Voltage Prerequisites The majority of electric hot water heaters run on 220 to 250 volts alternating current (AC). In most homes, this voltage necessitates the use of a double circuit breaker rated for the amperage consumption of the hot water heaters. These breakers are located in the panel inside the wall, and they must be able to handle the load imposed by the heater if it is being used at full capacity.
However, in rare cases where that isn't possible (for example, when there is no electrical service available), a single-outlet device such as an extension cord can be used instead. Heaters with three-wire connections can also be plugged into 110-volt outlets, but they usually aren't as efficient and don't last as long because they are subjected to higher currents than necessary. A three-wire heater can also be plugged into a 240-volt outlet, but it should not be used anywhere else in the house because it will then be drawing too much current from the other circuits in the building.
The voltage required by a hot water heater is usually supplied by a plug-in type unit mounted in a convenient location such as a closet or garage. These appliances can be purchased new at home improvement stores and appliance dealerships. They generally cost between $200 and $500, but expensive models may be available for purchase by the gallon (or more).
The majority of domestic electric water heaters operate on 240 volts. Single-element water heaters that run on 120 volts and single-element water heaters that run on 240 volts are available. The voltage rating of your water heater may be found on the label. Typically, breakers are labeled. They can, however, be deemed incorrect. If you have a variable speed motor, then it should say so on the product's label. Otherwise, any appliance with a 120-volt circuit will be dangerous if not changed to a 240-volt circuit.
Electricity is transmitted to homes and businesses across the country via three-phase power, which means that each conductor within the cable carrying electricity carries a different current at a constant frequency. Water heaters require a large amount of electrical power and therefore need special cables called "breaker" cables. These cables have three conductors instead of the usual two; the third conductor carries current when needed. Your local utility company's breaker panel determines which cable goes into your home or business. Then, these same companies connect each conductor in turn to a generator or transformer that produces electricity at whatever voltage is necessary for your particular model water heater.
Domestic hot-water systems use about 7% of the total energy consumed by residential buildings in the United States. That amounts to about 2.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. Heating water accounts for most of this energy usage; almost 90%.
Voltage: 220/240 volts The voltage required by the water heater is indicated on the label. The majority of residential units are 220 or 240 volts (but some are 110 or 120 volts). Check that your water heater is receiving the proper voltage. If it is not receiving the proper voltage, there is most likely a problem with your home's electrical system. Contact an electrician immediately to fix the problem.
Heating elements inside water heaters can be either gas or electric. Electric heaters use resistance wire wrapped in a tight spiral pattern to produce heat. Gas heaters use flames to produce heat. Modern water heaters may have both electric and gas heating elements. They also usually include a thermostat to help control energy usage.
Residential electricity typically comes from a wall outlet measuring 120 volts. This means that if you were to connect a load requiring 20 amps to this outlet, no harm would come to the appliance because it will only draw 20 amps even if another device on the circuit requests more than 20 amps at one time. However, if you were to connect a load requiring 150 volts or more, such as a hot tub, it could cause damage to other appliances on the circuit due to a lack of capacity. For example, if a load requiring 150 volts came onto the circuit while another load requiring only 20 amps was already on the circuit, the higher-rated load would always win out and could potentially destroy your other appliances.
Electric water heaters necessitate the installation of a 240-volt dedicated circuit that serves only the water heater and no other appliances or gadgets. A 30-amp double pole breaker and 10-2 non-metallic (NM) or MC wire are generally used in the circuit wiring. The type of cable used to connect the water heater to the wall outlet depends on whether it is a corded or a plug-in model. Corded water heaters require 2 wires: 1 black and 1 white. Plug-in models usually use 3 wires: 2 blacks and a red or green ground.
The electrical panel can be located either inside or outside a house. If the panel is inside the home, then there should be a 120-volt circuit present as well as a 240-volt one. This provides extra safety should someone accidentally touch both terminals of a hot wire. If the panel is outside the house, then only a 240-volt circuit is required. A transformer will take care of any voltage drops due to resistance when running power through long lengths of cable to the water heater.
In addition to the main circuit breaker, each terminal of all conductors within the water heater circuit must have a protective fuse inserted in order to prevent accidental shock should any part of the circuit break away from the heater. These fuses should be selected to handle the load on the circuit should all conductors fail simultaneously.