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Hello...

I removed a propane water heater from a house I just bought.

The propane water heater I removed has no wiring for an electric water heater. I was going to use the plug for a 220volt AC unit which is on a 30 amp breaker. I will remove the plug, and junction the wires inside a new plastic junction box. This plug is in the living room about 20 feet away from the location of the water heater. I was going to run it outside the house, because it is just easy. Basically outside the wall, then straight down the side of the house then into the rear laundry room where the water heater is at in the corner.

After the wire is run it will be stapled to the Masonite siding on the house. I am going to then have vinyl siding put over this wire. Is it ok to do this, or should I put this wire in conduit, and then have the guy doing the siding work around it laying the siding under it with the conduit exposed?
 

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The wire cannot be subject to physical damage which it would be if installed just behind vinyl siding. Go with conduit
 

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First - You will need a disconnect at the location of the hot water heater since it is out of sight from the panel feeding it.


Second - no, you can't just run electrical on the outside of your house and then cover it with siding. Sometime down the line it is possible that someone may end up putting a screw thru the siding and put it right into the electrical line. If you are going to run it on the outside of your house you must put the conductors in conduit. If this is the route you must go then there are other requirements you must follow such as what type of conductors you can use (meaning the rating of the insulation on the wires THWN). Size of conduit, etc.


What is the size of the conductors that you have going to the 30amp breaker?
 

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The wire/cable on the outside of the house needs to be wet rated. You can't use regular NMB (even in conduit) outside. It is not wet rated.
 

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First - You will need a disconnect at the location of the hot water heater since it is out of sight from the panel feeding it.
Ahh, that's why all the WHs down here are gas; they're in the attic or garage and so out of sight of panel feeding them and thus would require extra time, effort and cost in installing them - never even thought of that.
 

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Ahh, that's why all the WHs down here are gas; they're in the attic or garage and so out of sight of panel feeding them and thus would require extra time, effort and cost in installing them - never even thought of that.
No, it's because gas is usually better and cheaper than electricity. Electric water heaters are usually an option of last resort for when gas is not available or when it's location makes venting too difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I took the plug apart today, and it appears to be the same sized wire as what I bought which is 10 gage. I did buy UF wire from home depot which I was told is rated for outdoor use.

The breaker I am tapping into is 30 amps double pole 240 volts, and only has the AC outlet on it. There is a neutral but no ground on this circuit, and the water heater will not have a ground since I have no way to add one right now.

I put everything inside of a new plastic junction box, and ran the wire outside the house along the exterior wall then back inside where the laundry room is. I will go back tomorrow, and put it inside conduit.

This is the only thing in the house that is gas, and the tank was not in that great of shape. The propane company wanted around 250$ to basically turn on the tank. It is a 500 gallon tank 15% full along with the cost of a regulator(they took it off when the previous owner put the house up for sale), and tank rental plus paying for the propane in the tank which they told me belongs to the previous owner of the house. I decided to just buy an electric water heater instead.

I am curious about this part though.

"You will need a disconnect at the location of the hot water heater since it is out of sight from the panel feeding it."

It is at the rear of the house in the laundry room. Strangely enough I have another thread here about a federal pacific disconnect in the same room as the water heater which has fuses, and goes to the dryer plug. This disconnect is hooked up to a 30amp breaker in the main panel. I now understand why it is there.

So I need to put a 30 amp disconnect(it will use a breaker) on the wall for my hot water heater even though it already has a 30 amp breaker in the main panel?
 

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So I need to put a 30 amp disconnect(it will use a breaker) on the wall for my hot water heater even though it already has a 30 amp breaker in the main panel?
The disconnect does not need to have a breaker or fuses in it. That part is optional.

As far as a ground, it really should have one. Even though it might not technically be to code, could you take the neutral that's there and turn it into a ground with some green tape? I'm assuming that you won't need the neutral for the water heater.
 

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...So I need to put a 30 amp disconnect(it will use a breaker) on the wall for my hot water heater even though it already has a 30 amp breaker in the main panel?

You can use one of these disconnects which is a non-fused. As you can see they are not that expensive for the safety they provide.



Point being - if the hot water heater needs servicing as a safety feature since the panel is out of sight or more than 50 feet from the hot water heater the disconnect is needed so that the person servicing the hot water heater is not electrocuted by accident if someone were to flip the breaker back on in the panel. By putting the disconnect next to the heater or within a short eye-shot of the heater a service person can disconnect the power and work on the heater safely.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You can use one of these disconnects which is a non-fused. As you can see they are not that expensive for the safety they provide.



Point being - if the hot water heater needs servicing as a safety feature since the panel is out of sight or more than 50 feet from the hot water heater the disconnect is needed so that the person servicing the hot water heater is not electrocuted by accident if someone were to flip the breaker back on in the panel. By putting the disconnect next to the heater or within a short eye-shot of the heater a service person can disconnect the power and work on the heater safely.
Sure I can put one of those up on the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The disconnect does not need to have a breaker or fuses in it. That part is optional.

As far as a ground, it really should have one. Even though it might not technically be to code, could you take the neutral that's there and turn it into a ground with some green tape? I'm assuming that you won't need the neutral for the water heater.
I am pretty sure the main panel has no ground. None of the outlets/switches I have replaced so far have been grounded. Most of them have romex with ground except for two outlets which have very old cloth wire. I have went through the extra step to strip the wire back, and wirenut in a ground to the romex ground inside the junction box and then tie the ground to the outlets, and switches I have replaced.

Outside at the meter socket I do see that has a ground, but I don't know if that is actually tied to a ground rod or just running into the ground.

From there it has SE cable running 5 feet or so along the house to the room where the main panel is at.

I was going to add a ground to the main panel later on if possible to find a ground block and then go back to bond the neutral to ground. Or just add the ground to the neutral bar.

I have meter socket outside going to main panel inside. Main panel is only source of disconnect.


So would it be ok to just use the neutral for now as ground, or should I leave it unhooked until I take the main panel cover off and see what I have?
 
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