Most people know that they need a breaker to protect their home from an electrical fire.
But many don’t know what size breaker they need. Below, we will discuss the what size breaker for a 5500-watt water heater you need.
What Size Breaker For 5500-Watt Water Heater
You will need a 30-amp dedicated circuit for this type of water heater. The 5500-watt water heater will need a 240-volt circuit to operate.
Keep in mind that you will also need a 10-gauge wire for this application.
If you’re in the process of installing a new water heater or replacing an old one, make sure to get a suitable size breaker.
It would be best to consider the wire gauge size while comparing the power needs. The wire gauge size is determined by the amperage drawn by the heater.
Follow the below table to find the suitable size breaker size and wire Gauge for your 5500-watt Water Heater:
|Element Watts||Breaker Size 120v||Breaker Size 220v||Wire Gauge|
|1500 Watts||15 amp||15 amp||14 Gauge|
|2000 Watts||20 amp||15 amp||14 Gauge|
|2500 Watts||30 amp||15 amp||14 Gauge|
|3000 Watts||30 amp||15 amp||12 Gauge|
|3500 Watts||N/A||20 amp||12 Gauge|
|4000 Watts||N/A||25 amp||10 Gauge|
|4500 Watts||N/A||30 amp||10 Gauge|
|5000 Watts||N/A||30 amp||10 Gauge|
|5500 Watts||N/A||30 amp||10 Gauge|
So, the above table indicates that a 5500 watt water heater will need a 30-amp circuit.
This means that this water heater will need a 10-gauge wire and a 30-amp breaker.
As always, consult an electrician if you’re not sure what size breaker or wire gauge to use.
How To Determine The Correct Breaker Size For Your Water Heater?
Determining the correct breaker size for your water heater is important for safety reasons and to prevent damage to the electrical system in your home.
Here are some steps to follow in order to determine the correct breaker size for your water heater:
Check the manufacturer’s specifications:
The first step in determining the correct breaker size for your water heater is to check the manufacturer’s specifications.
The information will usually be printed on the label or in the owner’s manual.
Look for the electrical requirements section to find the voltage, amperage, and wattage specifications.
Determine the wattage of the water heater:
To determine the wattage of your water heater, multiply the voltage by the amperage.
For example, a 240-volt water heater with a 30-amp rating would be 240 x 30 = 7,200 watts.
Calculate the amperage required:
Once you know the wattage of your water heater, you can calculate the amperage required by dividing the wattage by the voltage.
Using the previous example, 7,200 watts divided by 240 volts equals 30 amps.
Check the electrical panel:
The electrical panel in your home will have information on the size of the breakers that are currently installed.
Look for a breaker that matches the amperage required by your water heater.
For example, if your water heater requires a 30-amp breaker, look for a 30-amp breaker in the panel.
Consult with an electrician:
If you are unsure about the correct breaker size for your water heater, it is always best to consult with a licensed electrician.
They can help you determine the correct size and ensure that the installation is safe and up to code.
Ways to prevent issues when choosing a circuit breaker size for a water heater
Choosing the right circuit breaker size for a water heater is crucial to prevent potential safety hazards and electrical issues.
Here are some preventative measures to take when selecting a circuit breaker size for a water heater:
Consult the manufacturer’s specifications:
Before choosing a circuit breaker size, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s specifications for the water heater.
This information will provide details on the required voltage, amperage, and wattage.
Ensure that the circuit breaker size aligns with the manufacturer’s specifications.
Calculate the amperage required:
Determine the required amperage for the water heater by dividing the wattage by the voltage.
This will help you select a circuit breaker size that aligns with the electrical requirements.
Check the electrical panel:
Verify the size of the breakers in the electrical panel before selecting a circuit breaker for the water heater.
Ensure that the selected circuit breaker size does not exceed the capacity of the electrical panel.
Seek assistance from a licensed electrician:
If you’re unsure about selecting the right circuit breaker size for the water heater, it’s best to seek assistance from a licensed electrician.
They can help you choose the right circuit breaker size and ensure that the installation meets local electrical codes and regulations.
What Size Of Wiring Do I Need For A 5500-Watt Water Heater?
To determine the size of wiring required for a 5500-watt water heater, you need to consider the amperage and voltage requirements.
Assuming a voltage of 240 volts, the amperage required for a 5500-watt water heater would be:
Amperage = Wattage / Voltage Amperage = 5500 / 240 Amperage = 22.9 amps
Based on this calculation, you would need a wire with a minimum rating of 10-gauge wire to handle the 22.9 amps.
It’s recommended to use a wire with a higher rating, such as an 8-gauge wire, to account for any voltage drop or unforeseen electrical demands.
FAQs about What Size Breaker For 5500-Watt Water Heater
What Size Breaker Do I Need For A Dual 5500-Watt Water Heater?
An 80-gallon heater powered by 5500 watts and 240 volts will produce the equivalent of 28.64 amps.
That is to say, a 30-amp dedicated circuit breaker is sufficient.
Is It Safe To Use A 40 Amp Breaker For A 30 Amp Water Heater?
No, using a 40 amp breaker for a 30 amp water heater is not safe.
The water heater will require a 10-gauge wire, and the average home has breakers that are only rated for 120 volts.
Can I Replace My 4500 Watts With A 5500-Watt Water Heater?
If your breaker is 30 amps, you could just as easily replace the 4500 watt water heater with a 5500 watt water heater.
The wire should be sufficient at 10 gauge.
If your home is not wired for 240 volts, you will need to upgrade the electrical panel.
Hope this article helped shed some light on what size breaker you’ll need for a 5500 watt water heater.
As you can see, the breaker you need must be compatible with the voltage and amperage of your water heater.
Remember to follow all the NEC guidelines to ensure a safe installation.