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Control water heater with Z-wave switch
Finished project with zwave switch.
Image courtesy D Rodriquez from his project, based on  step-by-step shown following link: zwave install ... he did the work while we exchanged email.

Picture shows 6x6x4 metal enclosure with a contactor, indicator light to signal when water heater has power, flexible conduit with 10 gauge wire, Energy Smart water heater, zwave switch, and 120 volt power source for zwave switch...
.... the 120 volt power source is an ordinary wall box (like a light switch or wall plug) containing 120 volt hot, neutral and ground wires and is where Mr Rodriquez pulled power for the 120 volt zwave switch and contactor ....
... the 24 volt transformer located on top of 120 volt power source is for another circuit, possibly a doorbell or security system, and has nothing to do with the zwave switch or water heater installation.

How it works: The zwave switch is powered by 120 volt and stands ready to receive zwave command from phone or other zwave controller. When the zwave switch receives signal, it turns on the 120 volt circuit that goes to the 2-pole contactor located inside the metal enclosure. The contactor then 'closes' the 30 amp 240 volt circuit going to water heater and water heater receives power.
With electric circuits: closed 'circuit' is ON, and 'open' circuit is OFF.

Buy project materials from my affiliate links
Zwave switch
6 x 6 x 4 enclosure
240Volt coil contactor
120 volt led indicator light
Southwire
Control 240 volt with z-wave
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Control and amp 240 volt with z-wave switch
240 Volt Z-wave switch
Requires Neutral wire. Use ground wire as temporary neutral to check connection. Bring white neutral wire from any nearby light switch or outlet box

Resource
Materials list and detailed wiring instructions
GE z-wave contactor Zwave contactor
Use the preassembled unit for zwave or wifi, instead of building from parts.
I prefer using parts as shown above, instead of preassembled unit because of price, flexibility, and repairability. The preassembled unit is easier to install, and comes in Nema 3R indoor-outdoor enclosure.
Buy
Zwave contactor
Resource
How to control water heater with zwave switch
How to control water heater with zwave contactor

Wifi contactor
Buy:
Wifi contactor
Resource
How to control water heater with wifi contactor

3-pole contactor              2-pole contactor
Contactors
Used when building zwave or wifi control from parts.
Buy 2-Pole 40A resistive
120Volt coil At Amazon
240Volt coil At Amazon
24 volt coil at Amazon
Mars 2-pole and 3-pole contactors at Amazon
Resource
2-pole contactors
3-pole contactors for 3-phase control
Control high voltage DC with contactor
High voltage DC electricty has issue with arc extinction, and will burn out switchgear that is not rated for DC power.
In large commercial solar arrays, the switching contactors have 3 disconnect points for + positive side and 1 disconnect point for - negative side.
The instant disconnection of several points dampens the arc and stops electrons from jumping across the points and burning up the switchgear.
The same principle is shown in the 3-pole contactor illustration, with 3 contact points on a single wire.

Resource
How to set up solar array
Arc extinction
High voltage DC water heater
3-pole contactors for 3-phase control
Insteon 2477SA1 X10 load controller  
Larger image
X10 for electric water heater
Insteon X10 relay for water heater 
30 amp resistive loads
Relay handles resistive load only:
Water heater, incandescent light bulb... yes
Motor, CFL, LED.... no
2 year warranty
Buy: $120
Insteon 240v / 30 amp X10 load controller for resistive loads only
Insteon remote control products at Amazon
Resource:
Insteon load controller manual
Whole house automation module
Z-wave for gas water heater
X10 for gas water heater

Resource:
Control gas water heater with X10, Zwave, or ordinary remote control
Control box
Enclosure with multiple contactors and relays

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Contactors
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Resource:
Enclosures
Contactors

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Control water heater remotely
Compare ways to control Gas and Electric heaters
Control gas water heater with remote control
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Control water heater with countdown timer
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Icon gas valve

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Control water heater w/ Z-wave
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