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Your electric water heater and also gas tankless water heater call for circuit breakers to operate. However, the not correct sizing of the breaker deserve to lead to diminished safety and also potentially damage the water heater. The added electrical flow through the breaker place the wires at danger of overheating, leading to a fire, and also damaging her water heater. 

The National electric Code outlines guidelines the govern the sizing of circuit breakers and wiring for electric safety. According to the NEC Code, friend should always size your circuit breaker in ~ 125% that the load. This means, for safety and security purposes, it is recommended that you invest in a greater capacity circuit breaker 보다 the electric load of your electric gadgets – in this case, her water heater. Electric water heaters require a committed 240-volt committed 30-amp circuit and also a 10-2 non-metallic (NM) or MC cable. This method the breaker only powers the water heater and also no other appliances. A 30-amp circuit breaker have the right to power all 4500watt water heaters regardless of gallon size.

You are watching: What amp breaker for water heater

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


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Sizing Water Heater Breakers 

The vital to getting the right size for a water heater is in understanding exactly how the heater works. Electric water heaters use anything in between 220 come 250 volts of alternate current. You’ll require a dual circuit breaker that is properly rated because that the power attract of the water heater. We’re spring at between 20 Amp and also 30 Amp for most electrical water heaters. When looking in ~ the sizing indigenous the strength requirements, you likewise need to think about the wire gauge size. The amperage drawn by the heater determines the wire gauge size.

Element WattsBreaker dimension 120vBreaker dimension 220vWire Gauge150015 amp15 amp14200020 amp15 amp14250030 amp15 amp14300030 amp15 amp123500NA20 amp124000NA25 amp104500NA30 amp105000NA30 amp105500NA40 amp8

How execute You calculation Breaker Sizing?

Check her water heater’s wattage and voltage ratings. A water heater’s wattage and voltage rating come labeling on the sticker ~ above the thermostat panel. Some heaters have actually this details near the base. While many residential water heater units have 4500-watt capacity, advertising water heaters can reach 5500 watts.Now, let’s gain into the math of calculating breaker sizes. 4500/240 = 18.75 amps. 18.75X125% = 23.4375 rounded come 25 amps

If you have a 4500-watt water heater with 240 volts, using the standard department formula girlfriend should finish up with 18.75 amperes. However, mental an electrical water heater operation on a consistent load. So adjust 18.75 by 125%, factoring in the a water heater runs a continuous load. Multiply 18.75 amperes through 1.25 to gain 23.4375 amperes. As soon as we round off the number, we acquire 25 amp. You’ll require a 25 or 30 amp circuit breaker. The 30 amp is universally used due to the fact that the minimum rating the 220 volts above the 25 amp breaker. 4500/220 = 20.45 amps. 20.45 ampsX125% =25.568 rounded to 30 ampsWhy no 20? after ~ all, the IS closer to 18.75. 

Well, 18.75 is only around 94% that the breaker’s amperage. But going through the NEC 125% rule, a 20 amp is a threat of regular tripping and could damage the water heater. A 25 amp breaker is sufficient; however, many electricians will install a 30 amp circuit to carry out 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 about 12 amps and less 보다 120 volts. Gas tankless water heaters need a minimal quantity of electricity to power the digital ignition system. A gas tankless water heater only requirements a 15-amp, 120 volt committed single-pole breaker because that this purpose.

Should ns Have electrical Water Heater or Gas Water Heater?

This an option depends on her locality and the utility expenses of her area. However, gas units generally cost much more upfront yet expense less to run than electric water heaters. On the brighter side, electric water heaters are much more energy-efficient 보다 gas water heaters. Gas prices 40% of the price of electricity. Therefore, it would be cheaper to use gas. However, as soon as you look at time savings end time, electric water heaters are an ext economical. Getting the best size circuit breaker can get technical. If she looking to do upgrades to accommodate electric, gas, or tankless water heater systems, friend should contact a professional. mmsanotherstage2019.com is owned and operated by hubert Miles is a participant in the Amazon services LLC Associates Program, one affiliate advertising program design to carry out a way for sites come earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Mmsanotherstage2019.com also participates in affiliate program with various other affiliate sites. Hobtration Miles is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.
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Hubert MilesI\"ve been conducting home inspections because that 17 years. I\"m a licensed home Inspector, Certified master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started mmsanotherstage2019.com to help people much better understand the home inspection procedure and prize questions around homeownership and home maintenance.

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