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Mike G.
Mike G., Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 6979
Experience:  Proven Professional 46 years Experience
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I need to install an outlet (to plug in a water heater) in

Customer Question

I need to install an outlet (to plug in a water heater) in furnace room. The room has a light with 4 different wires connecting to the socket - and the light switch. I have no idea of which wires to connect to.
Also, I can access a another ceiling light outside of the furnace room. The socket has two wires connecting to it. The white from one and black (live) from the other connect to the light. The other white and black are connected together. So, not clear how to connect here either.
What's the solution?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question.

1) What is the voltage and watt rating of the water heater? Please provide the nameplate rating information.

2) Electric water heaters are never cord and plug connected to a receptacle nor shared with other circuit loads. They are always hard-wired to a dedicated circuit.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi. Hard to find all answers. It's gas - not electric. Uses a 24 VAC transformer. Was installed by electrician to my 120 volt outlet, but in another room. City inspectors want it plugged in same room. So, just need to set up connection in furnace room. The watt looks like 5500
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) Your comments are not making sense to me. A gas hot water heater only utilizes gas and does not require electricity. Is the heater a tankless type?

2) A wattage of 5.5kW (which is common) indicates this is an electric hot water heater which requires a dedicated and hard-wired 240 volt circuit protected by a double pole 30 amp circuit breaker.

3) Tank type Hot water heaters whether gas or electric do not utilize a 24V transformer. A 24V transformer is a low voltage transformer that is typically used for an electric doorbell system.

4) Gas hot water heaters are rated in BTU's and not rated in watts.

Need clarification if the heater is a tankless or a tank type model. Please provide me with the manufacturer name and the model number.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi. It's the gas (not electric) version of Rheem performance platinum. You are right it does not really need power, but the extras such as WiFi connection and starter likely requirements minimal power. So, I need to connect to the power source.
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the replies.

1) Without having the model number and specific information, I will opt out of the question and place it back to the open board. No need to reply back to me. You will be notified when the question is picked up by another expert.

Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 months ago.

Hi, I'm Mike G and I'll be assisting you. If I understand your question, you need an outlets for a low voltage transformer. Are there any receptacles in the room. If not, I'll need to know how the lighting outlets and switch are wired. Give me a count and colors of the wires in each. Start with the switch. If it has 2 black wires on it, you can pick up the circuit there.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi. The switch has only one back and one white wire. The light above has 4 wires connected to it. See pictures. I can also access the second connection. See other picture. One of the 2 blacks and one if the 2 whites connect to a fluorescent light, but can't access the wires at the switch.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 months ago.

Connect your cable to the new receptacle as follows at the box in picture #1

1) black wire to the black and white together.

2) white wire to the white wire.

3) grounds together.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Great! Thank you.
Expert:  Mike G. replied 2 months ago.

Anytime, you're welcome.