How Many Amps Does a Water Heater Use? Discover It Now!

As a most needed appliance in harsh cold weather, we must feel reasonably used to having one water heater at home. Hence, we would not bother to calculate and ask how many amps does a water heater use. Only after the electricity bill comes out to do you know that it is essential to know these appliances’ amps.

The electricity bill for these units is quite expensive. You might not use it in a dry and hot season, but the bill can rise relatively high in cold weather. Therefore, it matters to know the water heater amps before using or buying one for yourself.

how many amps does a water heater use

How Many Amps Does a Water Heater Use?

Besides the essential goal to save the costs of electricity bills, other things matter significantly for house owners on knowing the hot water heater amps. Those reasons are for safety matters.

Knowing the amperage of the water heater at home can prevent you from some danger of overloading the system on the unit. Preventing this will ensure the household’s safety is in hand. Moreover, knowing your house is safe is more important than anything, right?

The amperage required by a water heater depends on several factors, including the fuel type, heater type, capacity, and energy efficiency. Understanding these factors can help you grasp the electrical demands of your unit. Key insights include:

  • Generally, a standard water heater with a wattage rating of 4500 watts and a voltage rating of 240 volts will draw about 18.75 amps. Such units typically require a 30-ampere breaker for your water heater to operate safely.
  • Tankless electric water heaters require significantly more power, often needing up to 120 amps to function efficiently due to their on-demand heating mechanism.
  • In contrast, traditional storage water heaters typically operate on 30 amps, considerably less than their tankless counterparts.
  • Gas-electric models, which utilize a combination of gas for heating and electricity for other functions, usually have a lower demand, around 12 amps at 115 volts.

How to Determine Breaker Size for Water Heater

Before determining the size of the water heater breaker, you must know a little information about it. Although it sounds trivial, this knowledge is crucial as it can affect your house’s safety. Here are a few things needed to size the breaker on your unit:

  • You must use the water heater’s breaker only on this unit. Any other appliances could not use it.
  • The breaker should be a double pole.
  • You must use the right size of the breaker to create safety.
  • You need to buy a circuit breaker that can handle one-fourth more electrical than the unit requires.

Hence, here is the tutorial on how to determine the right size for the breaker:

  1. Collect the Right Information

The first thing you need to do is to collect information about the wattage and the voltage of your water heater. You can find this information in the manual, label, or on the internet.

  1. The Calculation

The next step is to calculate the maximum amps for the water heater. You can do this by using the equation:

Watts: Volts = Amps

  1. Calculate the Size of the Breaker

After that, you must multiply the Amps from the above equation by 125%. The number is the size of your breaker.

Ensuring Electrical Compatibility and Safety for Your Water Heater

To ensure the safety and efficiency of your water heater, it’s crucial to consider the wire size and breaker capacity. The wire size for your water heater should be compatible with its current draw, which is determined by its wattage and voltage ratings.

For a standard electric water heater rated at 4500 watts 240 volts, a wire size sufficient to handle 18.75 amps is necessary to maintain a safe and functional system.

Selecting a breaker for your water heater that can accommodate at least 125% of the water heater’s maximum current draw is also advisable to prevent frequent tripping and potential safety hazards.

Choose the Ideal Residential Water Heater

Understanding the calculation of how many amps a water heater use can be helpful knowledge. It could help you choose the type of water heater wisely and get the best option for your home.

As a result, you could save energy as well as save costs. Therefore, you can feel comfortable when the electricity bill comes out without regretting it.

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Jhon Thermon is a skilled author and water heater expert with years of experience in the field. He has authored several articles and books on various aspects of water heater installation, maintenance, and repair.