F200C
Says 'Main 200Amp Max' so I take it this is the 200amp service that we all thought it was
Also says 'Meter socket rated 200 Amp Continuous'
On the main breaker is has a main switch and below it, 6 of the 8 spots are used. The numbers for each of them are 20, 40x2, 20x2 (pool pump), and another 20 (pool light). The ones with x2 are physically connected into a single switch. (Sorry Im not better at describing this lol)



So I suppose if I have the 200amp service and I also have an electric dryer and electric stove, and electric double oven, etc, this might be a big deal to get it to work right? Thanks
 
  #19  
Old 09-16-14, 07:55 PM
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Cat. Number = RC816F200C
Says 'Main 200Amp Max' so I take it this is the 200amp service that we all thought it was
Also says 'Meter socket rated 200 Amp Continuous'
On the main breaker is has a main switch and below it, 6 of the 8 spots are used. The numbers for each of them are 20, 40x2, 20x2 (pool pump), and another 20 (pool light). The ones with x2 are physically connected into a single switch. (Sorry Im not better at describing this lol)
As the homeowner you should always have access to this section at all times without having to call the utility company. The next step is to do a load calculation and see exactly what the calculated load is. My thought is that you will be Ok. What is the wattage of the tankless unit? I am guessing it's between 20 and 27 KW.
 
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Old 09-16-14, 08:15 PM
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  #21  
Old 09-17-14, 06:16 AM
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I see three things you still need to do. Verify that you have 200 amp service and do a load calculation. If both work out for you, the third thing to do is notify the utility company of the load you'll be adding to their system. Generally it is the customer's responsibility to inform the utility of proposed new loads so they can check their system to see if they can accept that much additional load and upgrade their equipment if necessary; things like transformers, switches and lines. Just because you have a 200 amp service doesn't mean it is fully supported by the power company. Most power companies design their systems and install their equipment according to the customer's actual load and not the size of their services.
 
  #22  
Old 09-17-14, 09:14 AM
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More pics as promised

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