Electric Water Heater Timer

Electric Water Heater Timer

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Electric Water Heater Timer
  #1  
Old 03-28-2010, 10:30 AM
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Default Electric Water Heater Timer

While reading the March issue of VLIFE magazine I noticed an article on suggestions to conserve energy and save money. One of the suggestions was to add a timer to your electric hot water heater. The article claims electric savings of up to $60 per month by turning off the power to the water heater for 8 hours a day. While I have doubts about that kind of savings the idea of even $10 - $20 per month savings on an investment that might run $50 or so does catch my attention.

So I am curious to see if anyone has put a timer onto their hot water heater and if so did you do it yourself and what kind of savings are you seeing in your electric bill? Thanks for the help.

  #2  
Old 09-07-2010, 09:42 PM
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It's been 5 months since your post. I am wondering if you put a timer on your HW tank. If so, what are the savings?
Thanks,
Bob
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Old 09-08-2010, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob45 View Post
It's been 5 months since your post. I am wondering if you put a timer on your HW tank. If so, what are the savings?
Thanks,
Bob

No, I have not installed one as yet. I have done some research and found the cost to be between $40 and $75 for most models. Most of those can be installed by the homeowner but I can not get a good idea of the cost savings. At any rate even if the savings is only $10 per month I do think it is probably worth the investment. But we are going to have a SECO energy audit, probably in October, so I was waiting to see what they had to say before we moved forward with timer.
  #4  
Old 09-09-2010, 08:54 AM
Rag Bagger Rag Bagger is offline
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I think it would be significant. It would really be a plus if you could add an on off over ride switch so that you could turn the hot water heater off for times that you leave for a week end or vacations.

We have a gas fired heater. As far as I know our only option is to turn it down. Which is what we do when we are going away but that's not practical on a day to day program. But the pilot is still on so it is not as significant of a savings. To turn it all the way off and kill the pilot is too much trouble when re-lighting. I am really surprised that these new gas fired heaters don't use a spark ignition. Our furnace does. I think that continuous pilot cost us at least $20.00/Month.
  #5  
Old 09-09-2010, 11:07 AM
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If you have an electric water heater, you can just flip the breaker when you leave for an extended time.

Rag ****** - is the $20/mo. the fee to run the pilot or is that the minimum for the gas co?
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2010, 12:50 PM
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I would question whether there would be significant savings turning a water heater off 8 hours per day. During the time the heater was off, the water would cool. When you turn it back on, the heater has to heat ALL the water back to the set temp. If it was left on, the heater would run only to maintain the water in the tank at the set temp. We found at our previous house that we got better savings from a blanket around our water heater.
  #7  
Old 09-09-2010, 02:40 PM
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I installed a timer years ago along with an insulation blanket made for hot water heaters. It did cut the bill by about 15 bucks per month. I don't know if they still manufacture insulation blankets for water heaters or not, but when used in combo with a timer, we never noticed any difference in water temps and never ran out of hot water. This was back in the mid-80's.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2010, 03:23 PM
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I did not mean to turn the heater off for a day. I meant if you're going to be gone for a week or so. Turning it off for a day would not be a good thing to do.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2010, 04:57 PM
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Default water heaters

This is one of my soap box issues, so here goes. I lived in Europe for many years and witnessed first hand how they heat water. It is light years ahead of us. They use on demand, tankless heating. This country says we want to be green, but staring us right in the face is an answer that would save countless of millions of BTU of energy each year if it were intuited, but no we have new light bulbs that can not even throw away in your garbage because they are toxic waste and if you put them in your garbage you could go to jail. Anyway back to the water heater. I have put 5 of these units into homes overt the last 10 years. Home Depot sells the ones I use. Made by Bosch, they attach to the wall and are about the size of an airline carry on bag. They have no electrics attached, only natural gas or propane. The ignition is started by a small generator in the water line and the unit produces hot water as long as the tap is on. When it is not in use it just sits there using no energy at all. Good for about 20 years, no tank to rust out, no energy use when you are away, no requirement to turn on/off, and maintenance free. We use maybe 20 to 30 minutes of hot water in a 24 hour period, but we heat it for the entire 24. We moved into a section of The Villages without natural gas which I believe is cheaper than LPG, but I still will be changing out our current electric hot water with one of these units run on LPG soon. Cost about $600-700. Not cheap I know but the savings over 10 or 20 years will make it back on top of the fact that you never run out of hot water. I have not come up with a good electric model in the States, as they have 240 volt service in Europe which gives them the ability to have 480 volt electric heaters (whereas we only have 120 volt giving us 2440 volt). The water will scald you if you move the knob past the safety on every shower knob. Do yourself a favor and check it out. There are many different brands available. The one at Home Depot fit my purposes. Soap box done, hope this was food for thought. Quill
  #10  
Old 09-09-2010, 05:20 PM
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I have always wanted to have a tankless water heater, but did not realize that one could be used for whole house. I thought youhad to have one at each HW tap. Does it take long for the HW to reach the farthest tap? Will you have to have an exhaust for the water heater? I am definitely interested in such a device.
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