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  • Different Professional Opinion

    I have been wanting to purchase a portable generator and have been getting estimates on transfer switches. I don't understand how different licensed electricians can give different opinions. I am wanting to purchase a Ridgid 8000 running watt generator to run items in my house (within limitations). I have mentioned running my 80 gal hot water tank which states 3000watt upper element/3000 watt lower element/ total running watts 3000. Some tell me no way and others say no problem. I just can't understand those professionals that say that a 8000 watt generator can't handle the 3000 watt hot water tank???

    KOS

  • #2
    Re: Different Professional Opinion

    No reason an 8000 watt generator would not handle 3000 watt water heater. Are you sure the WH is 3000? That would be pretty low on an 80 gal. I would expect 4500 or even 5500, and those would use up a good chunk of your generator capacity.

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    • #3
      Re: Different Professional Opinion

      LOVEtheUSA.

      I just double checked the plate on the front of my 1997 Ruud 80 gal tank. Just like I posted 3000watts / 240volts.

      I have had two electricians that told me that there would be no way my generator could handle it?? 8000watt generator that is??

      BKOS

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      • #4
        Re: Different Professional Opinion

        Yep, 3000watt. It is a Ruud and was installed back in 1997. I had built my house and had to get an 80 gal hot water tank so I could get a better rate from the electric company.

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        • #5
          Re: Different Professional Opinion

          I would think it could handle it fairly easy,
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          • #6
            Re: Different Professional Opinion

            Originally posted by lovetheUSA View Post
            No reason an 8000 watt generator would not handle 3000 watt water heater. Are you sure the WH is 3000? That would be pretty low on an 80 gal. I would expect 4500 or even 5500, and those would use up a good chunk of your generator capacity.
            I might be wrong, but aren't most water heaters 120 gallons? Thus why they require 4500 watts for heating?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Different Professional Opinion

              Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
              I might be wrong, but aren't most water heaters 120 gallons? Thus why they require 4500 watts for heating?
              You are kiddin right??
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              • #8
                Re: Different Professional Opinion

                First thing to do is find two real electricians. Ask to see their licenses if you are not sure.
                3000 watts total for an 80 gallon water heater does not sound right to me either. You say its a double element with 3000 watt elements. How does that make any sense.
                Is it possible you replaced any elements over the years? You may have installed 3000 watt elements when the original elements were 1500 watts. Is this possible?

                Anyway. I have an 8000 watt generator that operates a 50 gallon water heater with room to spare. Not much room to spare but I can watch TV at the same time and use my computer. Also a few lights here and there. I have not checked the wattage on my WH.

                You should be in great shape with the 8000 watt generator and this www.interlockkit.com instead of the expensive transfer switch. Keep in mind. Electricians make no money on your generator, they make the money on the ATS and the labor to install it. That may be why they are saying it will not work.

                PS! What size breaker do you have on the water heater?
                Last edited by John Valdes; 03-07-2010, 01:05 PM.
                Licensed Electrician

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                • #9
                  Re: Different Professional Opinion

                  John,

                  I sent you a private msg also. Sticker on water heater says upper element 3000watts, lower element 3000watts, total watts 3000. As far as the breakers go, there are two 30 amp breakers that are connected together. I hope I explained the breaker thing OK.

                  BKOS

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                  • #10
                    Re: Different Professional Opinion

                    i agree with john and 80 gal heater having 3000 watt in not possible and BKOS i guess 8000 watt generator will work for 50 gal heater .even im using it !!!
                    Alabama plumbers

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                    • #11
                      Re: Different Professional Opinion

                      cinty1986, why are you advertising "alabama plumbers" in you sig line if you are in Canada?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Different Professional Opinion

                        Originally posted by BKOS View Post
                        John,

                        I sent you a private msg also. Sticker on water heater says upper element 3000watts, lower element 3000watts, total watts 3000. As far as the breakers go, there are two 30 amp breakers that are connected together. I hope I explained the breaker thing OK.

                        BKOS
                        Sorry, I just saw the PM.
                        Okay, you mean two single pole 30 amp breakers (on right) or one double pole 30 breaker (on left)? You need 220 volts for the water heater. If you have the single pole type you should put a handle tie on them so when one trips they both trip. Or "connected" as you say.

                        It still makes no sense. Can you take a close up picture of the label on the water heater? You cannot have two 3000 watt elements with a total of 3000. You understand that right?

                        You have a 6000 watt heater in my opinion and your 8000 watt generator will handle it fine. 8000 - 6000 = 2000 to spare.
                        Ask these electricians why the 8000K genny will not work. You know the most your heater will draw is 6000. Ask them!
                        Attached Files
                        Licensed Electrician

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                        • #13
                          Re: Different Professional Opinion

                          When I ask this question keep in mind the extent of my electrical knowledge is 'it hurts real bad when I stick a butter knife in an outlet'

                          Anyway, would the WH create enough surge to blow the gen when turning on?


                          Why bother hooking up the WH anyway? 9 times out of 10 power is restored within 12hrs unless you live in a very rural area**.
                          You'll still have enough hot water to take a couple quick showers in that time.


                          **if you do live in a rural area then chances are your on a well and the last thing you want is the well pump and WH kicking on at the same time.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Different Professional Opinion

                            Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
                            When I ask this question keep in mind the extent of my electrical knowledge is 'it hurts real bad when I stick a butter knife in an outlet'
                            Anyway, would the WH create enough surge to blow the gen when turning on?
                            Why bother hooking up the WH anyway? 9 times out of 10 power is restored within 12hrs unless you live in a very rural area**.
                            You'll still have enough hot water to take a couple quick showers in that time.

                            **if you do live in a rural area then chances are your on a well and the last thing you want is the well pump and WH kicking on at the same time.
                            Generators are rated in running watts and peak watts. Mine is 8000K running and 11,000K peak. Peak is a very short period of time to allow the appliance (load) to start up. I am very sure the OP's generator is the same way.
                            Generators also have circuit breakers on board. They are there to protect the generator from overloading and for short circuit protection.
                            So, your comment about it blowing up from a very high current surge is unfounded.

                            Where do you live? I have been without power for 6 straight days. I did not have a generator then, I do now.

                            Thats where a little common sense comes in. You do not allow the water heater and water pump to operate (come on) at the same time unless your generator can handle the current.
                            I keep the water heater and all other large loads turned off at their individual breaker. Then I turn them on and off as needed.
                            Licensed Electrician

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                            • #15
                              Re: Different Professional Opinion

                              When I worked as an electrician, I know the people I worked with did not know a lot about the inner workings of water heaters, so maybe this will help clear up some confusion.

                              Water heaters most commonly have 4500 watt 240 volt water heater elements. His water heater could very well have 3000 watt elements. It is a size they offer, it's just not as common a size.

                              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.

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