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Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4284
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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I think Im paying too much electric bill. The water does

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I think I'm paying too much electric bill. The water does not get hot when the hot water heater breaker is on. Why would the electrician hook the hot water heater on the line with the heater breaker rather than on the hot water heater breaker line? Would such hook up cause a high kilowatt usage?

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HiCustomer The water heater probably should be on a dedicated circuit. But if it's a small one and doesn't draw a lot of amps, it could be on with the furnace without any problem. Forced air furnaces don't draw a lot of power either. Connecting the two together on the same circuit would not make your electric bill any higher than if they were each on their own breakers.


Most water heaters require a 240 volt connection, and furnaces require a 120 volt connection. So, unless the water heater is rather small, it would be strange to have them on the same circuit.

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I should clarify that some small water heaters are powered by 120 volt circuits, the same as a furnace.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

With only the heater breaker on for somewhere around 10 hours, is it normal that around 100 kilowatts were used within that time? Is that about avg or high usage? The water heater appears to say its a 54 gal tank so is that strange for it to be on the line with the heater?

I would have to assume that a 54 gallon water heater would need a 240 volt feed. You can look at the nameplate to confirm this. And unless your furnace is not a standard furnace, it should be connected to a 120 volt circuit. Are you familiar with the difference between single pole and double pole breakers?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

No, I'm not. I guess I'm just trying to find out why there is such high kilowatt usage in my place. I have a 675 sq ft apartment, I do not use any electricity in the living and there is no dining room. The refrigerator has been out of the socket all of Dec and still is out. The range breaker is off unless I cook which is rare. I have not used the heater since it has been getting cold. I spend most of my time in the bedroom. I was gone for 2 weeks in November and there were 1286 kilowatt usage. However, there were 986 in October when I was in the entire month. I did not leave anything on during the 2 weeks gone in Nov. I did not use the heater during the month of Oct., Nov., Dec., nor Jan so far. I'm only using one wall socket (with extensions) to power a space heater, telephone, 2 lamps, tv computer, modem, cable box, & vcr. This is all in my bedroom. I did this all during December and the usage for Dec still was 1253. The kilowatt usage for the first 9 days of Dec was 559. By hooking up in my bedroom, the kilowatt usage for the first 13 days of January has been 405. I know this is a lot but do what you can. I greatly appreciate it.

When did you start using the space heater?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

During December

It sounds to me like the space heater is driving up the kwh. If I read your previous response correctly, the time when you started using the space heater coincides with the time that the kwh started going up. The only problem with that theory is the month of November, when the usage was pretty high, and you were gone for 2 weeks.


You may want to contact your Utility Company and explain to them what is going on. They may be able to investigate and find out what is causing the wide variations in the meter readings.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks I appreciate your expertise!
My pleasure. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Have a great night!