2000watt Element to replace 1500watt???


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Old 04-14-07, 09:07 PM
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2000watt Element to replace 1500watt???

Hi Folks,

I've replaced elements many times before pretty easily, so decided to do it for this tiny little (maybe) 6 gallon electric water heater in an upstairs Apt. Blindly at Home Depot I grabbed the smallest element they carry, a 2000watter... obviously 120V. Now I'm sitting here with the tank apart and noticing it has a 1500watt element. Seeing as though the tank is on its own 20amp circuit, can I run the 2000watt element in its place? Should I be worried about the draw? or the element being too big for this little guy? Many thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Old 04-14-07, 11:06 PM
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A 2000 watt 120 volt element will draw 16.67 amperes. The National Electric Code specifies that circuits on water heaters be designed for 125% of the connected load. 125% of 16.67 is 20.83 amperes so the answer is that this is probably not allowable.

Of course the NEC by itself has no legal power unless it is adopted in whole or in part by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) which is usually the local governmental agency that oversees building codes and the like.

If your local code does not adopt this particular requirement of the NEC as local code (highly unlikely) then you could use the 2000 watt element, otherwise the maximum size element you could use on a 20 ampere circuit would be 1920 watts.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 05:27 AM
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Smile Welcome to our forum oddsare1!

You can only legally install a larger element on the tank if it is specifically labelled as being approved for the larger size and if the breaker and the wiring to the tank is adequate which appears as if it isn't.
 
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Old 04-15-07, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for the help guys,

Looks like I'll take a run in to see if Lowes carries 1500Watt elements. Thanks again!
 
 

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