Electrical Wiring in the Home/Bill Splitting


Water Heater Idea
Water Heater Idea  
I'm trying to settle a very mild tenant problem. I replaced the Water Heater 3 years ago when the problem wasn't a problem. I don't have room for another Water Heater, literally. And, splitting the Water Heater elements isn't fair since they don't both do heating top-offs.

I'm looking to get some feedback on an idea I had...your ideas on what I might be missing.

It's an upstairs downstairs rental with a single phase double-drop to 2 Meters & of course separate electrical panels. It's a partial basement, a built-in shed with Electric Panels, Stairs with exterior door beneath, HVAC & Laundry Appliances leaving just a 30-inch walkway...but fully finished, clean & dry.

I can't get my setup on camera, so I made & attached a mockup.


Should it not be done for any reason beyond being unconventional?

Should I upgrade or add anything in or to the picture?

Any problem mounting both neutrals & grounds to the new Subpanel?

Would GFCI or AFCI breakers help or just, usually, nuisance trip?


Aside from the fact that it is illegal, unsafe, against NEC, your municipality will violate your property and that the power company will cut your feed if they find out, it sounds like a great Rube Goldberg idea!

Splitting the elements wouldn't work anyway. That is not how water heaters work.

You either need to add a water heater and separate the piping for the tenant hot water [best idea] or figure out how much hot water each of your families use and share the cost.

You could buy a water meter of some type and meter how much water goes into the hot water heater.
Get a third electric meter from the utility and install a panel for "house" utilities and stick the water heater on that.
Set up a sub-meter to determine how much electric the water heater uses and split the bill. [Most practical idea]
Include electric and raise the rent
Pool and split total electric costs
Get new tenants
Adopt each others families
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Robert Wilber


Licensed Philadelphia electrician serving Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania. I install and repair residential, commercial and industrial wiring and lighting. Troubleshooting and repair of problems that stump other people is my favorite. I am willing to help people figure out why things don`t work. I understand motor controls, transformers and machine wiring. I do not teach basics to novices or do free design work.


Experience in the area I have 44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair, 480 volts and below. This is not to be confused with one week repeated two thousand times.

44 years experience in residential, commercial and industrial electrical construction and repair

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