Electrical Wiring for a Water Heater Circuit
What type of wire should I use for a water heater circuit? How to Wire a Water Heater, Selecting Electrical Wire for a Water Heater Circuit, Correct Wiring Methods are the Key to safe Electrical Circuits, 240 Volt Electric Water Heater Circuit.
Water Heater Wire
- I need to relocate an electrical heater, which uses a 50 amp circuit breaker.
- 6/3 AWG wire is pretty expensive, but I have hundreds of feet of 12 AWG wire.
- Can I use 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 lines of 12 AWG, connected to one 6 AWG and still be safe?
This home electrical wiring question came from: Richard, from Lakewood, California.
Additional Comments: Terrific web-site, which has helped me with a complete kitchen remodel, only 120 there, so I knew I could figure things out safely.
Thanks for your Electrical Wiring Question Richard.
Wire for a Water Heater
Application: Wiring a 240 Volt Electric Water Heater.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced, Best installed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor. Work in electrical panels is not recommended for homeowners, non-experienced individuals or non-electricians.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill, auger bits and extension cord as needed depending on the scope of the project.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install 240 volt electrical circuit wiring.
Precaution: Identify the main circuit in the panel, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring or installing the 240 volt wiring and circuit breaker.
Notice: Installing an additional 240 volt circuit should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Wire for a 240 Volt Electric Water Heater
- Selecting Electrical Wire for a Water Heater Circuit
- Note: Correct Wiring Methods are the Key to safe Electrical Circuits when installing the wiring for a water heater.
- Reusing Existing Electrical Wire
- I get this question every once and a while, and I understand you don’t want to buy more electrical wire, but it really would not be right to use a bunch of #12 wire to parallel feed a water heater circuit, so my advice it not to, this way you will avoid a lot of confusion and the possibility of a problem in the future.
- A Typical 240 Volt Electric Water Heater Circuit
- The most common electric water heater requires a dedicated 30 amp 240 volt circuit consisting of 2 hots and a ground wire.
- The typical circuit for a water heater is a 10/2 NM with Ground Copper cable, 3 wires in all including the ground wire.
- Different Circuit Requirements for Different Water Heater Volume or Capacity
- This particular question refers to a water heater that may have a larger capacity and therefore larger heating elements, so the water heater requires a larger dedicated 240 volt 50 amp circuit.
- Be sure to verify your specific electrical circuit requirement by consulting the Installation or Owners Manual which came with the water heater.
More about Electrical Wiring
Electrical Circuit Wiring
This article looks at common 120 volt and 240 volt house wiring circuits and the circuit breakers that are installed identifying the types and amperage sizes used in most homes.
Home Electrical Panel Circuit Listing
Home Electrical Circuit Breakers
A guide to home electrical circuit breakers and how they work to protect your electrical wiring. When properly installed, your home electrical wiring is protected by a circuit protection device.
Guide to Home Electrical Wire
Electrical Wire for the Home
Complete listing of electrical wire types and parts used for home projects with electrical code information serves as selection guidelines.