Is this a legit install ?

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Water heater.jpg

In a recent visit to Marco Island, FL with my family we stayed at a beautiful 4 bedroom house. In the garage was this 30 gallon electric water heater. FWIW, with 9 people taking showers the water temp. recovery time is terrible. Anyway, I had to take this photo because every other electrical thing in the house was done with the utmost care and craftsmanship. I found it odd that this was installed in this manner. It looks like the installer went to HD, bought a heavy duty 30A power cord, cut the female end off, peeled back the ground wire and attached it to the ground screw on the outside of the wiring compartment. There are 2 120V single receptacles to the right for a washer and dryer. You need a ladder to access any of these receptacles. BTW, the breaker panel is about 15' to the right.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Retired Electrician
Actually these cords are sold for the purpose and would not have a female end, it would be legal.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Actually these cords are sold for the purpose and would not have a female end, it would be legal.
Maybe so Roger, but would you be proud of this installation ? The water heater is an appliance that is fixed in place and not easily movable or relocatable like the washer and dryer. Why would someone choose to use a cord and plug connection in this case ? I'm trying to think of reasons why the receptacle was located that high. My guess is that there is cinder block lower than that. Still, you shouldn't have to use a step ladder to remove the plug IMHO and, at the very least, the receptacle could have easily been turned around so the cord didn't have to be bent in order for it to be plugged in. I'm also thinking an EC did the receptacle install and a plumber did the water heater install and used the cord and plug.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
🤔
422.16(A)??

The pipe connections tell us it’s not readily removable
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
North Georgia mountains
Occupation
Owner/electrical contractor
The plumbing is not up to standards either, no expansion tank. No hot/cold bond jumper either. Probably was changed out by the owner/maintenance person. Probably done that way so they could unplug it during the off rental season instead of turning the breaker off.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The electrical is high in the air probably to be above a flood zone.
That's a good point. The house is located adjacent to a lagoon and is elevated about 4-6' above the water line. IMHO, if the water gets up that high it's probably the end of the world. :cool:
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
The plumbing is not up to standards either, no expansion tank. No hot/cold bond jumper either. Probably was changed out by the owner/maintenance person. Probably done that way so they could unplug it during the off rental season instead of turning the breaker off.
Some good points. I didn't think you needed an expansion tank unless you have a pressure reducing valve installed. Also, I thought that bonding hot and cold water pipes isn't done in all states. I could be wrong.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Retired Electrician
Maybe so Roger, but would you be proud of this installation ? The water heater is an appliance that is fixed in place and not easily movable or relocatable like the washer and dryer. Why would someone choose to use a cord and plug connection in this case ? I'm trying to think of reasons why the receptacle was located that high. My guess is that there is cinder block lower than that. Still, you shouldn't have to use a step ladder to remove the plug IMHO and, at the very least, the receptacle could have easily been turned around so the cord didn't have to be bent in order for it to be plugged in. I'm also thinking an EC did the receptacle install and a plumber did the water heater install and used the cord and plug.
Being proud of an installation and being legal do not necessarily go with each other.
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
Being proud of an installation and being legal do not necessarily go with each other.
Understood. That was just my opinion. I always stand back and take a look at what I’ve done and ask myself whether it’s acceptable or not. Has nothing to do with being Code compliant, I agree
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Being proud of an installation and being legal do not necessarily go with each other.
Well when it comes to being proud of the installation, whoever did it should at least turned that receptacle the other way so the cord hangs in nicer fashion.
 

roger

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Fl
Occupation
Retired Electrician
The bottom line is they could have saved money and hard wired it
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
Yes, and you will also find similar requirement in art 400
Where??
I don’t think anything in article 400 would be relevant to this installation since it’s not legal in the first place.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
Occupation
Retired
An expansion tank isn't needed when a house is supplied directly with city water.
Any expansion that occurs simply backs up into the city water main without causing any high pressures.
Unless the water meter has a built-in check valve, which is sometimes the case these days. Or a PRV is installed. Then an expansion tank is required.

Cheers, Wayne
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired) DINOSAUR
Also isn’t legal according to UL.
KSDT
My understanding differs:
UL Whiter Book:m KSDT These water heaters are intended for household use and permanent connection to the supply source in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 70, ‘‘National Electrical Code.’’
and a dated comment from "UL Corner"
Only small capacity (5 gallons or less) electric household storage tank water heaters or electric commercial water heaters that are designed to permit removal for maintenance and repair have been Listed for cord-and-plug connection. These products are Listed under the product categories Household Water Heaters (KSDT)
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Where??
I don’t think anything in article 400 would be relevant to this installation since it’s not legal in the first place.
If I was the inspector for this I would have cited 400.12(1) before anything else.

Had installer pleaded it complies with 400.10 (6, 7 or 8), I would have said they are pushing limits on any of those. This particular arrangement doesn't really meet any those circumstances, and they basically same circumstances that does permit flexible cord to be used in 422.16 as well.
 
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