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Forum topic by SeattleD posted 06-28-2013 06:07 PM 549 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SeattleD

15 posts in 466 days


06-28-2013 06:07 PM

I recently moved into a townhouse with a decent sized 2 car garage, following a divorce. I had a major shop previously, and would like to set up a smaller one in my new house. The limitation has been that there is only ONE 15 amp 120v outlet in the space. There is however a 240V water heater on 30 amp breakers in the garage, fed by 10/3 w/ground, hard wired at the heater. My plan is to replace the hard wire connection at the heater with a suitable plug/outlet (as used on a range or dryer, selected for sufficient amperage) which I can disconnect in order to use the 240v source as needed for shop machines. I’m not sure if this is “code”, but I see no reason this should not work or be any kind of a safety hazard from a technical standpoint, and I can easily switch it back to hard wired prior to moving out in the future. Does anyone know if putting a water heater on a plug/outlet connection is a code issue? Any other thoughts appreciated. I should say I am very experienced with basic electrical work, and have done a fair bit of it. The townhouse was built around 2007.

TIA

-- David


8 replies so far

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

576 posts in 1732 days


#1 posted 06-29-2013 02:31 AM

It would work but I don’t think it would meet code. You could install a transfer switch but that might be kind of spendy. Hopefully there is a way to get another circuit out there one way or another so you can have a more convenient solution.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View wiser1934's profile

wiser1934

399 posts in 1813 days


#2 posted 06-29-2013 02:50 AM

the best way to do it is to install a subpanel fed by the 30 amp 220 volt line. i would say a 100 amp subpanel would work well. one with at least 8 full size spaces. then run you 120 volt outlets off the subpanel using 15 amp s.p. breakers. do not forget to install a ground bar in the subpanel

-- wiser1934, new york

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

5085 posts in 649 days


#3 posted 06-29-2013 02:52 AM

Don’t see any problem with it….other than taking a while to get hot water again when you go back in the house;-)

30 amps is too small for a sub panel.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View SeattleD's profile

SeattleD

15 posts in 466 days


#4 posted 06-29-2013 03:38 AM

Thanks for the replies. This place is basically 3 floors, the garage is the ground floor, and the main breaker box is on the 3rd floor. If it were in the garage, or even on the 2nd floor, I’d just run another line, but going from the top floor, especially in a rental, where I can’t go toooooo nuts with modifications, is more than I should do here. It seems to me that if the outlet, plug, & line to the heater are all up to the current draw, there should really be no safety issues. But I sure wish that breaker box was in the garage!

-- David

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

967 posts in 692 days


#5 posted 06-29-2013 05:07 AM

Again, the old electrical dilemma. Better you than me. (sorry)

View Nowater's profile

Nowater

8 posts in 607 days


#6 posted 06-29-2013 05:30 AM

Look for a waste line vent and see if it gets you close to the panel and your garage. Sometimes that is a good way between floors.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

517 posts in 865 days


#7 posted 06-29-2013 07:03 AM

For a fairly safe and clean setup, get a double throw safety switch like this one at HD.

Your existing 30A circuit will feed the switch which can then select between the water heater or a 30A receptacle. The water heater can be wired directly to the switch so you don’t need to be constantly plugging and unplugging the thing.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View toolie's profile

toolie

1764 posts in 1295 days


#8 posted 06-29-2013 10:22 AM

good suggestion from mrunix. i’d offer two additional ideas relative to his suggestion. look for a lower rated similar switch to reduce the cost. a 30A rated similar switch will work safely and cost less. next, attach a 6 circuit sub panel to the non HW side of the double throw switch if you’d like more than just one more 220v receptacle. i run my entire shop on a 30A sub panel. additional wiring from the sub panel is simple and could be surface mount ed for removal should you move elsewhere.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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