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Use Breaker for Switch?

I'm preparing to purchase a Dayton 3UG73, 5000 w electric heater. My electrician suggested hardwiring direct from the main electric panel with a new 30 amp circuit and using the breaker for the on/off switch. The heater will be only about 6 to 8 feet from the breaker. Does anyone see a problem with this arrangement? Are there any concerns to be aware of?

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Thats ok, but i would put a thermostat switch on it also !

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Breaker trips; reset breaker at panel and water heater "on" light comes on. Breaker tripped again in 5 min; reset breaker again and water heater light comes on. Cycle continues to repeat. Bad...


It is possible that the breaker is bad. It is also possible that your water heater is overloading the breaker. It is probably easier to try a new breaker to start with. Unless you are familiar with changing the breaker, call an electrician. Your life is a very valuable asset to you!

Feb 18, 2011 | Water Heaters

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Why does my 100 amp main get so hot the black wire is starting to melt, should'nt the breaker trip if there is that much draw?


You need an electrician before there is a fire.
If the breaker is not tripping, then the breaker is bad.

Act now before the heat damages the box and you need full replacement.
Absolutely put the metal cover back over the breaker box and keep the door closed.
Move all flammables away fro breaker box area.
Put a smoke detector right there.
Put a fire extinguisher nearby.
You don't put water on an electrical fire.

Before the electrician gets there, turn off as many electrical devices as you can.
Don't run all at one time.
Run just when needed.
Electric water heater.
Space heaters.
Vent fans.
Electric Stove.
Electric Oven.
Microwave.
Heat AC.
Electric Dryer.
Washing machine.
Power tools.
Big screen TV.
The outdoor lights, and swimming pool pump.
Turn off as many indoor lights as possible.

Now the freezers and refrigerator have to stay on.
Clean out the grilles so they run more efficiently.

Reducing your power consumption will be good practice.
When you call the electrician, tell him the brand and amperage of your main breaker.

If the whole box needs replacement, you might want to upgrade the service to 150Amp.
Some areas, it's code that old panels have to be upgraded to more amperage ... but the electrician will know the details. Call local electric supply house to double-check what the electrician tells you.

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1 Answer

Purchased "Reliance Lowboy electric water heater"


The water heater has two 4500 watt elements.
However both elements are not turned-ON at same time
So the water heater is 4500 Watts

Volts x Amps = watts
Amps =watts divided by volts
Amps = 4500 Watts divided by 240 Volts
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So that says a 20 amp breaker ... except for the 80% rule
80% rules says for safety, your Amp rating should be multiplied by 80%

20 amp breaker X 80% = 16 amps
20 amp breaker is actually safe for just 16 amps, and your water heater draws 18.75 amps.

The calculation shows you need a 30 Amp breaker.
30 Amp breaker requires 10 gauge wire.

http://waterheatertimer.org/Figure-Volts-Amps-Watts-for-water-heater.html

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Hi, what you are going to have to do, is remove the switch, mark the wiring so you know where to terminate and take the switch to a local appliance parts house. write down and take the unit model and serial #'s down also as they may have to match it with an aftermarket type normally closed switch that's if they can't find the OEM switch. Sometimes, you can get away with going to a air conditioning wholesale only parts store and you can pay cash for the exact replacement. But yes, it will have to be a parts house that deals with this equip. I hope this has given you some direction as to you're question. Sincerely,
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Have a great day..
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hello elanalex,
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