ELECTRICAL CURRENT(S) IN A WATER HEATER

The Tank ELECTRICAL CURRENT(S) IN A WATER HEATER

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  • #23141
    KULTULZ
    Participant

    Larry,

    Below is a quote from another thread-

    eleent

    wrote:

    Hello: It seems that as the prior set of heaters lasted six years without failing, it’s unlikely that stray current is the culprit, unless some electrical work was done that is putting current into the lines. Even so, I’d make sure the tanks are bonded and grounded all the way back to the main electrical panel. With that, you should not be able to read any significant current.

    More likely is the softener ate up the anodes quickly and the tanks had no choice but to rust. 😕 I’ve seen anodes completely used up in six months with softened water, though usually they last more like two years.

    I do think powered anodes are a good solution, but the job of replacing anodes is not difficult if you take the time with new tanks to unscrew the anodes, apply teflon tape and reinstall before they are put into service. This will make replacement later rather simple. Still, the costs do add up if you need to replace sacrificial rods every two years.

    Yours, Larry

    ___________________

    I need to be educated here. Is this referring to a WH that is plumbed in with all metal tubing/lines and/or any current(s) that can result from the water within the WH?

    Should a WH that is plumbed with CPVC/PEX be grounded/bonded?

    Hope that made sense… :X

    #23143
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I don’t know if the heater in question was plumbed in plastic pipe. It’s older, so I imagine it’s plumbed in copper. The original poster had measured some current, so the clues suggest metal piping. For both electric and gas heaters, plumbed with metal pipe, I like to bond and ground everything (hot side, cold side, gas line). For a gas heater piped in plastic, there is no stray current to fix (I don’t expect, nor have I found any significant current flowing through domestic water). With an electric heater, I have seen elements leak current, so think it best if all electric heaters, or any heaters supplied with power, be grounded back to the main breaker box ground. Is that clear as mud? 😀

    Yours, Larry

    #23144
    KULTULZ
    Participant

    eleent wrote:

    Hello: I don’t know if the heater in question was plumbed in plastic pipe. It’s older, so I imagine it’s plumbed in copper. The original poster had measured some current, so the clues suggest metal piping. For both electric and gas heaters, plumbed with metal pipe, I like to bond and ground everything (hot side, cold side, gas line). For a gas heater piped in plastic, there is no stray current to fix (I don’t expect, nor have I found any significant current flowing through domestic water).

    With an electric heater, I have seen elements leak current, so think it best if all electric heaters, or any heaters supplied with power, be grounded back to the main breaker box ground.

    Is that clear as mud? 😀

    Yours, Larry”

    Yes it does and is appreciated.

    When measuring current, is the reading taken at the nipples and is the ground wire solid core or stranded and does it need to be insulated wire? If grounded to a sub-panel, will that be in code?

    I really appreciate the sharing of your knowledge… 😉

    #23146
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hi: Sharing is what makes this site fun! 😀 The ground wire should be #6 solid copper, and tied directly into the main panel. (That’s my understanding of code.) That way we know there is only a single ground rod, not multiple rods. This matters because you can develop current between ground rods, unless they also are connected together.

    Where you connect the ground/bond wires is affected by electrical breaks in the plumbing. For example, flex connectors may have a dielectric built into their ends, so it would make no sense to ground to a flex line. You might need to ground hot and cold together (above the flex connectors) and bring another ground from the tank itself. Current can be measured from any point in the plumbing and also the best and closest ground, which could be a grounded outlet or the ground rod to the main panel. Hope that helps!

    Yours, Larry

    #23152
    KULTULZ
    Participant

    eleent wrote:

    Hi: Sharing is what makes this site fun! 😀

    The ground wire should be #6 solid copper, and tied directly into the main panel. (That’s my understanding of code.) That way we know there is only a single ground rod, not multiple rods. This matters because you can develop current between ground rods, unless they also are connected together.

    Where you connect the ground/bond wires is affected by electrical breaks in the plumbing. For example, flex connectors may have a dielectric built into their ends, so it would make no sense to ground to a flex line. You might need to ground hot and cold together (above the flex connectors) and bring another ground from the tank itself. Current can be measured from any point in the plumbing and also the best and closest ground, which could be a grounded outlet or the ground rod to the main panel. Hope that helps!

    Yours, Larry”

    Yes, it is all making sense. I appreciate your help. I now understand the principle.

    I found the below ILL on GOOGLE and it may help someone-

    Attached files

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