Can I replace a 3500watt heating element with a 4500watt heating element? I have a Whirlpool 50gal. hot water?

Can I replace a 3500watt heating element with a 4500watt heating element? I have a Whirlpool 50gal. hot water heater

I am surprised that a 50 gallon has 3500 watt elements but if you change one, change them both to 4500 watts. Now to answer your question if you have # 10 wire and a 30 amp double pole breaker then yes you can change the 3500 watters to 4500 watters.
Some companies do use both elements and that has a lot to do with the type of wire that you have for your water heater.
3500 watt elements use 3500w / 240 v = 14.5 amps X 125 % = 18.2 amps total. Some electrical contractors used a 25 amp breaker and 12 wire do these. NOTE (if you have a 25 amp breaker and #12 wire you cannot use a 4500 watt element)>>><<< If you have # 10 wire as I stated before then yes you can change them. 4500 watt elements use 4500w /240v = 18.75 amps X 125% = 23.4 amps and this would require a 30 amp breaker with # 10 wire. I have seen both types in many homes wired this way and that is why it is important that you know the size of the wire and the breaker used. Many contractors do order them this way to save a buck. Hope this helps. Source(s): Electrical Contractor

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Whirlpool Water Heater Element

Hud has you covered on this one, I just have to add that I’m amazed at all the “home inspectors” that are positive you are gonna blow yourself up if you do this. Heh. Just goes to show you how competent that profession is.
One more thing to add. By and large, if there is an OEM (original equipment manufacturer, that being Whirlpool in this case) 4500 watt element available, it will be fine. You have to understand how factories and brands work. The brand produces a “line” of water heaters, some better than others, some bigger than others, all depending on customer demand. If Whirlpool manufactures a 4500 watt 50 gallon water heater, it’s gonna have the same guts as the 3500 watt model. Do you really think they’d open up a whole new manufacturing line just for the 3500 watt model or vice-versa? I’d doubt it. If it’s OEM and they make a 4500 watt model, it’s fine and all you have to worry about is supply wiring, which should be fine too.

Have you checked the circuit breaker to make sure that it isn’t tripped?If you have power then there is only three things it could be the thermostat, plugged supply pipes or your water heater is completely full of settlement.If you get water when you turn on the hot water faucet then we can rule out plugged pipes.I would say then that you should have your thermostat checked out. And hopefully the water heater isn’t full of settlement but you could check that by opening the drain valve located towards the bottom of the unit.If that’s okay it would almost have to be the thermostat.If all else fails you will have to replace.Take care and may God bless you.

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Hot water heaters won’t blow up unless they lack a relief valve or the relief valve is broken.

That being said it’s not a good idea to use a higher wattage element than what was originally supplied by the manufacturer. Obviously, the higher wattage will get hotter than the lower wattage making it very possible to melt the surrounding insulation inside the heater creating a fire hazard, not to mention the wiring in the heater itself may not be rated for the additional wattage…another fire hazard.

Source(s): Blowing up hot water heater – Mythbusters

Answer 6

The 3500 watt heating element was used for a reason when the water heater was manufactured.

Answer 7

no! stick with what the o.e.m. guidlines are .your hotwater heater is one of the most reliable appliances in your home however if you start messing with the factory specs it can be one of the most deadly.if you want to go to a higher wattage get yourself a new unit .if installed wrong or tampered with waterheaters have been known to explode! when this happens they can take off like a missle and ᴘᴇɴᴇтʀᴀтe three floors of a stantard house and then travel 2or 3 hundred feet beyond!

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Source(s): new york state home inspector

YES just a little more in electricity! callipyg! THANKS I CAN’T GET THREW TO EM’ BACKIN ME ON THE WATER HEATER! their even calling it a HOT water heater hot water dont need heated the elements are fine it’s writen right on the spec. plate!

Inadvisable. Stick with what the manufacturer recommends. While it may be possible to do this, water heaters are extremely deadly if they blow up. EXTREMELY.

Source(s): I’m a home inspector.

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