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Thread: 1 pole, 2 wire or 2 pole 3 wire switch for water heater?

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  1. #1

    Default 1 pole, 2 wire or 2 pole 3 wire switch for water heater?

    This is probably a dumb question, but...I am installing a disconnect on the water heater to turn it off when I am gone, which is about ALL the time. I thought I knew what I needed, a 30 amp switch. Sounds simple enough. The problem is this, I found a website that has 2 different 30A indoor switches. One is a 2 pole 3 wire and the other is single pole, 2 wire. Both with solid neutrals. The single pole, 2 wire is only 19.99 and the other is 31.99. They both say they are for water heaters. So which do I need???

    Could someone also explain the difference? I am sure once its explained to me it will make sense, but right now its driving me insane! Thanks!!!

  2. #2


    I don't understand the 'solid neutral.' It is a code violation to switch neutrals (unless you are wiring a gas station).

    What you need is a 2-pole 30a switch. Another term for it is a Double-pole single-throw.

    Can you provide a link to this website your found?
    Just my 2 worth.

  3. #3



    I was looking at the 30A non-fused indoor square D switches about half way down.

  4. #4


    The 19.99 one is fine.

    wait...it's not

    Although I have never seen one, it implies that it's a single pole (120v) switch.

    The one next to it says unfused but the description says "cartrige fuses".

    A pullout style is only 15 bucks but you can only enter it from the bottom portion.

    Top left..AC disco

    Last edited by Alectrician; 11-04-2007 at 02:03 PM.

  5. #5


    Their descriptions don't make sense. They say it's a 1-pole, but it's for 240 volts. 240 requires two poles in order to be a disconnect.

    By the time you figure out what you want with an online store, plus pay shipping & handling, you could have it done if you buy locally. I'd say just head down to your local hardware store or home center and pick one off the shelf.
    Just my 2 worth.

  6. #6


    I almost bought a 30A pullout style from my local hardware, but a switch style seems like the better way to go. No pullout thingy to lose. Sure you shouldn't lose it, but ya never know. The last thing I want to do is not be able to take a shower because the pullout I swore I left on top of the water heater has suddenly "walked off!"


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