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How to install water heater timer

Page 2 of 2: Assembly instructions and tips for timer project
Return to Page 1: Overview and buy materials for timer project

Larger image/ ST01 timer no neutral wire needed
Larger image with timer that has neutral wire

Project  overview/ no neutral:

Same plan works for water heater in basement or garage or closet.
Also works for any heavy-amp load such as heater, motor, pump etc single-phase or 3-phase.


Resource

See inside box with contactor

Project  overview/ with neutral:

main breaker box
Larger image

Review basic breaker box

Resource
See inside main breaker box
drop wire from attic

Install old work box/   inside hollow wall

old work box
Drop one end of 14-2 wire into old-work box
I prefer 14 gauge wire for this project because it is easier to connect to fuseholder if fuseholder requires solder connection.
Also 14 gauge is easier to bend, and to easier to attach to small wires on timer


Resource
See How to install old-work box
Electric box knock out

Use hammer and screwdriver to remove knock outs

Hit with sharp strike of hammer, and then twist out blank using pliers
Use linesman pliers to bend and then remove extra metal for larger hole
Fill unused holes with snap-in plug from electric dept
Use tapered drill bit to make hole anywhere
Buy tapered drill/ step drill bit for any size hole
Step drill bits at Amazon
Neiko tapered drill bit 1/4"-1-3/8 holes
45EG20AF contactor
Contactor shown is safe for 1 residential water heater.
Use 1 contactor per each water heater

Bolt contactor into 6x6x4 enclosure using #8-32 bolts

Resource
6x6x4 boxes
Contactors

Spring-wound timers

Same wiring applies to ordinary 15-20 amp wall switch

Require NO neutral wire
Variety of times 15 minute to 12 hour
Connect black and white wires to either connection point on timer.
Make sure ground wire wraps of connects to metal fins on timer for proper grounding
Same wiring applies to ordinary 15-20 amp wall switch/ connect either wire to either brass-colored screw on switch, and connect bare ground wire to green screw

Resource
All brands spring wound mechanical timers
Ordinary 15-20 amp switches
EI210 Countdown timer

Countdown timers

This wiring applies ONLY to the project shown on this page

Black Hot from fuseholder connects to Timer Black
White wire connecting to one side of contactor connects to Timer Red
wire (or blue wire)

Timer White and Timer Green connect to bare ground wire

Resource
Intermatic Ei200 single-pole countdown timer
More countdown timers

Larger image

Wiring illustration applies to any programmable or countdown timer with neutral wire

Same instructions shown above:

Black Hot from fuseholder connects to Timer Black
White wire connecting to one side of contactor connects to Timer Red wire (or blue wire)
Neutral for timer and contactor control comes from an available independent 120V source

Larger-image
Connect Neutral to independent 120V source
Twisted wire

Attaching 14 gauge solid wire to timer wires

1) Strip stranded wire longer
2) Wrap stranded around solid wire
3) Twist wire connector over both wires
4) Twist wire connector very tight
5) Pull stranded wire and make sure it will not come loose

Wire connector must cover all exposed wire

Twist on tightly so wire connector will not fall off
Do not re-use old wire connectors
Always use new wire connectors

Busman fuse holder

Install busman fuseholder

Drill 1/2" hole
Install Busman fuse holder with 15A fuse
Push fuseholder cap inward and twist to open fuseholder
Cartridge fuse installs either end first
Fit fuse into fuseholder cap snugly, and then insert into fuseholder
Push in and rotate cap to make connection
Buy
Buy fuseholder at Amazon
Buy fuseholders at Amazon

Best electric practice:

Solder wires before installing fuse
Hot wire from contactor will connect to top fuseholder connection.
Wire going to timer will connect to side of fuseholder
Electrically separate these connections by bending away from each other and/or adding tape as insulator
15 Amp ceramic fuse

Why fuse is required

To avoid fire hazard.
To protect 15 amp timer and 14 gauge wire from too many Amps, and overheating.
This water heater timer project draws 120 Volts off 'one leg' of the 240 Volt 30Amp water heater circuit.
It is against code to connect 15 amp wires and timers to 30 amp circuit without fuse protection.
15 Amp fuse will protect wire between contactor and fuseholder, protect wire going to and from timer, and protect timer.
Busman fuseholder

Solder 14 ga solid copper wire directly to fusholder

Unless fuseholder accepts terminals

Some fuseholders are solder-only connection
Instructions how to solder:
Shape end of wire into U-shape... insert wire onto fuseholder... bend wire down tightly
This is why 14 gauge wire is better choice over 12 or 10 gauge
Put solder iron or gun tip where wire terminates.
Wait until hot. Keep tip in place on wire until hot.
Touch solder to copper wire where it meets fuseholder.
Solder melts. Withdraw solder. Withdraw solder point.

Use terminals for solid wire or stranded wire

Yellow female for #10-12 wire
Blue female for #14-16 wire
Crimp terminal onto wire/ also suggest soldering
Resource
Read more about terminals

Always add solder to terminal when using solid 14 gauge wire

Instructions how to solder:
after crimping terminal onto wire
Put solder iron or gun tip where wire terminates.
Wait until hot. Keep tip in place on wire until hot.
Touch solder to copper wire where it meets terminal.
Solder melts. Withdraw solder. Withdraw solder point.
Contactor

Terminal connections required for contactor



See additional image:
Resource
Read more about contactors
Each water heater must have a separate contactor See illustration for controlling 2 water heaters to same timer
tighten screws

Wires connected to contactor

There is notched groove on either side of screw
Wire must fit into groove
Straighten copper end of wire
No insulation can be under screw
Tigheten screws VERY tight
Intermatic terminal wires

Do NOT install soild wire and stranded wire under same screw

Do NOT install #10 and #14 wire under same screw

With the contactor on this project:, install only #10 wire under screw on contactor
Install #14 wire to contactor using female terminal: illustrations show above
ground screws
Illustration shows #14 ground wire from timer connected to metal box using green ground screw

Metal box requires grounding/ plastic box does not require grounded box

green ground screw
2 ground screws/ drill hole in bos and thread with 10-32 tap
hand tighten

Ground wires that are connected with wire connector must be down and away from all other wires

Straighten ends of wire
Keep ends of wire aligned
Apply wire connector very tightly
ground wires

Push ground wires down and away from all other wires

If any wire comes loose from wire connector, the connection must be re-done using new wire connector

Resource
How to select right wire connector
romex connector

All wires entering box MUST be held firmly in place with clamp

Resource
Read about wire clamps:
water heater timer circuit

Here is where we are so far

All open wires are stapled to solid structure.
Wire inside wall cannot be stapled to structure, but is secured inside wall by old work box
Work inside 6x6x4 enclosure
>Note: Wire connector used in each hole where wire enters enclosure
>Mount contactor at angle using 8-32 bolts with lock nut
>Attach 10-2 wire from breaker to one side of contactor
>Attach 10-2 wire going to water heater to other side of contactor
>Put 2 green ground screws in bottom of 6x6x4 metal box (when using 6x6x4 plastic enclosure: connect all grounds with wire connector)
>Connect all ground screws

Larger image

How to install 120Volt indicator light

Drill 1/2" hole
Choose location at enclosure

Indicator will light up when power is turned ON at timer going to contactor
Does not tell you if water heater is actually working.

___________________________________

120V indicator should have additional fuseholder
240V should have 2 additonal fuseholders
Buy:
240Volt Pilot light at Amazon
120Volt pilot light at Amazon
Indicator lights at Amazon

Panel mount fuse holders at Amazon
Buy fuseholder at Amazon
Buy fuseholders at Amazon


indicator light to water heater
Larger image

How to install 240Volt indicator light

Drill 1/2" hole
Choose location at enclosure

Indicator will light up when power is turned ON at timer going to contactor
Does not tell you if water heater is actually working.

___________________________________

240V wired in this way does not require fuse protection on pilot light

Buy:
240Volt Pilot light at Amazon
120Volt pilot light at Amazon
Indicator lights at Amazon

Panel mount fuse holders at Amazon
Buy fuseholder at Amazon
Buy fuseholders at Amazon

Water heater pilot light
Larger image

240 Volt pilot light/ Pilot light turns ON when water heater is sending power to element

Element and thermostat wiring must be identical to wiring shown
If upper element is burned out, then tank will have no hot water.
If lower element is burned out, then tank will have less hot water.
If ECO reset button, located on upper thermatat, is tripped, then power is not available to elements.

Required in-line fuseholder and 120Volt 15 amp ceramic fuse located on black wire, and another fuseholder on red wire, going to pilot light.
This is to protect pilot light and wire-to-pilot-light from 30 amp overheat danger
Insulation must be put back over thermostats, and metal cover re-installed on front of water heater for heater to operate correctly and safely.
if thermostats exposed to room-temperature air, they will not read temperature correctly.

Buy contactor and indicator/pilot light
Panel mount fuse holders at Amazon
Buy fuseholder at Amazon
Buy fuseholders at Amazon

240Volt Pilot light at Amazon
Indicator lights at Amazon

Resources:
How to wire water heater pilot light for 120V or 240V
How non-simultaneous household water heaters work
How to wire water heater thermostats
Inline fuseholders
See inside main breaker box
Troubleshoot electric water heater
6x6x4 box

Install cover over 6x6x4 enclosure

All boxes and switches and panels must have cover.

All boxes and switches and panels must have cover
Cover ensures containment of spark and possible fire hazard

Resource
Troubleshoot household electricity
do it yourself
Each water heater must have a separate contactor see

Project is done



water heater timer
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