wiring hot water heater elements together

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  #1  
Old 01-05-05, 01:48 PM
ChKooz
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Question wiring hot water heater elements together

I wonder if anyone can help with this. I am using a 40 gallon electric hot water tank to heat my garage floor. I have a 20 x 36', 6" thick concrete slab underlain with 2" of styrofoam insulation, and a total of approximately 750' of 1/2" pipe in the floor. The HWT is wired to a 30 amp breaker using 10/2 wire. Circulation is via a low volume boost pump (GPM unknown at this time). The problem is that the HWT cannot keep up to the loss of heat to the floor and the water does not get much warmer than lukewarm. As a result, the HWT top element goes continuously without the bottom element ever kicking in (the water doesn't warm up enough to flip between the elements). Even after eight 24 hour days of continuous running, the water does not warm up. As a result, the garage does not warm up enough for the in-line thermostat to be of any use. The only way I can get any heat out of the floor is to put the pump on a timer that circulates the water/glycol for 1/2 hour every three hours. This enables the HWT to "catch up" and gets the garage temperature up to 14 degrees celcius, regardless of the outside temperature.

A friend of mine has a garage that is only 200 square feet larger than mine running the same type of heating system. He is able to heat his garage to the point where the in-line thermostat will cut in and out and vary the flow of heated water through the floor (the way the system is supposed to work) and his HWT is able to keep up without continuous heating. The way he got around this is that he got an electrician to wire his HWT so that both elements heat at the same time and are controlled by one thermostat. Does anyone know how to do this or where I can get a schematic to show me what the proper wiring is? I can't get the info from my friend because he and his wife are travelling for the next three months and he lives on the other side of the country. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 01-05-05, 02:11 PM
Ed Imeduc's Avatar
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Did you ask him what gauge wire and breaker he had to put in for both elements to be on at the same time.I dont think what you have there now can carry both on at the same time.


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  #3  
Old 01-05-05, 02:30 PM
ChKooz
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Wiring elements together

No I didn't, but the total wattage of the two elements I believe is 4500 watts and I'll have to check to see if it's sufficient (i'm at work and can't check right now) If I have to bump up the wire size and breaker that's no problem. The HWT is right beside the panel and it's only a 6' surface run of wire. Easy to change.
 
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