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Your electric water heater and also gas tankless water heater need circuit breakers come operate. However, the wrong sizing of the breaker have the right to lead to reduced safety and potentially damages the water heater. The added electrical circulation through the breaker put the wires at danger of overheating, causing a fire, and damaging her water heater. The National electrical Code outlines guidelines the govern the sizing the circuit breakers and also wiring for electric safety. Follow to the NEC Code, girlfriend should constantly size her circuit breaker at 125% that the load. This means, for safety and security purposes, it is recommended that you invest in a greater capacity circuit breaker than the electric load of her electric gadgets – in this case, her water heater. Electric water heaters require a specialized 240-volt specialized 30-amp circuit and a 10-2 non-metallic (NM) or MC cable. This means the breaker only powers the water heater and also no various other appliances. A 30-amp circuit breaker can power every 4500watt water heaters regardless of gallon size.

You are watching: How many amps does a water heater use

Occasionally, I’ll view a 20-amp circuit breaker top top a 4500-watt water heater. While this is technically effectively sized, that leaves tiny room because that overcurrent and also does not meet the NEC 125% pack guideline. The breaker dimension is determined by the wattage the the heating elements and not the tank size. More on the shortly.A water heater v a 4500-watt heating element requires a 10/2 wire with a 30 amp (240volt) circuit breaker. The 3800-watt heating facet can it is in wired v a smaller sized 12/2 wire and a 20 amp circuit breaker.


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Sizing Water Heater Breakers 

The crucial to obtaining the ideal size for a water heater is in understanding exactly how the heater works. Electric water heaters use anything in between 220 to 250 volts of alternate current. You’ll need a double circuit breaker that is effectively rated for the power attract of the water heater. We’re feather at in between 20 Amp and also 30 Amp for most electrical water heaters. When looking at the sizing indigenous the power requirements, you also need to think about the cable gauge size. The amperage drawn by the heater determines the cable gauge size.Element WattsBreaker size 120vBreaker dimension 220vWire Gauge150015 amp15 amp14200020 amp15 amp14250030 amp15 amp14300030 amp15 amp123500NA20 amp124000NA25 amp104500NA30 amp105000NA30 amp105500NA40 amp8

How execute You calculate Breaker Sizing?

Check your water heater’s wattage and also voltage ratings. A water heater’s wattage and also voltage rating come labeled on the sticker on the thermostat panel. Some heaters have actually this info near the base. While many residential water heater units have actually 4500-watt capacity, advertising water heaters have the right to reach 5500 watts.Now, let’s acquire into the mathematics of calculating breaker sizes. 4500/240 = 18.75 amps. 18.75X125% = 23.4375 rounded to 25 ampsIf you have a 4500-watt water heater with 240 volts, making use of the standard department formula you should end up through 18.75 amperes. However, psychic an electrical water heater runs on a constant load. So adjust 18.75 by 125%, factoring in that a water heater operation a constant load. Multiply 18.75 amperes through 1.25 to obtain 23.4375 amperes. Once we round off the number, we get 25 amp. You’ll require a 25 or 30 amp circuit breaker. The 30 amp is universally used because the minimum rating the 220 volts over the 25 amp breaker. 4500/220 = 20.45 amps. 20.45 ampsX125% =25.568 rounded come 30 ampsWhy no 20? ~ all, the IS closer come 18.75. Well, 18.75 is only around 94% of the breaker’s amperage. However going through the NEC 125% rule, a 20 amp is a risk of regular tripping and could damages the water heater. A 25 amp breaker is sufficient; however, many electricians will install a 30 amp circuit to provide room for electrical fluctuations as outlined above.

What dimension Circuit Breaker because that Gas Tankless Water Heaters?

Gas tankless water heaters use less power draw and less voltage than electric tank water heaters. Usually, it’s around 12 amps and also less than 120 volts. Gas tankless water heaters need a minimal lot of power to strength the digital ignition system. A gas tankless water heater only requirements a 15-amp, 120 volt dedicated single-pole breaker for this purpose.

Should i Have electrical Water Heater or Gas Water Heater?

This an option depends on your locality and the utility expenses of your area. However, gas units typically cost more upfront yet price less to run than electrical water heaters. On the brighter side, electric water heaters are much more energy-efficient 보다 gas water heaters. Gas expenses 40% that the cost of electricity. Therefore, it would be cheaper to usage gas. However, once you look at time savings end time, electric water heaters are more economical. Getting the right size circuit breaker can get technical. If she looking to do upgrades to accommodate electric, gas, or tankless water heating systems, girlfriend should call a professional. stclairdrake.net is owned and operated by hobtration Miles is a participant in the Amazon solutions LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for sites come earn advertising fees by advertising and also linking come Amazon.com. stclairdrake.net additionally participates in affiliate programs with other affiliate sites. Hobtration Miles is compensated because that referring traffic and business to this companies.
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Hubert MilesI"ve been conducting home inspections because that 17 years. I"m a licensed home Inspector, Certified grasp Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I began stclairdrake.net to help people much better understand the home inspection process and price questions around homeownership and also home maintenance.

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