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Old 02-14-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Adding an outlet

The new water heater has an electric heating element that will require new wiring. So, how does one go about this? Does it need its own circuit or should I tap into an existing line? I have no clue where electricity is involved .
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:20 PM   #2
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What is the max amp draw for the WH? In our '73, the main breaker panel is directly above the WH. It would be pretty simple to add a breaker in the panel with a piece of Romex that runs to a dedicated socket for the WH. Where is your breaker panel?

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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What is the max amp draw for the WH? In our '73, the main breaker panel is directly above the WH. It would be pretty simple to add a breaker in the panel with a piece of Romex that runs to a dedicated socket for the WH. Where is your breaker panel?

Jim
About 2 feet away from the water heater. Not sure what is inside the breaker panel in terms of expansion space. Is it a huge deal to put in a new panel if needed?
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:35 PM   #4
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Is it a huge deal to put in a new panel if needed?
No. Just remember, black is hot, white is not, and green grass grows on the ground.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:41 PM   #5
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Not really, it just costs $$$. The panel in ours actually had one open space not used by the factory. I used that open spot to plug in a 15 amp breaker that runs directly to the microwave oven. It will only power the microwave.

Any circuit that powers only one device on a single outlet is called a "dedicated" circuit. May be the best idea for you here.

In our camper, one circuit breaker powers all of the wall sockets. A second (dedicated circuit) breaker powers just the air conditioner unit. Depending on the draw of the water heater, it might be a good idea to put it on a dedicated circuit.

Am I making sense?

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
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Any circuit that powers only one device on a single outlet is called a "dedicated" circuit. May be the best idea for you here.........

Am I making sense?

Jim
You are, I was thinking along those lines without knowing the terms. I was also thinking it might be smart to do the same for the AC (maybe putting another outlet on the circuit to run an electric heater). I would think that doing this would mean putting in a larger box, although I dont know that.
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:55 PM   #7
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How many breakers are in your panel? Originally, ours had 2 breakers. One for the air conditioner and one for everything else. Yours may already be arranged something like this.

I rearranged everything in the panel, so it's not a 25 words or less explanation of how it's all arranged now.

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:01 PM   #8
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How many breakers are in your panel?

Jim
I want to say two. But I haven't looked in there in a while.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:07 PM   #9
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Rodney, does your breaker panel have a main breaker? If so, it is probably 30 amps. It is not a good idea to run an A/C and a microwave at the same time and the same is probably true of an electric water heater and any other appliance that draws a lot. Add the amps together of the various big guys and see what it adds up to. You don't want to trip your main breaker or the CG's.

You can, however, put in a separate, small breaker box with a 20 amp breaker for the water heater only, run a weatherproof extension cord to the 20 amp receptacle commonly found with the 30 amp receptacle at CG's. You'll have to install a separate external weatherproof receptacle on the trailer. This way you can leave the water heater on and use the A/C, or make toast, zap things, run an electric heater or crank up a subwoofer all the way. So, the heating element doesn't really cost only $35.

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Old 02-14-2010, 07:22 PM   #10
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Maybe its a better idea to not run the water heater on electric when the AC is going.........
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:27 AM   #11
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Maybe its a better idea to not run the water heater on electric when the AC is going.........
Probably not since the water heater is a resistance unit, but check the amps on each, then do some wiring with a work around.

Of course, you may not get out of Tenn. until August at this rate.

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Old 02-15-2010, 09:36 AM   #12
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brkr types

check with an electrical supply house-your circuit breaker panel will use a particular type of breaker-oftentimes there are dual single pole breakers ("thin breaker") that will fit into the same space as one original single pole ("thicker breaker"). Assuming, of course you wish to power this wh out of your main panel. If you do change out panels, may I suggest a 50 amp capacity panel, in the event you wish to add even more electrical stuff in the future? You do not have to up-size everything at once (shore line and connectors) but it may be easier to do it once.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:25 AM   #13
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I'm not sure I want to know.....

Here is what I have. I am going to assume, based on the nature of the POs other "refinements" that this is a disaster waiting to happen. The Atwood water heater is listed as 1400 watts (is that 11.6 amps?), the carrier low profile is listed at 14 amps.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:45 AM   #14
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I have a 1976. The factory breaker box would be considered a sub-panel in a house application but it has its own 30 amp main breaker. I can operate a 750 amp microwave, water heater, and A/C without any problems. I took one of the 20 amp breakers to Lowes and matched it with a set of slim breakers. I now have 4 seperate 20 amp breakers in my panel along with the 30 amp main and a 15 amp GFI (kitchen). I ran a seperate service line to the wather heater. I used flex conduit with 12/2 w/ground for the two extra lines. The new breakers and wiring cost less than $100. It all works well together. 5 breakers are enough to power every area of a 29' AS. The only thing to consider are the amps a space heater requires (if you plan on using them) before buying one. The 50 amp service is generally used if you want 2 ACs. Do the math to determine if you need 50 amps. Do not install 50 amp service panel without first upgrading your shore line, ground wire, and connectors.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #15
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Unfortunately you will be at your max amp draw trying to run the AC, converter (Univolt), and hot water heater on electric at the same time.

What I would do is install a separate breaker and use that breaker as an ON/OFF switch if in a bad location install a wall switch and run the wire through the switch so you have control and can switch between AC & propane as you wish.

You can run the HW on propane for years before you would get payback upgrading to 50 amp service. 50 amp is generally for 2 AC's and washer dryer.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:21 PM   #16
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....................What I would do is install a separate breaker and use that breaker as an ON/OFF switch if in a bad location install a wall switch and run the wire through the switch so you have control and can switch between AC & propane as you wish.
You know, that raises a good question, how does one normally control which heating source gets used? Like Gary suggests, or is there another method.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:28 PM   #17
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Good question.
Mine is gas only and works off 12V switch in the RV.

I would suspect 120VAC & gas combination would work off a dual 12V switch in the RV with a 120V relay in the HW compartment.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #18
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I added a 15A breaker to the existing panel. There was room for several more in the panel. Looked at the existing breakers found that they were GE brand. Went to home depot with a description and model of the breaker box. The nice man there pointed me to the breaker I needed. It was about 3 feet from the breaker box around the back of the toilet to the new water heater. Bought a four foot "armored cable Lighting whip" which is a ready made piece of flexible conduit with two conductors and a ground wire in it as well as attached connectors that would fit in the punch outs in the breaker box and water heater. I used the flexible conduit rather than romex because I ran it outside of the wall concealed behind the cabinets around the toilet and felt that the flexible conduit would be better able to handle the constant vibration and abrasion when going over the road. The whip is rated for 15A which is adequate for the dedicated circuit to the water heater element.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:29 PM   #19
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My 68 Trade Wind has room in the existing panel box for 4 breakers, 3 were being used. I added a new dual mode water heater and just added an additional breaker to the old box. Had to remove the knock out on the box cover, easy.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Here is what I have. I am going to assume, based on the nature of the POs other "refinements" that this is a disaster waiting to happen. The Atwood water heater is listed as 1400 watts (is that 11.6 amps?), the carrier low profile is listed at 14 amps.
Am I correct in thinking it may be possible to add a couple circuits to this? I see the spaces but it also looks like the shared connection point on the right for the white wires is full.
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