My meter runs ridiculously fast when my water heater breaker is on

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Jeremy Porter, May 29, 2021.

  1. Jeremy Porter

    Jeremy Porter New Member

    May 29, 2021
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Feb 6, 2011
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Probably you have an electric water heater. Switch to gas if available.
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  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida The wife is still training me.

    Oct 28, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    The meter looks good and I've seen my meter move just as fast. One thing about an electric water heater, nearly 100% of the input energy is converted to heat. It's not costing more to heat the water unless there is a run away thermostat but then your water would be scalding hot.

    If you want to check the water heater and you're not afraid working with electricity here are few tips. YouTube has hundreds of videos on testing electric WH's.
    You'll need a clamp meter to check out your electric water heater. Each element is usually 4500 watts at 240 volts. That's is just over 18 amps current draw. If your upper or lower thermostats was bad that keeps both heating elements on, the current draw would be over 30 amps and your 30 amp breaker would trip. If your line voltage is 220v, current will be lower. Only one element is on at one time.

    A clamp meter is also a volt ohm meter. To check the element disconnect the power. Then remove at least one wire at the heating element and measure the ohm across the terminals. For a 4500 watt element it will read around 13 ohms.

    If your good at it, remove the breaker panel, with the WH heater on, place the clamp around one of the hot wires going to the WH. It'll read about 18 amps, less if the line voltage is less than 240v.
  5. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2013
    To save energy bills, you can get a "hybrid" water heater if natural gas is not available.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If you have an electric dryer or stove, turn one of those on and check the meter...
  7. JerryR

    JerryR Active Member

    Jul 27, 2011
    Looks normal for almost 19 amps.
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