i,m a dummy that just bought and installed a 38 gallon hot water heater
that is for a 240 volt hook up. the one i replaced is a 110 volt. how
can i fix this at the breaker box? the circut is a 15 amp breaker. thats
what i get for working 8 hrs. today and rushing over to home depot.
jeeze... this was sposed to be in reply to the message about the vampire tap
that got into that window thread.....
i really gotta learn how to drive this thing :P
back to our regularly scheduled program
You remove the single pole 15 amp breaker and replace it with a double pole
15 amp breaker. Install the black wire formerly on the single pole breaker
on one pole of the new breaker and remove the white wire of the same cable
from the neutral buss bar and connect it to the second pole of the double
pole breaker and voila... hot water: make sure the tank is full before
Ideally you would run another colored (non white, non green, black is ok,
red is better) wire as the 2nd hot but so long as a neutral is not required
reusing the white is acceptable (I think) but somewhat frowned upon.
It MUST be marked in some way. Color the part you can see red with a
Sharpie, paint, or wrap it with red tape. Anyone working on the wiring in
the future must be made aware that it's a hot wire.
If you have conduit and the run isn't too far or complex try snaking a new
wire through. If it's a run of non-metallic (plastic covered) cable
("Romex") and isn't too far or difficult then consider replacing it with a
new cable containing 4 wires (black, red, white, bare).
Reuse the white as a 2nd hot as a last resort.
Also, the above instructions about the breaker assume that you have a panel
where a double can be placed anywhere and automatically connect to both
sides of the line. That is usually the case but isn't always. On some
panels a 2 pole 240V breaker has to go in a different position.
Unless your new water heater is a slow recovery unit with low wattage
heating elements it may not work with a 15 amp 220 volt circuit. Usually 40
gallon electric water heaters get a 30 amp 220 volt circuit. Check the
installation manual and the nameplate for the electrical requirements.
Otherwise do as RBM suggested.
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