40 gallon 3800 watt water heater on 15 amp 14/2 run?


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Old 10-18-15, 04:21 PM
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40 gallon 3800 watt water heater on 15 amp 14/2 run?

Hey all

Just trying to confirm what I already suspect. I was looking at my 10 yr old water heater thinking I need to replace it before it blows. I'm finishing in my basement so now is the time to do it.

I traced the jacketed wire up into the wall and it's being fed by 14/2 which doesn't seem right at all. The breaker panel is basically not labelled but I managed to trace the wire and its going to a 15amp 2 pole breaker. Now when I do the math I'm at 15.8 amps. Shouldn't the breaker have tripped years ago and is this a dangerous code violation or am I missing something?

Thanks!
 
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Old 10-18-15, 04:28 PM
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Yes...you are correct at 15.8A based on a 240v element. That breaker must operate very warm/hot and the 14/2 must be fairly warm as well. Is it correct... definitely not.

If you are refinishing the basement..... run a 10/2 cable while you are able.
 
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Old 10-18-15, 04:53 PM
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Thanks PJ. That was the original builders wire near as I can tell....... .

I pulled a bunch of big florescent tube light fixtures from a later reno job and found no boxes, shiners, no twisted wire in the marette, no grounds, solid copper leaving the switch stranded at the light and more...... If I wasn't doing this myself it would be huge $$$ to fix.
 
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Old 10-18-15, 04:57 PM
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Here's more, Exposed 14/2 nmd90 on the drywall to switches in several places. Apparently they could not figure out how to fish a wall. A marrette burned black and wire separated due to **** connection. Lucky there was no fire. I only looked because one bulb in the fixture would not work.
 
 

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