Wiring hot water heaters is definitely one of the trickier jobs for even the most experienced do it yourselfer. Whereas most American electrical appliances run at a mere 110 volts, most hot water heaters run at a very dangerous 240 volts, so the danger is that much higher than when wiring a mere ceiling light or the like. Even if you already have a lot of experience with wiring and other electrical projects, it's still good to keep in mind some of the basic do's and dont's of wiring a hot water heater before you dive into such a project yourself. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Hot Water Heater Wiring DON'T: Water and Wiring
One of the most important things to consider when wiring your hot water heater is at what stage the heater should be filled up with water. Remember: do NOT fill the tank until you are completely finished with all wiring. If there is any moisture present in the tank while you're running, twisting or otherwise manipulating the wires, the risk for electrocution is very high. Also, do NOT turn on the circuit breaker that powers the tank before it is filled up. The tank must be filled with water before juice starts flowing.
2. Hot Water Heater Wiring DO: Use a Voltage Tester
A voltage tester is an indispensable device for any electrical work. Especially when the risk is higher, such as in this project, make sure you have one handy so that you can double check the circuit breakers and outlets and ensure that there is no electrical current.
3. Hot Water Heater Wiring DON'T: Clamping Exposed Wires
As with many electrical jobs, part of wiring a hot water heater involves running wires through an electrical wire connector, whereupon you secure them in place with a clamp. Make sure that the clamp only touches the protected, sheathed part of the wires. Do NOT ever clamp the exposed part of the wire.
4. Hot Water Heater Wiring DO: Ground the Power
One of the most important things to remember when wiring a hot water heater is to ground the power. This is an absolute safety essential and ensures that the risk of shock will be minimized. In order to do this, you need to run the green wire that is part of the hot water heating wiring to the grounding terminal in the appropriate circuit box.
5. Hot Water Heater Wiring DO: When in Doubt, Hire a Professional
If at any moment during the wiring project you get confused or unsure of what you're doing, then stop. The risk of injury or even death is too great should you inadvertently commit a wiring blunder. When in doubt, just swallow your pride and shell out the bucks for a professional to do the gig. You can always watch him or her as they work so that you'll learn and have a better idea for next time.