Electric Water Heater Circuit Requirements
Can I run a water heater with two elements – one takes 30 amps and the other takes 20 amps, with wiring that is two 15 amp breakers…© By: Dave Rongey
Determining the Electrical Circuit for a Water Heater
Electrical Question #1: Can I run a water heater with two elements (one takes 30 amps and the other takes 20 amps) with wiring that is two 15 amp breakers?
This electrical wiring question came from Jack, a Homeowner from Tipp City, Ohio.
Electrical Question #2:
My ranch home, built in 2009, has an unfinished basement and the water heater is in the basement. There is one plug on the ceiling that the water heater is plugged into. When I trip the breaker for two of the bedrooms upstairs, that plug turns off as well. Is it required by code to have the water heater plug on a stand alone circuit? If not, can I run a few more plugs off that one as I wire my basement?
This electrical wiring question came from Dale, a Homeowner in Ankeny, Iowa.
Thank you for your electrical questions.
Application: Electric Water Heater Circuit.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and a Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools.
Precaution: Identify the circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional electrical wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Water Heater Circuit
- Jack, An electric water heater requires a dedicated 30 amp 240 volt circuit, you are proposing a 15 amp 240 volt circuit which would create an overloaded circuit and cause the circuit breaker to trip off.
- Dale, If you have a gas water heater then the plug is providing power for the vent exhaust fan therefore it is on a shared circuit. However if you are adding outlets to the basement you should consider installing a separate circuit for the new outlets.
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