Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts??? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-12-2019 Thread Starter
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Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

A water heater is just a coil stuffed into a puddle of water a bit like when you shove a toaster in the bathtub.

Sooooooo will a 220 volt water heater work if you shove 110 volts through it? Maybe a bit slower to burn the water...


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post #2 of 10 Old 06-12-2019
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

Power is proportional to the square of voltage, so you would only get 1/4 of the element's power. A 1000W 220V element will only be 250W at 110V.

Whether this is sufficient for your use is something you would need to determine. A guess would be that 250W would take about 3hrs to heat 6gal 50F.

Mark
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

My concern would be that a lot of electrical devices will consume a given power no matter what happens.

Motors do this a lot ... if you've got a 100 watt motor and you can get 20v to it, it will consume 5 amps. If the voltage drops to 10v, it will consume 10 amps.

If the coils in the water heater work the same way, you might be doubling the amp draw to the device by halving the voltage. That could be dangerous if you don't have beefy enough wire/etc. Or it might just not work if you've got a breaker that constantly trips.

Can you give it a try with an amp meter on it and see what happens?
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

Turn the latitude knob...lower
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

Probably not a huge job to replace the element with a 110v element at the usual 1500 w.The heat sensing breaker is important to avoid waking up to steam bath when something bursts. Anybody with a stove (wood or oil?) will know that the breaker will kick off so important button to be accessible (facing a bulkhead behind the fridge??) Ask me how I learned this. (No back EMF)
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Last edited by Capt Len; 06-12-2019 at 01:56 PM.
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

Motors are inductive loads and work differently than a resistive heater element. The current drawn on a heating element will be determined by the resistance at a given voltage. In this case, it will be less than when operating at 220V.

I suspect MarkJ is someplace where a 110V element is not available. Otherwise, it is cheap and simple to replace them.

Mark
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

Colemj is correct. The heating element is pure resistance. Power will be 25% at 110V. Best is to just change the heating element.
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

But, aren't you over there in 220 land?
If you are worried about it if you hit a 110 country, that is one of the cheapest and easiest change-outs in our business.
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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

The background is I am in France doing a little work on the big ship... Including a new water heater and shore-power charger.

The new shore-power charger does 110v 60Hz OR 230 volts 50Hz. So Iam kinda thinking is this a cheap way of doing dual voltage. If I said that in the post you would all die a thousands deaths of the internet.

When I am in the USA I am only threre on shore power for a few weeks at a time.. maybe 3 week in every 2 years. I wouldn't buy a whole new element for 3 weeks. Capeesh?

For those few weeks my shorepower would work and the water would warm slowly.



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Re: Can a 220 volt Water Heater work on 110 Volts???

I'm assuming that the only two things on your AC electrical shore power circuit are the battery charger and water heater? And everything else AC runs off an inverter?

If not, you can't just plug into any old voltage unless you also have an isolation transformer.

What are you doing in terms of shore power receptacles and main breakers for this dual voltage?

Mark

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