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  • #16
    Re: Different Professional Opinion


    Hey John. This is the breaker I have for my hot water heater.

    Nevada Plumber. You are correct with the setup I have. I have found more info on my heater. It does have 2 3000watt elements which don't come on at the same time.

    And for just a little more info about my issue, I reside in Western PA and when my power goes out, it is out. 6+ days on two seperate occasions within the past 4 years and I am sick of it.

    Thanks for all the help guys. Now comes the tough one. Finding the right electrician to install the right transfer switch to run whatever I wish to run.

    BKOS

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    • #17
      Re: Different Professional Opinion

      He has told us three times that the water heater is 3000 watts. I take that as the TRUTH! It is not what we expected, but any combination of gallons/watts that you would like to specify is available from most manufacturers.
      He mentioned some kind of energy program ,and probably they spec'd that water heater as a means to control peak demand loads. 80 gallons gives him a reasonable amount of hot water for a small family ( first hour is probably 75 gallons or so). The recovery will be fairly slow, and apparently that works ok for them.

      So we are back to why would an electrician say that the generator would not handle it? One clue is the 30 amp breaker. The would of course support a 7200 watt load! That breaker is actually not appropriate for the water heater....it was probably installed on an original 4500 watt heater. Perhaps he should ask the electrician about changing the water heater to a 15 amp breaker, and see if that changes the picture.

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      • #18
        Re: Different Professional Opinion

        Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
        Also, most residential water heaters are setup to only run one element at a time. So even though he has two 3000 watt elements, his total watts is 3000.
        That makes perfect sense. I did not know that they operated separately. I was under the impression the elements came on as needed. One, two or both? Good observation, and thanks. One thing. What if both T-Stats are calling for heat?

        Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
        Perhaps he should ask the electrician about changing the water heater to a 15 amp breaker, and see if that changes the picture.
        No, that would not be a good idea and makes no sense. Every water heater I have ever connected or worked on is always on a 30 amp circuit. That is standard for stand alone water heaters and clothes dryers.

        OP. Just use 3000 watts as the total WH. load, and use your 8000 watt generator and hope you never need it.......LOL
        It will be just fine. I have the same set up and use my WH with no issues.

        You do not need the transfer switch as we discussed earlier. If you are comfortable with managing your household loads you can use this. www.interlockkit.com Print the page and show it to the electrician.
        Licensed Electrician

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        • #19
          Re: Different Professional Opinion

          Originally posted by John Valdes View Post
          That makes perfect sense. I did not know that they operated separately. I was under the impression the elements came on as needed. One, two or both? Good observation, and thanks. One thing. What if both T-Stats are calling for heat?
          Both thermostats can be calling for heat at the same time. The upper thermostat has a switch built in so that only one element can get 240 volts at one time. Once the upper thermostat is satisfied, it switches power down to the lower thermostat. When the lower is satisfied, it turns off and waits. Once the water is cooled, the lower element will turn on first.

          This job should be fairly simple for a competent electrician. I stopped doing electrical in 1999 and have been doing plumbing ever since. I remember in 98 and 99 it seemed like all we were doing was installing backup generators. Had to love the Y2K scare going on back then.

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          • #20
            Re: Different Professional Opinion

            Originally posted by Nevada plumber View Post
            Both thermostats can be calling for heat at the same time. The upper thermostat has a switch built in so that only one element can get 240 volts at one time. Once the upper thermostat is satisfied, it switches power down to the lower thermostat. When the lower is satisfied, it turns off and waits. Once the water is cooled, the lower element will turn on first.

            This job should be fairly simple for a competent electrician. I stopped doing electrical in 1999 and have been doing plumbing ever since. I remember in 98 and 99 it seemed like all we were doing was installing backup generators. Had to love the Y2K scare going on back then.
            Thanks for the heads up on the WH and how it works. How in the world did you leave the electrical trade and become a turd chaser.......lol
            Have a good one......John
            Licensed Electrician

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            • #21
              Re: Different Professional Opinion

              Hey John,

              I took a look at the interlock.com kit and that looks like a great idea. I showed it to my electrician and he also thought that it is a good thing and has never seen one. ONE Problem. Please excuse my lack of knowledge on electrical terms, I have a 30 slot breaker box in my basement that is completly full. I have added on circuts since my house has been built and my electrican said that there would be no way he could remove a single breaker and install another double. I see that the interlock kit needs to take a breaker slot in order to operate. I guess I will have to upgrade to a 40 slot breaker box. $$$$$$.

              Thanks for all the help.

              BKOS

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              • #22
                Re: Different Professional Opinion

                You could put in a small subpanel next to the original breaker box. You could get rid of the tandems, etc, and have some space left over, would probably be cheaper and easier than doing a full new panel.

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