I am changing from an LP water heater to electric...I have a question...are electric water heaters hard wired or plugged in...
You would NOT want to insert a 20 amp plug under load, and there is no way you could turn the heater off while plugging it. But WHY are you changing, unless you get your electricity from the TVA?
When I got my last electric bill, here in New England, I'm now paying over $0.17/KwHr...electric heat would be a major financial expense. In most places around the country, gas is the cheaper way to heat. There are exceptions, but fairly rare.
Important note - I'm not a pro
Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013
Even in the Pacific Northwest where our electric rates are much lower than most other areas, gas is much cheaper than electric, and has a far faster recovery time. Switching from electric to gas would require venting to be installed, but you already have the vent. Makes no sense to me to change.
not to mention the cost of running 220 to the heater location, unless it's already there.
It appears that the OP is burning propane. Propane != NG. Maybe the OP means natural gas, but I am thinking the OP is on a propane tank. Propane tends to be quite a bit more expensive than natural gas. The reason for the change might also be that the OP changed the other items that used gas over to electric and perhaps the WH is the last thing on the tank. If that is the case, it would be good to switch to electric so the tank could be eliminated. We don't know the details.
Around here, a natural gas WH would be only slightly cheaper to run than electric (and propane would be more expensive). However, if the WH was the only gas device, the basic sevice charge for just having natural gas available would kill any potential savings. Many people assume that gas will always be less expensive than electric (often is), but you have to run the your numbers to know for sure.
For the actual question:
- hardwired, 220V, 30A circuit, 10-2 Romex wire is typically what is needed for an electric unit
I am changing because of my elevation..and wind. Keeping the LP water heater going has become a major pain. I live an hour from any service and get charged 150 travel fee for every service. The choice has nothing to do with energy cost but convienience.
I am learning quickly that the WH switch is no easy task....but its necessary unfortunately. I am hoping it will make my future a little more maintenance free
Addressing the gas heater's flame problem would make more sense than changing it. And maybe it just takes learning how to light the pilot. But I would install an electronic pilot maintainer which relights the pilot as soon as it goes out, eliminating the problem.