Which Size Breaker Is For Hot Water Heater? 4 Easy Steps!

Do you know which size breaker is for hot water heater? Electric water heaters require a dedicated 240-volt 30-amp circuit and an MC cable or non-metallic (NM) rated at 10-2. This indicates that the breaker supplies electricity to the water heater and not any other devices.

The power of the heating components, not the tank capacity, determines the size of the breaker. Circuit breakers are required to run both your gas and electric tankless water heaters.

which size breaker is for hot water heater

On the other hand, the wrong breaker size might decrease protection and harm the water heater. Because of the increased electrical flow via the breaker, the wires are in danger of burning, sparking a catastrophe, and maybe damaging the water heater. There is so much more to learn, so it’s best to dig into this article further!


How To Find The Breaker Size For Hot Water Heater

It’s essential to consider your circuit’s capabilities when determining which size breaker is for hot water heater. The circuit breaker size shall not be less than 125 percent, by the National Electrical Code. We need to take all the necessary simple procedures to determine the proper breaker size. You must be capable of choosing a circuit breaker for the water heater just after this article.


Step #1. Find out electricity your water heater use

The very first step is to figure out what your present water heater’s rating is. These details will be available on the front of your heater on the description tag. Residential water heaters have an average energy rating of 1500 watts. It takes 4,500 watts to run a 240-volt heater. You’ll observe two wattage readings on a water heater if it has two heating elements, although they don’t operate simultaneously. A water heater with two 4,500-watt components utilizes a total of 4,500 watts. The two wattages are not always added.


Step #2. Determine your water heater’s maximum current

It’s critical to figure out your water heater’s maximum current is since it’ll assist you in choosing a breaker that works with its entire process. It’s a fast and straightforward technique. The operating voltage is divided by the heater’s power rating. If the electric hot water tank is 1,500 watts with a 120v hookup, you’ll need to split these two independent variables. As a result, the maximum amperage will be 12.5 amperes.


Step #3. Check your water heater’s appropriate amperage

What is the significance of determining the proper operational amperage? That’s because the breaker size may well not match the operating voltage of your heater in some circumstances. On a breaker of  120-volt,  a 1500-watt heater, for comparison, it must use a breaker that contains a current of 5.6 amperes.  A breaker of 15 amp, on the other hand, could be a little inadequate for this design. As a result, you’ll need a higher-rated breaker. The suitable alternative will most probably be a 20-amp breaker.


Step #4. Calculate the continuous and non-continuous load breaker’s current ratings

Finally, this method will inform you of the appropriate breaker size. 125 percent the current rating’s worth The highest ampere of your hot water system is sometimes misinterpreted as being in a similar quantity of breaker amps. Because every circuit breaker could only utilize 80 percent of its total amperage, it’s a good idea to buy a higher rating. A breaker having a 15-amp will control only 12 amperes of current, whereas a 20-amp breaker can handle up to 16 amperes of current. 

Circuit breakers and Overcurrent Safety Systems are intended to withstand 100% of the rated current in most cases. In this instance, you can utilize a shorter breaker, especially when dealing with non-continuous loads. However, to reach a safe rated current for continuous loads, the 125 percent suggestion is recommended. The capability of a breaker must be determined. We must check that the breaker we select is suitable for our water heater.


Thing To Consider When Choosing A Breaker For Water Heater

Only continuous loads are included in the 125 percent estimate. It may be used by many water heaters that run on 240-volt circuits. A 100 percent rated breaker is recommended if your water heater will be used sporadically (non-continuous). A 10 gauge wire is required for a 30 amp breaker. All devices are compatible with 240V heaters. If you have connected a water heater with a breaker along with other devices, ensure to include their amps in the overall current usage. 

The protective function of your breaker is lost if you lower the breaker size without updating the entire circuit and wiring. It’s best to utilize a circuit breaker with double the water heater amps. Must double that the circuit breaker will fit into the operating panels. You may also be interested to know about the downside of a tankless water heater.


It’s A Wrap!

It’s difficult to determine the exact breaker size of your water heater. But after reading this article, you will get a better understanding of which size breaker is for hot water heater. You can determine which kind will function effectively with the hot water system by performing the methods outlined earlier. This effort must not be overlooked since it assures that the water heater will not suffer from any electrical problems. Don’t hesitate to know these things too; read about how to hide your water heater and how to get rid of a water heater. Thank you, friends, for staying with us at the end!

1 thought on “Which Size Breaker Is For Hot Water Heater? 4 Easy Steps!”

  1. The majority of water heaters use a 240-volt system with a 4500-watt element. Others can only have 3000 watts or less, while commercial-grade devices can have more than 5500 watts.

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