02-01-2011 10:36 AM
I'm unclear on how to switch to a 240 volt line for an electric water heater. Can I swap wires on the breaker to go to 240? Running new lines is not much of an option since the breaker box is clear on the other side of the house. Can anyone help?
02-01-2011 11:07 AM - edited 02-01-2011 11:12 AM
Hey there Joessharks,
Thank you for your question and welcome to the community.
Converting your water heater over to electric is a great choice and wiring it properly is very important. Depending on the gallon capacity they hold, water heaters carry as small as 20 amp loads to well over 40 amps in most residential models we sell, in dedicated and bonded (grounded) lines to the circuit panel. The 240 voltage as you are referring to, is a line with more than two conductors powering the fixture, but it doesn't measure amperage. So knowing the size gauge/amperage of wiring in the walls, and the capacity specs of your water heater is crucial to getting the right power to your water heater. With that said, I would recommend using a licensed electrician to assess if you can use the existing wires or have additional options for you. Also, codes vary from location to location and even the National Electrical Code (NEC) changes every 3 years, so at least consulting an electrician that can give you an on-site estimate would be the safest and best choice without having to commit to him doing the work.
Thanks again and have a great day.
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