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Old 08-12-2008, 03:32 PM   #1
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Questions about electric water tank

I had a fuelled tankless boiler and have now switched to a solar heated system that uses a 120 gallon tank with electric backup. I have some questions about wiring the "backup". FYI my panel is a Square D and house 200 amp service, my tank a Rheem 82V120HE-1.

1.) I'm pretty certain the answer is yes, do I need to pull an electric permit?

2.) My tank says "Heaters furnished with standard 240 volt AC, single phase non-simultaneous wiring and 4500 watt heating element." What guage wire & what breaker am I looking for (do they have "thin" ones)?

3.) I'm not sure if others are familiar with this system, it utilizes an electronic solonoid blow valve and a regular mechanical one. The electric can be placed anywhere there's a drain and when the tank water reaches 190F it sends a signal to open the solonoid which will cause it to open up and waste hot water down the drain (and cool the tank with the cold water coming to replace it). It shuts back off at 180F. If there's a problem the mechanical one will blow if it reaches over 200F. Where would you install that solonoid valve (under the kitchen/bathroom sink into it's own drain like one does a dishwasher)!? This particular question is one of those questions that fit into both plumbing & electrical but just looking where you'd put it.



Last edited by Piedmont; 08-12-2008 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:41 PM   #2
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Interesting post, time to call an electrician and get a permit.


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Old 08-13-2008, 10:47 PM   #3
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I've seen these before, it's basically an electric water heater that maintains a fairly low temperature with electricity, and uses solar to boost the temperature.

If you have alot of solar but not much hot water usage, it'll overheat. If the temperature reaches a certain point, usually around 180 or 190, an electric valve opens, and sends the hot water to the drain. The incoming cold water will cool the tank a few degrees, then the electric valve will close. They also have a standard T&P valve in case the electric one fails.

For a 4500 watt element at 240 volts, you'll need #10 copper wire, and a 30 amp two pole breaker, same as 95% of all other water heaters.

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Old 08-14-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
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The other thing you will need to add to the electric waterheater if you useing the solar to heat up the water My suggest that get a mixer valve because of the hot water tempture it get pretty hot and if someone was not thinking about how hot it is.

Merci, Marc
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:51 PM   #5
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Thanks, I listened to HandyPete because of the mentioning of permits. The electrician quoted $250 - $325 and I'm hoping it's less. He installed a 30 amp 2 pole breaker and used 20 ft of #10 wire to the tank (micromind nailed it perfectly) which is in the same room as the breaker panel (utility room). I wasn't there but it would've taken me about 15-30 minutes to do it myself I'm guessing it took him about 10-20 minutes.

Well, that was something I could've done. The reason for me getting him was because of the permit but he didn't get one. I have a plumber coming in to plumb the water tank including a mixing valve to handle the temp fluctuations and THAT requires a permit but the plumber isn't getting a permit either (I asked). Either they truelly don't require a permit or I think the sparks are going to fly when I pull the permit from the building inspector for the panels on my roof she's going to wonder where the permits were for the electricals and plumbing and I'm just going to hand her the bills I guess and let her take it from there.

Last edited by Piedmont; 08-15-2008 at 03:12 PM.
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