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Electric Water Heater Wiring

Wiring in an existing water heater which has a red and black wire. Need to connect it to a white and black wire. Which wire goes where…


Electric Water Heater Wiring
Background: Ed, a Homeowner from North Branch New Jersey
Question: Wiring in an existing water heater which has a red and black wire. Need to connect it to a white and black wire. Which wire goes where?

Additional Comments: Very good website

Dave’s Reply:

Application: Wiring a Water Heater.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate – 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.

Thanks for your electrical question Ed.
I have provided the following resources that lead to fully detailed information on this website that will assist you with your electrical question:
Electrical Wiring

Electrical Wire for the Home

For more information about 220 Volt Wiring Diagram
220 Volt Wiring Diagram

This link is helpful as a Homeowner
Do-It-Yourself Electrical

Make sure not to miss these Resources for: How-To-Pictures
Home Electrical Projects



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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.

Electrical Tips to Help You Wire it Right

The Safest Way to Test Electrical Devices and Identify Electric Wires!

The Non-Contact Electrical Tester
This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester that I use to easily Detect Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.

The Quickest Way to Check for Faulty Electrical Wiring!

The Plug-In Outlet Tester
This is the first tool I grab to troubleshoot a problem with outlet circuit wiring. This popular tester is also used by most inspectors to test for power and check the polarity of circuit wiring.
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Strip Off Wire Insulation without Nicking and Damaging the Electric Wire!

The Wire Stripper and Wire Cutter
My absolute favorite wire stripping tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and this is the tool I use to safely strip electrical wires.
This handy tool has multiple uses:
The wire gauges are shown on the side of the tool so you know which slot to use for stripping insulation.
The end of the tool can be used to grip and bend wire which is handy for attaching wire onto the screw terminals of switches and outlets..

The wire stripper will work on both solid and stranded wire. This tool is Very Handy and Easy to Use.



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2 Responses to “Electric Water Heater Wiring”
  1. Jamie says:

    I have a two water heater set-up with one 30 amp feed with two 10/2 between them that the plumber got his hands in. I was called to fix it and want a diagram to go by if anyone has done this before as I haven’t. Thanks

    • Dave Rongey says:

      Hi Jamie,
      If the location where the water heaters are requires two both units running at the same time then two separate 30 amp circuits will be required, if not then a Lead Lag relay should work. A Lead Lag relay is normally used when there are two motors used, such as for air conditioners, air compressors or vacuum units used in commercial or industrial installations. With this type of setup one is running and one is on backup, and they can be wired to have an alternating run schedule for even run time. A big factor in how the electrical circuitry is set up will also depend on how the plumber has the piping set up, and the reason for a two unit system.
      I hope this helps you get your water heater set up working.
      Dave

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