# Basic hot water heater question

I haven't been able to google this correctly....all inquires bring me back ooodles on tankless heaters.
1) If I can't run a 220 line to where I'd like to put an auxillary tank heater (and my "guy" says I can't), are there 110 hot water heaters? (My "guy" says there are, but I don't see any for sale on google or froogle). 2) My "guy" says that 110 tanks would 'eat up' more electricity, i.e. it costs more to heat up 40 gallons via 110 than with 220. I can see how a 110 line would be *slower* in heating up a tank, but require more electricity I am not able to wrap my mind around.
Anyone with answers to either of above? TIA
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It really won't cost more. You pay for watts of electricity used, not volts or amps. There are small (maybe 5 or 6 gallon) water heaters that are designed to run on 110 volts. To heat up 40 gallons would take a very long time. We have a couple of the small units at work. They are very adequate for hand washing or a sink in the breakroom, but not for taking a shower. Ours are InSinkErator brand.
Go to www.mcmaster.com and see some on page 465 of the catalog. they have them up to 19 gallons. Note that all are 1500 watts so the bigger, the more time needed to heat.
The problem with a large capacity tank is one of power needs. If you can't run a 220 line, you probably can't run a big enough 110 line to handle the power needed to heat that much water, if they even make a tank that size.
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Find a new guy. If you can run 110, you can also run 220. May cost money. A 40 gal tank would take forever to heatup with 110V, 20A supply. May be impractical. Smaller tank may be.

Find a new guy. KWH used cost the same regardless of volts.
RichK
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RichK wrote:

I was pretty sure of this....
This BR is odd. It wasn't really a bathroom, just a place where there was a jacuzzi from 1979, which was wired very oddly by the builders of the house (the house is odd, because the builder was a contractor who made it for his own family using scraps from other jobs.....it was a real deal and lots of land in a place where house prices have shot up, so I don't regret the buy). My "guy", who is usually a terrific whizz at fixing anything, roofleaks, cracked foundations, etc, says it is a very odd set up, and it is waaaaaaaaaaay at the end of the house far from the fuse box, the hot water heater, everything (off in its own room) and that making big changes is too big a job (and indeed, we have other pressing issues with the house...we flooded this winter AFTER starting to replace this tub). It was my idea to put a tank in the area where the jacuzzi pump was to avoid that long long draw of cold water to get the warm to start (this room has only the tub and a bidet (which my "guy" put in), and MAN that water is cold). I smell some foot-dragging because it was my idea, but I'm gathering data and will let the dust settle and try again.
As for finding a new guy, this will probably happen in 11-14 years, but for now finding a new one would break his 3 year old's heart, because his three year old is my three year old. (Humor mode) It is the old story of the recently divorced woman with big house asking recently divorced carpenter doing repairs if he'd like to be a father again. It is an unusual situation, but the child is thriving. Thanks all.
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Either heater will require a dedicated circuit. If you have a dedicated circuit that is 120 volt, and it is a two wire circuit, there is no reason it couldn't be converted to 240 volt. Standard electric water heaters do require a 30 amp 240 volt line to operate and any full size tank with a smaller heating element would have a very slow recovery

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The 110V models draw 12.5 A. If it is a 20A circuit in a powder room, you can get away with a light or two as 16A load is allowable. No hair dryers though.
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That is true, however the NEC would still require a dedicated line in that instance

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Technically, using 240V will use a little bit less energy and be a little more cost effective. However, the diff is so small that it's not worth worrying about. The difference is in the amount of energy lost due to resistance in the wire going from the panel to the heater. The loss is I^^2*R. So, by using 240V, you reduce the current through the wire by half and the power loss in the wire by a factor of 4. However, it's still so small that it doesn't amount to much.
Assuming you use the same current on 240V as you do on 120V, the heater will have twice the heating capacity.
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