Hard wire water heater?

Anyone know if it is required that water heaters in Florida be hard wired and not plugged in?
If so when did the code come in to effect?
Thanks in advance

Here in Florida, the FBC follows the NEC, and it does not allow cord & plug connection for a water heater, unless the unit comes from the manufacturer with that configuration (think small point of use, under sink tanks).


I realize that the code says to be hard wired but if the water heater came with a plug should it still be hard wired?

  1. If the water heater was installed say 10 years ago (yes nearing it’s end of life) is the fact that it is not hard wired written on the 4 point report as a defect that needs correcting?

No and No. Whole house water heaters do not come with a cord, and I don’t know of one that allows a cord. 4pts are not code inspections anyway.

Added: To call out a cord on a WH for a 4pt depends on the cord. If it’s undersized or obviously substandard (romex with a plug), then it should be called out.

I have attached a picture of the water heater with the cord.
My own house and all my neighbors have a cord plugged in with the same type of wiring.
The only time that a few of the houses are hard wired is if FPL came by to install one of their control devices and asked if we wanted it hard wired. They also left the existing wire and just cut the plug off and wired it directly into a junction box with a switch.

Must be a local thing for disconnect reasons. I would mention it in a home inspection. Looks like a 20A / 240v cord for a A/C wall unit. Your call on a 4pt, but it’s likely overfused if on a 30A breaker.

Did they do this for a dedicated on call circuit?

What do you mean “on call” ? Not sure I follow your question

FPL ‘|’ Ways to Save ‘|’ On Call

I just spoke with an electrician.
He stated the following:

It is not up to code if the water heater is not hard wired - however, it is not a code violation.

He also went on to state that he has seen inspection reports where the inspector will mark that the water heater is not wired according to code and also not even mention it.

One more thing the electrician stated is that if the wiring is thick enough and everything looks good, then it is not a safety hazard.

Ah, yes. FPL came to our house to change out the existing device (they wanted to upgrade it) and said that the only way they can upgrade the device is if they hard wire it. Older one was not hard wired.
I then asked him about a switch - he said it is not necessary as I can use the breaker in the panel.
I told him I wanted a switch which he was happy to install.

Upps… you make me some concerns now…

The Condo guy installed now a 2nd hand (1000,–THB) water heater (6KW) and a new tab for me which works pretty well. He put some splitter between the cold water pipe and the tab/water heater.

Is this secure? Works straight forward and obviously, power is no issue as well as he took this from next kitchen door’s oven.

As you may see - there is almost no wires :smiley:

Another option would be to try an pull up the manufacturer instructions on stuff like that. It should state the correct installation. I wouldn’t see the harm if that’s a dryer cord plugged into a dryer outlet as they are 30amp also, but May void manufacture warranty. Breaker can only be a disconnect if it’s in sight or lockable.

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