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Can you provide the make and model number of the water heater. I am sure we can find a suitable connector for you to power it up.
http://www.gswpartsonline.com/model/A2015 the water heater you purchased is a 120 V water heater which can be put on a 20 amp breaker. You will need to pick up some wire nuts a romex connector and an appliance cord. I would recommend connecting to a dedicated 20 amp dedicated breaker. If you are unsure about the wiring it would be advisable to hire a professional. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Yes similar to your radio. you will want at least a 12 gauge cord with ground on dedicated circuit. Be sure to get a UL listed appliance cord w/ground and be sure that the water heater is on a dedicated circuit.
To further clarify, Im not an election. However, your water heater will work on a 15amp dedicated breaker, it would be 1/2 amp over the maximum of 80% load for that breaker. Therefore, by code you would need a 20 amp circuit to avoid the breaker tripping all the time. A 12 gauge UL Listed appliance cord with ground (3 prong outlet) would work perfectly. Let me know if there is any other questions concerning your water heater. Im here to help.