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econdave 08-27-2008 03:06 PM

Water heater timer
I want to install a timer on my electric water heater, 220v can someone tell me how to in laymans terms?

jogr 08-27-2008 03:34 PM

If your purpose is to save electricity the timer will be a waste of money. Standby losses are extremely small in modern electric water heaters. I shut mine off one afternoon and forgot to turn it back on. Didn't notice it till the third shower the next day.

If the idea is to use cheaper off peak electric rates your utility company probably has a program or recommended setup.

Cow 08-27-2008 06:14 PM

I agree with the above poster, I think you're wasting your time and money.

Your first question probably should of been "should I buy a water heater timer."


econdave 08-28-2008 06:51 AM

so your saying let it run 24-7

CowboyAndy 08-28-2008 07:24 AM

I installed a timer on my hot water. At the same time I insulated the tank with blanket fiberglass insulation, and insulated the HW pipes. I can't say for sure what is helping the most, but I can say that at the same time we added an older (15 yr old) chest freezer and a dishwasher. Our electric bill STILL went down by approx $20 a month.

BTW, the water heater only runs from 5-6am and 5-7pm.

J. V. 08-28-2008 11:45 AM


Originally Posted by econdave (Post 152339)
I want to install a timer on my electric water heater, 220v can someone tell me how to in laymans terms?

Turn off the breaker to the water heater. Install the timer next to the water heater. Take the existing cable loose from the WH. Bring this cable into the timer and go out of the timer back to the WH with the left over cable or new cable of the correct size.

You will see LINE and LOAD terminals. The two hot wires from the panel go to the LINE side terminals. The two hot wires going to the water heater land on the LOAD terminals. The ground is connected to the timer enclosure and the water heater. There will be a ground terminal inside the timer.

Install timer pointers and set.

To find the 240 volt timer, look for Intermatic at your local HD or lowes.

I agree with the others about savings with the use of a timer. But everyones application is not the same. And you might just be a candidate to actually save money with the timer.

williswires 08-28-2008 08:09 PM

I agree with the others that for most cases, the timer is a waste of money.

But if you are gone from home for long periods, say for over a day or two, the timer can save you money. Not due to the timer function, but because you can use it as a switch to turn off your water heater so it is not always trying to hold your water at the temp setpoint when you have no chance of using it.

For a much larger money saving thing to do, check the thermostat setting and set it for the lowest temperature that provides you with the amount of hot water for your needs.

My first apartment was total electric, and it took me a couple of months to notice the HWH timer that was installed in every unit. My wife and I began to use the timer, then realized that the water was very hot to begin with since we were concerned with the water temp due to our newborn daughter. I can tell you that from reducing the water temp we dropped over $100 per month on our electric bill! :thumbup: The prior tenant really had it cranked up...


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