Author Topic: Water Heater Plug  (Read 385 times)

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Water Heater Plug
« on: April 25, 2018, 05:09:37 PM »
Is it ok to install a power vent water heater and allow the customer to run it on an extension cord instead of a plug close enough to plug it in? Is there any actual code they need to have a plug close enough to directly plug it in?

I come across this issue with many natural draft to power vent conversions with the odd install where the powering of the water heater is left in the hands of the home owner.

Offline Admin

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 05:40:43 PM »
Using an extension cord to plug in a water heater would be against Code.

See OESC Rule 4-012(3)(a),

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4-012 Uses of flexible cord (see Appendix B)
(1) Flexible cord shall be of the types specified in Table 11 for the specific condition of use and shall be suitable for the particular location involved with respect to, but not limited to
(a) moisture;
(b) corrosive action;
(c) temperature;
(d) degree of enclosure; and
(e) exposure to mechanical damage.
(2) Flexible cord shall be permitted to be used for
(a) electrical equipment for household or similar use that is intended to be
(i) moved from place to place; or
(ii) detachably connected according to a Canadian Electrical Code, Part II Standard;
(b) electrical equipment for industrial use that must be capable of being moved from place to place for operation;
(c) pendants;
(d) wiring of cranes, hoists, passenger ropeways, and passenger conveyors;
(e) the connection of stationary equipment to facilitate its interchange, where a deviation is allowed in accordance with Rule 2-030;
(f) the prevention of transmission of noise and vibration;
(g) the connection of electrical components between which relative motion is necessary;
(h) the connection of appliances such as ranges and clothes dryers; and
(i) both the connection, using an attachment plug, and the interconnection of data processing systems, provided that the cord is of the extra-hard-usage type.
(3) Flexible cord and cord sets shall not be used
(a) as a substitute for the fixed wiring of structures and shall not be

(i) permanently secured to any structural member;
(ii) run through holes in walls, ceilings, or floors; or
(iii) run through doorways, windows, or similar openings;
(b) at temperatures above the temperature rating of the cord or at temperatures sufficiently low as to be liable to result in damage to the insulation or overall covering; and
(c) for the suspension of any device weighing more than 2.3 kg, unless the cord and device assembly are marked as capable of supporting a weight up to 11 kg.
(4) Flexible cord shall be protected against mechanical damage by an insulating bushing or some other effective means where it enters or passes through the enclosure wall or the partitioning of a device or enters a lampholder.
(5) Where a flexible cord is used as an extension cord or to plug into an appliance or other device, no live parts shall be exposed when one end is connected to a source of supply and the other end is free.

I would also refer to the water heater installation manual.  For example the Rinnai RUC80 manual says,

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Do not use an extension cord or an adapter plug with this appliance.
If using the 5 foot long power cord, plug it into a standard 3 prong 120 VAC, 60 Hz properly grounded wall outlet.

The GSW Envirosense manual says,

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The Power Vent operates on 110-120 Vac. therefore a grounded outlet must be within reach of the 6 foot (1.8 m) flexible power cord supplied with the vent (See Figure 1). The power cord supplied may be used on a unit only where local codes permit.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 05:43:12 PM »
Thanks.

I interpret 3a as someone stapling or running an extension cord in a long term/permanent way to the house for powering items.

I'm not sure if powering a fixed object temporarily with an extension cord that's heavy duty enough is really against code... Unless someone notices the cord has been used to power that appliance for X amount of time when a proper plug should be used instead? And how am I to know what a customer will or will not do to power the appliance?

When I do the tanks, the GSW is the one I often install. Not the particular model you posted, I've checked the manual and they don't really go into detail except for requiring proper voltage/frequency and grounding... They just refer to the latest electrical code.

Offline chewy

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 10:06:58 PM »
what you do is make up a release form. customer can use an extension for the time being but will have to get a qualified electrician in to put in a receptacle. this is how the companies I worked for went about this situation. It takes responsibility off of you and puts it on to them.

Offline tenletters

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2018, 07:49:54 AM »
what you do is make up a release form. customer can use an extension for the time being but will have to get a qualified electrician in to put in a receptacle. this is how the companies I worked for went about this situation. It takes responsibility off of you and puts it on to them.

By make up a release form, do you mean to write up a class B infraction? Because that takes the responsibility off you and gives them 49 days to fix it while leaving it in service.

Offline tenletters

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 04:11:17 PM »
They cover water heaters too. I haven't seen the one you're referring to. I'd have probably thrown it in under 4.5.2. The use of an appliance, accessory, component, equipment, or material shall be prohibited where a hazard is created.

Offline Admin

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 04:52:49 PM »
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Clause 4.7.1 - Electrical connections between an appliance and building wiring shall comply with the local electrical code or, in the absence of such, with the Canadian Electrical Code, Part I. 4.7.2

Ontario Regulation 212/01 allows 90 days for a non immediate hazard, but Enbridge only allows 35 days.

http://www.hvactechgroup.com/files/Enbridge%2035%20day%20tag.pdf

Offline Porcupinepuffer

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 01:44:21 PM »
I found out that ESA does say it's ok for the home owner to run a power vent water heater on an extension cord. As long as the cord isn't put up in a way that makes it seem permanent with staples and follows the manufacturers instructions with proper grounding.

They consider it the same as if you were to have power bars plugged in for a TV, or computer.

Offline Admin

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 03:16:11 PM »
Good to know, but if the appliance manual says not to use an extension cord you could issue a warning tag for Clause 4.1.3,

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Clause 4.1.3 - An appliance, accessory, component, equipment, or any other item shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s certified instructions and this Code.

I would think ESA Rule 12-518 would apply to any wiring installed below 1.5m from the floor.

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12-518  Protection for cable in exposed installations
Cable used in exposed wiring shall be adequately protected against mechanical damage where it passes through a floor, where it is less than 1.5 m above a floor, or where it is exposed to mechanical damage.

Offline tenletters

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 03:29:28 PM »
I'd assume that ESA would have a code that says when the manufacturer code and ESA code differ, to use the more stringent of the two.

I'd still just write it up as Clause 4.1.3. I don't even know that I have the power to issue an ESA infraction.


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12-518  Protection for cable in exposed installations
Cable used in exposed wiring shall be adequately protected against mechanical damage where it passes through a floor, where it is less than 1.5 m above a floor, or where it is exposed to mechanical damage.
I found out that ESA does say it's ok for the home owner to run a power vent water heater on an extension cord. As long as the cord isn't put up in a way that makes it seem permanent with staples and follows the manufacturers instructions with proper grounding.

They consider it the same as if you were to have power bars plugged in for a TV, or computer.

Offline Admin

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Re: Water Heater Plug
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 03:40:15 PM »
You can use Clause 4.7.1 to enforce the Electrical Code.

If ever there's a dispute between the Electrical Code and the Gas Code, the Gas Code shall prevail.

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Clause 4.1.2 - When a specification or document referenced in Clause 2 contains a requirement that conflicts with a requirement in this Code, the requirement in this Code shall govern.

Clause 2 contains a lot of different Codes and Standards including the C22.1-15 Canadian Electrical Code, Part I.