Wiring Connections for an Electric Water Heater
What are the Wiring Connections for a Water Heater? The Electrical Connections for a 50Gal 240 Volt Electric Water Heater.© By: Dave Rongey
Electric Water Heater
Electrical Question: How should I wire a 50Gal Water Heater?
I’m connecting an electric water heater to the electrical junction box. I have a A. O. Smith 50 Gal Water Heater that has a red and black wire. The electrical junction box has red, black, white and ground. Please give advise.
Background: Perry, a Handyman from El Mirage, Arizona.
Additional Comments: Great.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question Perry.
How to Wire a Water Heater
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced. This electrical project is best performed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on the personal level experience and ability to work with tools and access to the wiring.
Precaution: Identify the water heater circuit, turn it OFF and then Tag it with a Note before performing any wiring.
Special Materials: Properly sized wire connectors and a blank cover.
Electrical Connections for a 50Gal Water Heater
- Identify the circuit for the hot water heater and make sure it is turned off.
- If the incoming electrical circuit has a black, red, white and ground wire then the white or neutral wire is caped off and not connected unless your water heater requires a separate neutral wire.
- The bare ground wire of the incoming circuit is bent into a clockwise hook shape and placed under the green ground screw and secured tightly. This screw is located inside the water heater junction box, or the water heater may have a green ground wire that may be used.
- The typical 240 volt water heater has a red and black wire located in a junction box at the top of the water heater.
- The incoming circuit wires and the water heater wires are normally black and red, and are splices or connected together, color to color using red or gray wire nuts.
- If the incoming electrical circuit wiring does not have a separate red wire, then the white wire may be used as the second 120 volt circuit of the 2-pole 240 volt circuit, and should be indicated with a black or red wrap of electrical tape of permanent marker. If unsure about the incoming circuit then the circuit should be verified by an electrician with a voltage tester.
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