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Old 03-17-2018, 09:46 AM   #1
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120v water heater question!


Hi guys, I live in a small house with a 50 amp breaker. My breaker box has a two pole 20 amp (40 amps total) for my 30 gallon electric water heater I was planning to use.


Being in a small space, I have been thinking about exchanging it and using and electric tankless water heater instead.


Because I only have 50 amps, one of the only tankless water heaters that will work is the ECO8. It’s 8 Kw and requires a 40 amp breaker. It shows more info on it if you click on the link.


I have a few questions on whether or not I should make the change.

1) Will a 2 pole 20 amp breaker be ok for this? If not, is it any easy fix for an electrician to change to single 40 amp?

2) Besides taking up less space and heating on demand, are there any other pros of tankless? Are they easier to install or less prone to leaking (both important reasons for me)?

3) I do not have anywhere where I can run a drain hose in the event of a leak. Would it be ok just to have a drain hose ran in a bucket? Leaks are usually just drips right so wouldn’t fill up that fast?

4) I am only concerned about a 5-10 minute hot shower. I live in Fallbrook California where I believe the city water is quite warm (charts online show san Diego county is one of the warmest in the county). Do you guys think this water heater will be sufficient for that? And is there any online sources to find out the average water temperature where I live?

Thank you so much for your help!
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Old 03-17-2018, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: 120v water heater question!


A two pole 20 is 20A's, not 40.
Forget the tankless electric. Bad idea in every way.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:00 AM   #3
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Re: 120v water heater question!


Ok can you expand further on that? Why is it bad in every way?
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: 120v water heater question!


1) Doubt it would be allowed by code to add a 33A load to 50A service based
on load calculation.
2) Provides 1.7gpm. That is very low. Seems low flow shower heads are more
like 2.0gpm. A reasonable flow will require more power, which your service
doesn't have.
3) IMO there's nowhere where a tankless electric makes sense. The savings are
too small to justify the cost as well as the nuisance of "cold water slugs". Natural
gas or propane may be worthwhile depending on price rates in your area.
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Old 03-17-2018, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: 120v water heater question!


In addition to the reasons that codematters has layed out, you would also need to rewire for the tankless from the exiting 12 gauge to 8 gauge wire.

I also don't see this tankless heater giving you any of the savings and benefits you're hoping for.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:39 PM   #6
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Re: 120v water heater question!


That unit specs say

Quote:
8 kW electric tankless water heater ideal for providing hot water for point-of-use or low-flow applications.
That flow of 1.7 gpm is only if the incoming water is 77ºF. If the water is 52ºF then you only get .77gpm.
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Old 03-17-2018, 11:57 PM   #7
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Re: 120v water heater question!


tO GIVE YOU PERSPECTIVE SHOWERS FLOW AT 2.5 GPM and tubs around 5 GPM.
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