electric water heater

A GE electric water heater stated “total wattage - 4500/3308” The instruction manual stated that for 240v 4500w, the breaker is 25 amps. For 208v, it’s 30 amp. Do I say that the breaker should be 25 amps cause it’s a 240v circuit or do i say the installed 30amp is ok cause the heating elements run at 208v? thanks

30 amp breaker is fine 240 volt heater on 208 will just be a little slower .If this is a home I would not be concerned.

208Volts is a 3-phase service distribution panel.
Can someone tell me why a home would have such?
Roy is correct, you can run a AC/DC Welder on 208, but the amperage setting will have to be set higher than it would be at 240 volts.


I have never seen a 208 volt system in a home in Canada.
I expect the manufacture just put two voltages on the name plate .
This unfortunately leads to some confusion with many people .
The Water heater is single phase so it does not care as long as the voltage is not above 240 volts.

Do they serve condo units at 120/208 in Canada like they so often do in the US? A condo or high-rise is where you’d normally expect to find 208 in a dwelling unit.

We do not have a lot of Condos in my area but any I have seen are 120/240 volt.
I have often though how great it would be to have 208 in the home one more wire and 50% more power.
Must be a reason but I have no idea why not.

Another thing you have to remember…if the system is truly 120/240V then you can’t use a 208V breaker in the panel…the line to line would be 240V and the breaker is only listed for 208V…

if the breaker is listed 120/240V then you are fine but if the breaker is a 120/208V then it is not supposed to be in that panel enclosure…IF the panel inclosure is a 120/240V listed panel…and the voltage you are dealing with is truly 120/240V and indeed not 208V…

Sorry…that gets a bit cryptic but you know what I mean…if breaker is a 208V rated breaker and the line to line potential is 240V then the breaker has to be rated for 240V line to line…

There may be some confusion here.
If I read your post correctly it is a residential WH being supplied by 240 VAC. The installed OCP is 30 A and therfore exceeds the mfgs. recommended OCP of 25 A when supplied by 240 V.

Mine was just educational Michael…in regards to reading breakers ratings…seemed like a nice educational moment…lol

If the manual says install a 25A breaker…I would install a 25A breaker…

Your always educational and a great NACHI asset. :slight_smile:

Now apply some ice to your head to prevent swelling. :slight_smile:

hell man…I am so humble…CRAP sits higher on the plain of life than me and my swelling head…but it’s all good…wife reminds me everyday what I am…(sigh)…

Wives are way too good at that. I know mine is. :slight_smile:


The manual for the water heater stated…
240v - 25 amp breaker
208v - 30 amp breaker

I’m thinking that the line itself is 240v but the heating element may be 208v? wasn’t sure, but this particular house had a 30 amp breaker installed in the panel and since I’ve never seen 208v, assumed it was a 240v(like everything else is) and said to change the breaker to 25.

Scott, the heater element is probably rated in watts so a different breaker is required for protection depending on input voltage.

You did the right thing in calling out the need for a change.:slight_smile: