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Old 04-27-2007, 04:55 PM   #1
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Foresthill , California
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Water heater wiring

What size wire should I use to run from the switch to the electic part of the water heater?

The wire I removed (due to old cracked insulation) is labled 14/3 600 volt. Not sure who put it in.

It's a 4 foot run from heater element box to the switch.
From switch to 20A circuit breaker is 6 foot run of 10/3 romex type house wire.

Can I use regular 14/3 or does it need this heavy duty 600 volt wire?

Perhaps 12/3 or 10/3 extension cord type wire? Or heavy duty 12/3 dryer plug wire?

Thanks, Walter

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Old 04-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
Desert Fox
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 250
Smile Hi

What is the watage use of your water heate.? I now it is 120v ac but how much current will it use? Power=120X amps. Use wire that is a cable type. It is made from many small wires that are flexible and will carry more current.Solid wires have tendancy to break from vibration,
Regard Russell in sunny Tucson Az.

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Old 04-27-2007, 07:32 PM   #3
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Russell is right!


14/3 is rated for 15 amps, 12/3 is tared for 20 amps. The water heater will not draw mote than that. Most usually contain a 1200-1500 watt heating element that will draw 10-12.5 amps. 14/3 will handle this, but I would use 12/3 anyway as a margin of safety.

If you really want to go top shelf, use a stranded marine cable in that size. It is far superior to any solid copper Romex type wiring and will NEVER BREAK from work hardening as the wires continually bounce down the road.
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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