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Michael L...........JA Construction
Michael L...........JA Construction, Construction & Maintainance expert
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  10 Years Building Construction, 15 years Maintenance
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Can 12 gauge wire be used to hook up a hot water heater?

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Hi and Welcome to Just Answer,

 

Ok, let's take a look at this;

 

This will depend on the water heater, if it is a 20 Amp hookup you will be fine, but if it is a 30 amp hookup you need to use 10 gauge wire.

 

Here is a commonly used table to go by

 

Suggested Gauge vs. Breaker Amp
For Copper branch circuits and feeders.

Gauge

Breaker Amps

14

15

12

20

10

30

8

40

6

55

4

70

2

95

1/0

150

2/0

175

3/0

200

 

And a Common used Table for Appliances

Common Usage - Breaker / Fuse size:

Appliance

Amps

Lighting circuits

15

Outlets

20

Stove / Oven

30

Water Heater

30

Clothes Dryer

30

Air Conditioning

40

Heat Pump

40

Electric Furnace

60

Hot Tub

50

 

Reference: http://www.buyerschoiceinspections.com/Wiring-Sizes

 

 

 

If you need more help Let me know

 

 

 

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Michael L...........JA Construction's Post: It is a 20 amp breaker, and the local inspector said 12 ga. was fine, but now the papers with the new heater say it needs 10 ga with the new NEC. Every book I read has a different opinion...I just want to be sure I can keep the 12 ga without creating a hazard. It is rated for 4500 watts, by the way.

 

Hi and Welcome Back to Just Answer,

 

Ok,

 

You defiantly don't want to exceed the 4500 watts on a 20 amp breaker, this should be fine, the problem though is if the manufacture has guidelines to the proper wiring for the unit, if a problem does happen it may void the warranty.

 

If you do see that you need to go to the 10 gauge as suggested to place this on a 30 amp breaker, you will need to do that, don't place a 30 amp breaker on the 12 gauge wire. This could become a fire hazard.

 

If you need more help Let me know

 

 

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