New electric water heater: what to look for


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Old 12-02-19, 10:48 AM
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New electric water heater: what to look for

Looking at replacing my 10 year old unit.

What variables do I need to look for?

Height? Volume? Existing wiring and circuit breaker?

Current unit is 179 Litres (39 imperial gallons). 46Ē tall.

I could probably go up to 55Ē tall. The unit I wanted needs 10 gauge wiring and a 30 amp breaker.

I didnít realize my existing wiring and breaker would limit so many choices. I read a lot about the physical size of the units but there doesnít seems to be much education about the wiring constraints when shopping.

How are the Rheem units at Home Depot? Iím looking at model 629872. It has a plastic drain valve. Wonder if you can buy the brass valve from the 667928 model and swap it out.
 
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Old 12-02-19, 11:06 AM
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most likely need to upgrade wiring to 10 gauge. 30 amp breaker as the elements are 4500 watts.

A disconnect is needed if breaker panel is not line of sight.

If you can fit it get the westinghouse lifetime heater. stainless steel tank.

The only caveat is the element replacements need to be stainless. They are pricey..

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westingh...045N/300903243

Otherwise go to Ferguson and get a bradford white.

https://www.ferguson.com/product/bra...ww/_/R-3363468
 
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Old 12-03-19, 12:53 PM
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The unit I wanted needs 10 gauge wiring and a 30 amp breaker.

What wire size and breaker does your current circuit have? You most likely already have 10 AWG wiring and a 30 amp breaker. A 4500 watt unit must have #10 AWG wiring, but can use either a 25 or 30 amp breaker.
 
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Old 12-04-19, 07:06 AM
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Iíve got 12 gauge with a 20A breaker. Seems like Iím limited to 3800W.
 
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Old 12-04-19, 06:28 PM
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Since your wiring limits you to 3800 watts, you'll have to look long and hard to find a new water heater that meets that requirement. The best thing to do would be to install a new circuit with #10 AWG wire and a 30 amp breaker since most new units are 4500 or 5500 watts. If a new circuit is out of the question or impossible there is another option. You could buy a new 4500 watt water heater and change the elements to 3500 watts. Lowes has them, but it'll cost you about $22 more and you'll sacrifice some recovery speed.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-W...lement/3693202
 
 

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