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Old 05-01-2010, 11:22 AM   #1
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Electric Hot Water Heater Replacement


Not sure if this should go in the plumbing section.

My electric water heater's tank is leaking and I'm looking for a replacement unit. Currently there is a 3000 Watt heater on a dedicated 20 amp circuit using 12 ga. wire.
I've been told that with today's code, water heaters of this size (37 gal, 3000+ watts) need a 30 amp circuit. I also read that heaters up to 3700 watt could be used on a 25 amp circuit with 12 ga. wire. but 25 amp breakers may not be available.
The 3000 watt heater we have is only just adequate for our needs and running a new service to this area of the house would be a pain.
All advice appreciated.

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Electric Hot Water Heater Replacement


At 240 volts a 20 amp circuit could provide 4800 watts. However, since this is considered a continuous load the circuit is limited to 80% of the maximum. By my calculation that limits you to 3840 watts on a 12 gauge 240 volt water heater circuit.

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Old 05-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #3
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Electric Hot Water Heater Replacement


Thanks
It would be nice if I could safely use a 3700 watt heater on this circuit.

Mfg. recommends 20 amp for 3000 watt and 25 amp 10 ga.for 4000 watt but doesn't specify for the 3700 they sell.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ElectReq.pdf (17.0 KB, 93 views)

Last edited by RalphPeters; 05-01-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-01-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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Electric Hot Water Heater Replacement


Just noticed you are in Canada. Perhaps some northern brethren have a better answer based on the Canadian regulations.
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