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electric water heater question


Mark P
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I found an electric water heater with several problems, but the one I'm not sure about is that it is actually pluged into a 220 outlet. I've never seen this, and probably for a good reason, but can someone confirm that this is or is not acceptable? My vote is for no can do, needs to be hard wired, but wanted to check with you guys cuz your the best.

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You don't have to call me "Lord", Chad. Mark is fine.

The most interesting thing I found was the heating system. It has a boiler that circulates hot water through pipes in the CEILING. I have seen electric ceiling radant heat, but not hot water. The ceilings are cracked where the pipes run.

So what about the plug, Chad? I know you know, so stop holding out on me or I'll send a swarm of locust like you have never seen!

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I am not sure about your wiring question either but I see the other stuff wrong. There is enough wrong to call out the entire installation for repair by a qualified professional. That should cover all the bases right?

I see reduced size TPR piping, no cable clamp where the wires go into the heater, mixed metals in the plumbing, teflon tape on compression fittings, no isolation(shut off) valve on the cold water side, poor support on the lines.....

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Hi,

I'm not sure about this one. If the cord is rated to carry the load and it's less than 4ft. long, I'm not sure that this is prohibited. After all, most of what I've seen does call a water heater an "appliance" and this would be an approved form of a disconnect. However, it has to have a proper strain relief clamp/bushing, which it doesn't.

Now, my CodeCheck Electrical, which I admit is dated, does have one entry that you might try to apply:

Flexible cords and cables not to be used in lieu of permanent wiring methods [NEC 400-7].

There's enough going on there anyway, with the reduced plumbing size alone, to call for a licensed plumber to straighten that mess out.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Originally posted by AHIS

I found an electric water heater with several problems, but the one I'm not sure about is that it is actually pluged into a 220 outlet. I've never seen this, and probably for a good reason, but can someone confirm that this is or is not acceptable? My vote is for no can do, needs to be hard wired, but wanted to check with you guys cuz your the best.

I can't find any reason why you shouldn't be able to use a flexible cord & plug set on a water heater. To know for sure, you'd have to read the water heater's installation instructions.

The NEC allows you to do this *if* the "apppliance is intended or identified for flexible cord connection." (400.7(8))

The cord should contain properly sized wires, it should be properly connected to the water heater and it shouldn't be "subject to damage." In this case, that means it shouldn't be streched tight to reach the outlet.

I've gotta say, I like the idea. It provides a disconnect within sight of the water heater and it makes it easy to change out every 15 year or so.

Why would it be bad?

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chad Fabry

That is the worst install I've ever seen. I mean that.

If that was a house and I was doing the FEMA gig, the phrase I'd use would be: All phases of construction are compromised. Structure is beyond feasible repair.

I agree 100%. Call it out and have a licensed plumber do it right.

You should have held a contest with that 1st photo... who can find the 8 things wrong in this picture and win a new 1 million candlepower flash light!

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I really don't see where it is a problem.. but if you are going by IRC it is not allowed. I think I would mention it as a defect.

SECTION E3809

FLEXIBLE CORDS

E3809.1 Where permitted. Flexible cords shall be used only

for the connection of appliances where the fastening means and

mechanical connections of such appliances are designed to

permit ready removal for maintenance, repair or frequent interchange

and the appliance is listed for flexible cord connection.

Flexible cords shall not be installed as a substitute for the fixed

wiring of a structure; shall not be run through holes in walls,

ceilings or floors; shall not be concealed behind building walls,

ceilings or floors; and shall not be installed in raceways.

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Originally posted by homnspector

I really don't see where it is a problem.. but if you are going by IRC it is not allowed. I think I would mention it as a defect.

SECTION E3809

FLEXIBLE CORDS

E3809.1 Where permitted. Flexible cords shall be used only

for the connection of appliances where the fastening means and

mechanical connections of such appliances are designed to

permit ready removal for maintenance, repair or frequent interchange

and the appliance is listed for flexible cord connection.

Flexible cords shall not be installed as a substitute for the fixed

wiring of a structure; shall not be run through holes in walls,

ceilings or floors; shall not be concealed behind building walls,

ceilings or floors; and shall not be installed in raceways.

The section you quoted doesn't specifically disallow a cord & plug connection on a water heater. It merely makes restrictions.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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