Finding where a wire goes

Old 12-01-16, 03:36 PM
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Finding where a wire goes

We had two water heaters installed during a remodel five years ago. One gas and one electric. We recently have had trouble with the pilot on the gas water heater continuously going out. So we called in a plumber to check out the gas water heater and he tested the electric water heater and found no power. After I got home from work, I tested the power in several locations to see if I could figure out what the problem was. And then I removed the panel cover from the breaker box to check to see if the breaker was faulty. I found that the wires for the water heater were never connected to the breaker when it was originally installed. Within the panel there are two free wires available. I believe that these wires could go to the electric hot water heater, but I'm not sure. How can I determine if these two wires are the ones that go to the Electric water heater? And if they are the wires, does it matter which wire I connect to which pole of the breaker?
Old 12-01-16, 03:47 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

The cable should enter the top of the water heater. There should be a wiring cover there.
Take it off and make sure at least the wire colors are the same.

Since you have a meter.... you could power up one wire and see if you now have power at the water heater. Only one connected would be needed for a test. The other wire may become live so be careful.

There is no polarity on a two pole breaker.
Old 12-01-16, 03:51 PM
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If you have a multimeter disconnect the two wires at the WH. Connect the two mystery wires at the breaker box together and check for continiity between the two wires at the water heater. For safety always check with a multimeter for voltage before checking continuity.
Old 12-01-16, 05:41 PM
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Are these tanks beside each other or in different locations?

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