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I'm looking at getting an EcoSmart(or similar) electric on demand water heater in my home(WA state, not in Seattle). The sizing indicates I'll need 3x8ga(3x40A breaker) conductors. Long story short, I want to conduit instead of Romex. The total conduit length would not exceed ~40'. Since steel conduit is an approved grounding mechanism, I am wondering if a single steel conduit is suitable for a ground with this larger draw. I'm trying not to run afoul of any safety or code issues.

  • What's your rationale for going tankless here? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 3 at 21:05
  • I don't like paying for energy I don't make use of. Large home with higher hot water usage through the day and large bathtubs results in too much water competition. I don't have room for a larger/additional tank. – FuzzyWombatSoup Mar 4 at 1:31
  • @FuzzyWombatSoup Good reasons. Are all the points of use physically near each other in the home? – Harper Mar 4 at 1:51
  • What size is your current tank? – ThreePhaseEel Mar 4 at 1:51
  • @Harper the tank is sort of central, but the use points are spread out everywhere. – FuzzyWombatSoup Mar 4 at 2:41
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Yes the metal conduit is technically an acceptable ground for the circuit described. However rarely would you see a professional electrician install this circuit with out a separate grounding conductor. The ground is just too important. The metal raceway can acquire loose joints over time thereby compromising the grounding pathway.

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