Is this a legit install ?

norcal

Senior Member
How is it legal to use a non grounding cord & receptacle? It's 30A 125/250V for use with clothes dryers installed prior to the adoption of the 1996 NEC, And as already said, hardwiring would have been cheaper, and looked better too.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
North Georgia mountains
Occupation
Owner/electrical contractor
View attachment 2561084

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.
In the Dominican Republic, they have 10 gallon water heaters in each bathroom. The master bath at the house I stayed at had a 30 gallon with a 105 gallon Jacuzzi tub. Yeah, that was about worthless! The owner finally changed it to two gas tankless water heaters.
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
Well, I lived on Marco for many years. When I first moved there in the 80s and saw water heaters cord and plug connected I was told that this was a SW Florida thing and everyone did them that way. Not only is it a violation and always has been, most are using NEMA 10-30 120/240 dryer cords which is the wrong configuration even if cord and plug was allowed it should be a 6-30 240 cord.
Another issue was that many of the earlier small condos originally had 3500 watt WHs connected with 20 amp cord and recep. As time went on the plumbers would come along and install a new 4500 watt replacement WH and use the same cord and plug. Of course, over time the recep/cord cap would fail and there were some fires due to this.
 

wwhitney

Senior Member
Location
Berkeley, CA
Occupation
Retired
Another issue was that many of the earlier small condos originally had 3500 watt WHs connected with 20 amp cord and recep. As time went on the plumbers would come along and install a new 4500 watt replacement WH and use the same cord and plug. Of course, over time the recep/cord cap would fail and there were some fires due to this.
While 422.13 would require at least a 25A OCPD for a 4500W water heater, just looking at the cord and plug, isn't a 20A cord and plug rated for 20A continuously?

Cheers, Wayne
 

texie

Senior Member
Location
Fort Collins, Colorado
Occupation
Electrician, Contractor, Inspector
While 422.13 would require at least a 25A OCPD for a 4500W water heater, just looking at the cord and plug, isn't a 20A cord and plug rated for 20A continuously?

Cheers, Wayne
No, only 80% rated. And yes the the 20 amp breaker and #12 conductors were also too small but many held for years but we also often found long term heat/arcing damage to the breaker bus connection. It didn't help that in this time frame many were Zinsco panels.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
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)
I’m not following where we differ?
I have the same understanding.
its not listed for cord and plug connections
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
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.
400.12(1) wouldn’t be relevant. A water heater isn’t a structure
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
422.16 Flexible Cords.

(A) General. Flexible cord shall be permitted (1) for the connection of appliances to facilitate their frequent inter‐ change or to prevent the transmission of noise or vibration or (2) to facilitate the removal or disconnection of appliances that are fastened in place, where the fastening means and mechani‐ cal connections are specifically designed to permit ready removal for maintenance or repair and the appliance is inten‐ ded or identified for flexible cord connection.

Again, the solid piping alone doesnt allow or “permit ready removal for maintenance or repair”
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
422.16 Flexible Cords.

(A) General. Flexible cord shall be permitted (1) for the connection of appliances to facilitate their frequent inter‐ change or to prevent the transmission of noise or vibration or (2) to facilitate the removal or disconnection of appliances that are fastened in place, where the fastening means and mechani‐ cal connections are specifically designed to permit ready removal for maintenance or repair and the appliance is inten‐ ded or identified for flexible cord connection.

Again, the solid piping alone doesnt allow or “permit ready removal for maintenance or repair”

One could argue that the presence of unions in the piping would permit ready removal. Interestingly, I don’t see any unions in the picture!
 

goldstar

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
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.
I agree. But, if it was the plumber who did the install he probably wasn't qualified or authorized to make that change. Seeing as how it was set up for plug-and-play he took the less complicated way out. I'm guessing the house had to be inspected. If I was the EI, I wound not have passed this just bsed on that alone.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired) DINOSAUR
I’m not following where we differ?
I have the same understanding.
its not listed for cord and plug connections
The "difference" comes from my inability to read words like "isn't" :)
I read "is" twice.
 

drcampbell

Senior Member
Location
The Motor City, Michigan USA
Occupation
Engineer
Not anymore due to back flow preventers
Are those commonly used? I don't think I've ever seen one in a house.

One could argue that the presence of unions in the piping would permit ready removal. Interestingly, I don’t see any unions in the picture!
This was clearly a non-union job!
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
North Georgia mountains
Occupation
Owner/electrical contractor
Are those commonly used? I don't think I've ever seen one in a house.


This was clearly a non-union job!
They are either together with the pressure regulator, or at the street at the meter. Very common. Not needed with well systems because of the pressure tank for the well pump, but if a regulator/check valve is installed after the tank, then they are required.
 

retirede

Senior Member
Location
Illinois
I see that a lot in copper systems. The rationale is when the WH dies, you cut the pipe, then install the replacement using a repair coupling.

Yeah, makes sense. In my own experience, by the time the heater needs replaced, the new ones have been redesigned and the piping has to be modified anyway!
 
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