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What size breaker does a 40 gallon water heater need?

A 20amp circuit or a 20amp breaker should only feed a max of 16amp load, because a 16amp heater should be wired and protected by a 20amp circuit. Depending on the code, a 2500w heater w/240v will draw 2500/240 or 18.75 Amps and either 25 or 30 Amps.

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