Tankless Electric Water Heater Below an Electrical Panel

tomatobeanFebruary 6, 2013

Is there any reason why I can't/shouldn't install a tankless electric water heater directly under my electrical panel. We are in an old house and we are finishing our utility room into a laundry room and this would be the best location for current plumbing, electrical, and aesthetics. Is there anything prohibiting it in electrical codes or in some piece of common sense I am lacking. All of our electrical connections go through the attic (i.e. no connections beneath the panel.) Thanks for your input.

-Abi

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hrajotte

What are the dimensions? How much will it stick out? It would probably violate panel clearance requirements. There needs to be a certain amount of free space in front of the panel, from floor to ceiling I believe. One of the pros will be along with the actual dimensions.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 2:32PM
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btharmy

It would be a violation of the National Electrical Code. NEC 110.26(A)(1),(2) & (3) cover working space around panels. There must be clear working space at least 36" out from the panel. The width of the working space must be a minimum of 30", or as wide as the equipment if wider. The height of the working space must be clear from the floor to at least 6ft 6in above the floor. Only other equipment associated with the electrical installation are allowed inside of this space. Even then, the other equipment cannot extend more than 6in beyond the front of the panel.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 4:34PM
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tomatobean

Thanks guys for the input. We took another look and I think we are going to put it on the ajoining wall. The electrical panel is almost all the way in the corner, but we are going to inset the tankless water heater into the wall.

I had a different but somewhat related question... I know I need clear space of 30" surrounding the electrical panel, but is it okay if a doorway is beside the panel within that 30" space? The door would be a pocket door opening in the opposite direction of the panel.

Thanks for the input. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 9:18PM
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btharmy

The door is not a problem.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 10:04PM
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GreenDesigns

The question of the location of the heater has been solved, but whether or not your panel can support the LARGE electrical draw that a tankless will have is unanswered. They need a lot of electricity all at once,(150 amps) whereas a tanked heater uses the same amount a little at a time (30 amps). Consequently, you need a large panel to be able to utilize a tankless electrical, and you need to be located in a warm climate. If you are in a cold climate, or only have a 200 amp panel that's full, then you are not going to be able to use electrical tankless without redoing your panel and possibly redoing the service drop. And they offer almost zero improvement in efficiency of a new high quality tanked electric heater. Gas tankless is another story, but electrical tankless is only truly practical if designed for a new build from the beginning. Retrofitting is extremely expensive and won't give you a payback for the cost differences inside of your lifetime.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 11:30PM
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countryboymo

The amperage needed depends on how the heater size was chosen. Sales people love to size them so every hot water source can be used which is overkill x10. Is there a need for all of the bath/showers to be in use while a load of dishes is going with a load of whites in the laundry on hot? If it will not run two showers/baths at the same time who cares because you are still a step ahead of a tank because as soon as the one person is done the next can immediately hop in and take theirs.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:21PM
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countryboymo

The amperage needed depends on how the heater size was chosen. Sales people love to size them so every hot water source can be used which is overkill x10. Is there a need for all of the bath/showers to be in use while a load of dishes is going with a load of whites in the laundry on hot? If it will not run two showers/baths at the same time who cares because you are still a step ahead of a tank because as soon as the one person is done the next can immediately hop in and take theirs.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 3:29PM
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dazilazi

Have to disagree with GreenDesigns who states,
"they offer almost zero improvement in efficiency of a new high quality tanked electric heater. ...electrical tankless is only truly practical if designed for a new build from the beginning. Retrofitting is extremely expensive and won't give you a payback for the cost differences inside of your lifetime."

I put a whole-house electric tankless in my 1906 house and will never store water in a tank again. Absolutely love it!

It's mounted on the wall, directly to the side and just above the dryer. I did not bother to hide the water lines inside the wall, but since they're [mostly] hidden by the dryer, who cares? Sometimes, putting plumbing pipes in the wall is highly overrated. Mine is in the bath/laundry room and I've never found it to be unsightly.

Yes, the tankless requires quite a bit of power: Mine requires two, double-pole 60amp breakers with 6g wire. So, here's where distance from the electric panel is a cost consideration.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:33AM
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petey_racer

"I put a whole-house electric tankless in my 1906 house and will never store water in a tank again. Absolutely love it! "

What are you comparing it to?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 8:55PM
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