JUST PURCHASED A RELIENCE 602 ELECTRIC HOT WATER HEATER 50 GALLONS TO INSTALL IN MY HOME WHAT GAUGE WIRE AND BREAKER DO I NEED TO INSTALL
The hot water heater should come with an amperage rating on it.
They vary from 30 to 40 amps, and then 10 or 8 gauge wire.
(All hot water heaters are 220 volt.)
I believe the 602 uses a 4500 watt element.
Divide 4500 by 220, and you get about 20 amps.
If you want to be on the safe side, you go with the heavier wire, 8 gauge, and then go with the smaller breaker that is more easily tripped, 30 amps. That way you can switch to a 40 amp breaker in the future, without having to change the wiring. The goal is to always make sure the wire is rated higher than the breaker. You want you breaker to trip before your wire melts.
But technically a 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire would be fine for this heater.
And since it is 220 volt, you will always use a double breaker.
That is because 220 volt appliances don't use a ground, but instead use the potential between to power wires that are 180 degrees out of phase. AC always does a sine wave, and the 2 power leads coming into the house are always out of phase. When one is 110 volts up, the other is down. So the total between them is 220 volts. And the way they intentionally zigzag the breaker box, 2 breakers next to each other always are on opposite power lines.
If you have any doubts at all about 220 and water heater wiring, please ask again. Wiring is not hard, but you have to understand what you are doing, or else you can cause serious consequences.
For example, if you use wire nuts or wrap wire around a screw, you need to always turn them clockwise, so they pull the wire when tightened.
You also always need to ground the chassis with a green safety wire.
Since a 220 hot water heater uses 2 power wires and a safety ground, the white wire should be striped with a permanent marker, so that it is not confused with the white neutral wire of a 110 volt appliance.
Aug 19, 2010 |
RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER