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Old 08-18-2011, 12:57 PM   #1
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advised to turn of water heater


Hello
I recently replaced the prior homeowner's 80-gal. stone lined electric water heater with a 40-gal modern one. I mentioned how excited I was to see a drop in my electric bill and the installers said I'd save more money if I turned the water heater off at the breaker box until about an hour before hot water was needed. I live alone and can easily time it so the heater is on for maybe 1.5 hours every two days (water actually stays hot enough for a shower after being off for 24-hours!). Question is, am I damaging the water heater by doing this? It should save oodles of money on electric.

Not sure if this is a plumbing or electrical question, so I'm going to post it on the electrical forum, too.

Thanks!!

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Old 08-18-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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advised to turn of water heater


the only damage is when you go to turn it on chances are that amp load for the 2 heaters are going to get arc'd within the breaker the money you save you might spend on a new breaker in the long run..might consider a knife disconnect in the room with the heater and use that to break/make the amp load.might want to set the temp on that heater toa point where you don't use cold water when washing

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Old 08-18-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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advised to turn of water heater


The other thing to consider is you might want to get an expansion safety tank installed if you don't already have one. Heating up a totally cold water heater will put the maximum pressure transient into your pipes... a lot more than heating up 10 or 15 degrees like if you left it on and let it cycle normally. An expansion safety tank will greatly moderate the pressure rise and minimize the chance of a pipe, joint, or water supply line failure.

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Old 08-19-2011, 07:15 AM   #4
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advised to turn of water heater


Install a timer on it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #5
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advised to turn of water heater


I personally don't think you'll save much at all. . .

The best way IMO is to keep the area where the water heater is at well insulated and try to retain as much heat that was produced by the water heater as possible.

I can't remember all of my physics formulas, so I can't really figure out the amount of energy required. . . .but


I think it's probably close to a wash, if you think about it. You'll probably need hot water in the morning early, and then again in the evening when you get home.

So that's 80 gallons of hot water that you have to heat from completely cold to whatever temperature that you want it at (probably a delta T of something like 70 degrees or more. The other option is to let the thermostats do their job and keep a hot tank of 40 gallons at temperature by 2-3 degrees at a time all day long. If I had to guess i'd say the latter would actually use less energy, especially if you're well insulated in the water heater area, but I dont know the formulas off hand, and don't know how to make that calculation.


Good luck.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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advised to turn of water heater


This is a recording, install a timer on it.

Rather than turning it on and off by hand fugue out the times of day and night you need the hot water and set it to an hour before that or just start with an hour and then adjust it from there. What ever works for you.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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advised to turn of water heater


In my case, I could not afford a timer to shut down my gas water heater to save money. Last month, my gas bill was $12.56 including the hook-up and taxes and surcharges, so that amount to about a real and typical gas cost of $4.00 per month.

There is such a thing as mass and thermal storage/inertia.

Dick
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:46 AM   #8
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advised to turn of water heater


If the water is hot enough for a shower after 24 hours, the amount of electricity to keep it hot enough for a shower after 48 hours doesn't seem like it'd be that much. The new tank is well insulated. Probably wasted more electricity using the computer to ask this question. In the winter when the heaters incoming water is colder, you might even be wasting electricity by having a timer on it. Every time it'd switch on, both elements would come on intead of just one to maintain the temp. But maybe I'm totally out of whack here. If I am, I'm sure I'll hear about it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:03 AM   #9
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advised to turn of water heater


I knew this question was asked at least once before, see the attached post for an explanation.

Turning off electric water heater when not in use?

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Old 08-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #10
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advised to turn of water heater


As usual, you guys and gals make a whole lotta sense! I had not even considered that the breaker box isn't an appropriate 'shut off' and also didn't think about how much extra electricity it'd take to heat up the tank from scratch every few days. I'm leaving it on...like a normal person lol Thank you so much for your knowledge and thoughts on this. You are very, very much appreciated!

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