Adding transfer switch to hot water heater?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by crabjoe, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. crabjoe

    crabjoe New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Location:
    Maryland
    Here's what I'm wondering.. in my area, you can't have a hot water heater with a plug. It has to be hardwired. The only exception to this is if the water heater came corded with a plug form the factory. And I've never seen a full sized hot water heater that came with a plug.

    Ok... to the actual question.. If I were to install something like this EZ generator manual switch, would it satisfy code requirements? The water heater would be hardwired, but in cases of power outages, I'll be able to hook up a generator to heat some water.

    https://ezgeneratorswitch.com/manual-generator-switch/

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. Stuff

    Stuff Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The concept is code compliant unless your have some local/state rules that kick in. That product you reference is only for individual 15amp 120v circuits, not to be used for 240.
     
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Homes built up to the middle 1990's, all water heaters were plugged in using a dryer or electric range plug (At least in Florida). The plug was installed by the electricians. During the middle 1990's code changed and all replacement water heaters had to be changed to direct wire. This added a big cost for customers who had WH replacements by retailers like HD, Lowes and Sears.
    The only way to backup a WH is with a transfer switch, however, depending on your generator, it may not be able to handle the 4500 watt load plus other appliances. Most generators rated at 5000 watts is peak load and not continuous. Must look at the rating plate. Since a WH is 100% resistive load, any inexpensive generator will work, but you not be able to use it with a refrigerator which is inductive load. High quality generators like the Kohler standby generators can.
     
  5. crabjoe

    crabjoe New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2015
    Location:
    Maryland
    Guys, I understand that the plug doesn't support 240v, but a 240v hot water heater can be run on 120. Yeah, it's only the 1/4 of watts, but warm water is better than cold water.

    What I was thinking is when power is being provided by the service main, it would be 240, but if the plug was used, it would be 120. Watching a video of the product, it looked simple enough to just build on my own. Everything looked off the shelf.
     
  6. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    This DIY forum is not to show or endorse short cuts that circumvent safety. I find that many people think a generator is easy and always looking to cut corners. I've stated many times before, a plumbing mistake you get a little water on your head, electrical mistakes you get fire or electrocution, especially when you are standing in water from the plumbing mistake.

    You might be knowing what you are doing, not sure myself, but it is the next owner of the home is where it gets dangerous, or your are not around and your son or helpful neight wants to make the change to "warm water". That is where is can get dangerous because they may think anything can be plugged in. Electrical generators kill a lot of people and it is usually after a storm by carbon monoxide or electrocution.

    A google search:
    The latest of these shows that portable generators have killed on average 70 people a year since 2005. That's a small fraction of the toll from car accidents. Still, generators rank as one of the deadliest consumer products on the market.Dec 8, 2017

    More than 900 people died of carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators between 2005 and 2017, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. CPSC data also indicate that an estimated 15,400 people were treated in emergency rooms for portable generator-related carbon monoxide poisoning during that period.Dec 4, 2019
     
  7. fitter30

    fitter30 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2020
    Occupation:
    Retired service tech
    Location:
    Peace valley missouri
    Added a generator panel and a outdoor generator receptacle for a 7k generator. Have well pump, some lights , water heater, refrigerator and a few.receptacles. No extension cords to trip over, can easily move power around. Need hot water turn it on don't need well off. Even purchased a 4k window ac just for a bedroom just in case keep in a closet.
    IMG_20200423_140039.jpg IMG_20200423_140529_burst_03.jpg
     
  8. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Orlando, Florida
    Nice installation. My comments was not to you directly, just that a lot of questions come up trying to do shortcuts and in my view, each post should be a learning lesson for everyone, not just the person that asked the question. Many times they ask the same question with different wording looking for the answer they want. Stay safe!
     
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