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Water heater electrical connection

Robert Jones

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Originally posted by bootsan

First time I have seen this. The only reference I can find is IRC 2003 E3809.1. Is there something more specific to reference?


Jeremy's reference, 400.7(A) is the closest thing you'll find in the NEC. It lists the places where flexible cords are permitted. Someone might stretch item 8 to cover water heaters, though I wouldn't. It says, "Appliances where the fastening means and mechanical connections are specifically designed to permit ready removal for maintenance and repair and the appliance is intended or identified for flexible cord connection."

Large, tank-style water heaters can be maintained and repaired in place. I don't know if any manufacturer that intends or identifies these things for flexible cord connection.

Even if they did, however, that cord would not be adequate. It's a 110/240 dryer plug -- the three pins are for two hots and a neutral. There's no grounding pin and you're, technically, not supposed to use the neutral pin for grounding.

If someone were allowed to use a flexible cord set on a water heater, it would have to be a 240-volt plug.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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