Electrical Questions? Ask an Electrician Online.
Hello welcome to Just Answer/Pearl , my name is***** and I will try to answer your electrical question today!
I will take a closer look at the link you posted , but normal water heater elements run off of line voltage in your home , 240 volts and do not usually require a white neutral wire (the black wire and the red wire if measured with a voltage meter will read 120 volts to the white wire if it is connected to the neutral bar in your electrical panel. the white wire is the circuit grounded conductor, where bare copper / green wires are the safety/ earth grounding conductor. Black, reds , and whites carry the current in the circuit throughout your home.)
The first thing I will do is read your manual , but in the meantime make sure the nameplate/ sticker on your water heater says 120 or 240 volts, the black / white diagram you describe sounds like a 120 volt connection .
So this 1x water heater is a supplemental unit to your existing water heater like the manual describes ?
According to the diagram I saw the 1x will need 240 volts plus the white neutral, blacks and reds hooked together then each pair crimped with a tool and then the spade crimps are then tightened under the set screws for each line, where the neutral is similarly crimped with a pigtail to a neutral bar connection. One thing to check in your existing installation at your electrical panel, make sure the white wire in the romex that feeds the existing water heater, is connected to the neutral bar of your panel, whoever installed the old heater should have at least capped off the wire , to answer your original question.
according to the diagram I sent you I do not see where the reds get hooked together? it looks like black get hooked together, green ground gets hooked together and then the white is confusing. It shows white crimped to a red which as you said goes to the neutral bar. Although, it says power ln (L2) for the white wire coming in?
Can you help me understand this diagram?
Thank you very much for the color picture that very much changes things.
The middle connection / green wires are the grounding wires I referred to earlier, in most homes with romex cables they are the bare copper that will be needed to connect to the middle terminal.
As you are aware the real issue with the installation is the operating voltage of the 1x, can you find a sticker or tag on the new unit which states it's operating voltage. I will look at the manual again but it's always best to see what the actual 1x / unit requires voltage wise. L2 can be a neutral which means this is a 120 volt unit, but I believe it's probably 240V like most water heaters and the red wire will be L2, that's why knowing the voltage of the unit is so important to determine which wire goes to the L2 connection.
Okay , I'm beginning to understand this unit now, it has a split phase operation and an input rating of 110-250 volts , that would mean L2 is the red wire NOT the white wire in the 10-3 romex, it can be capped off and not used in this installation. I determined this by the specs at the back of the online manual.
This is literally a daisy chain operation, whichever leads are connected to the existing water heater will make a parallel stop in your new unit then continue on to the old unit, L1's are blacks, L2's are reds , and the ground goes to the middle terminal under the lug screws. L2 going to you old heater is being controlled/switched by the 1x , basically It will monitor your old heater and only use it if it needs it/ the demand of your home needs the full size heater. Literally does what it says: maximizing your hot water needs without using unneeded electricity.
Let me know if you have any further questions, this thread will remain open for some time. Thank you for using Just Answer/Pearl, please do not forget to rate me , and have a wonderful day !