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Cost to operate water heater Figure Volts Amps Watts for water heater How to wire tankless electric
How to install point of use water heater Point of use water heater
How to install gas water heater How to install electric water heater
How to install and troubleshoot garbage disposal Point of use water heater
How to maintain water heater Leaking water heater
Compare 16 electric and 3 gas water heater timers Troubleshoot Rheem tankless Clean sediment out of water heater 9 ways to save with water heater
How to install recirculation system Point of use water heater
How electric water heater works Troubleshoot electric water heater Troubleshoot gas water heater How to wire off-peak water heater Do-it-yourself
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How electric water heater works:


Whirlpool Energy smart electric
Typical household water heater has 2 heating elements called upper and lower elements.
Elements are controlled by upper and lower thermostats. Each element is connected to a thermostat.
Thermostats read temperature through side of tank wall and turn elements ON and OFF.
Residential water heater thermostats can be manually set to temperatures between 90 to 150. Commercial water heater thermostats  120-180. How to adjust thermostats
How to replace thermostat on electric water heater
Higher thermostat settings use more electricity.

Both
elements on ordinary residential water heater are never ON at same time unless specific wiring is changed. How to wire thermostats
Upper thermostat is main controller.
Upper thermostat turns on upper element until top 2/3 of tank reaches temperature setting.
After top of tank is heated, upper thermostat turns-off upper element and sends power to lower thermostat which turns on lower element. Lower element runs until tank reaches temperature setting.
Lower element turns on-and-off during standby hours to keep tank temperature at thermostat set point.


There is no air inside tank.
When hot tap is turned on at kitchen sink, hot water immediately exits top of tank.
Hot water travels through hot-side pipe until it reaches faucet.
At same moment hot leaves top of tank, new cold water immediately enters bottom of tank through plastic dip tube pipe.
Read about dip tube
To save energy, never turn on hot tap when using only cold... because new cold water that enters tank must be heated to set point. 9-ways to save with water heater

During 'standby' hours, between hot water use, lower element maintains tank temperature.
Lower element keeps water hot by turning-on 1-4 minutes each hour throughout day and night which equals 45Kwh - 216Kwh each month for standby operation depending on tank rating and seasonal temperature. Newer tanks with more insulation, or tanks located in naturally warm area turn on less frequently.    See math charts for heating water     Kwh hour calculations
Once hot water is used again, cold water quickly fills tank and elements are activated and heat cycle repeats.
The temperature of incoming cold water also affects how much energy is consumed. In winter, the incoming water is colder. Colder water means the elements must heat longer to reach the thermostat set point. Average groundwater temperature  Tempering tank
Water heater element

Elements:

Check side of tank for wattage <> tank wattage is element wattage

Resources:
Figure Volts Amps Watts for water heater
How to identify and replace water heater elements
Convert water heater to 120Volt for slower heating

Thermostats:

Steel water heater tanks have anode rod that prevents tank from rusting.
Periodic inspection and replacement of anode rod will extend life of water heater

Resources:

How to adjust thermostats
How to replace thermostat on electric water heater

How to wire thermostats
Troubleshoot water heater
Basic water heater circuit
Add another thermostat to gas or electric heater

Dip tube:

Cold water enters tank through dip tube

Resources:

Read about dip tube

Nipples:

Pex line nipple will prevent rusting.
Most modern water heaters have heat traps build into nipple to stop heat from escaping from top of heater
Recommend action when doing plumbing repairs: disconnect water heater and flush pipes by running water so heat traps do not get clogged.

Resources:

Remove short water heater nipple
New water heater making noise

Anode rod:

Steel water heater tanks have anode rod that prevents tank from rusting.
Periodic inspection and replacement of anode rod will extend life of water heater

Resources:
Anode rods

Drain valve:

Plastic drain valve and brass drain valves have 3/4" thread, and fit garden hose

Resources:

How to replace drain valve
Water heater will not drain
Leaking water heater
How to flush water heater
How change element and remove sediment



Electrical Safety: manufacturers make a safe product
-WET water heater is dangerous.
Do not touch leaking water heater or water heater that is wet or was flooded without turning power off.
- Gas and electric water heaters are both connected to water pipes and can act as ground conduit for electricity.
Turn power OFF.
Always turn power OFF when working on electric water heater
Test for power without touching wire connectors
NEVER assume power is OFF
Buy:

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon

Resources:
Water heater safety precautions
How to test electric power is off

Reset button
ECO reset button
For safety,  manufacturers make a safe product
Each electric water heater has ECO reset button located on upper thermostat.
ECO will trip when temperature exceeds 170-180.

Resources:
How to replace thermostat on electric water heater
How to wire thermostats

TP temperature pressure release valve
For safety, manufacturers make a safe product
Each tank  has TP valve that releases water when temperature exceeds 170-180
Temperatures above 180 can damage tank.

Resources:
How to maintain, test and replace TP valve
TP valve code
Tanks used for solar collectors must be rated for high temperature.
Resource
Questions to ask before buying solar.
Convert AC water heater to DC water ehater

Save money by turning down thermostats For each 10 reduction, save 3-5%  operating cost.
Resources
See how to turn down thermostat.  
How to increase amount of hot water






Installation:
Electric heater can be installed inside any unventilated space, for example a closet with door closed
Electric water heaters do not burn hydrocarbon fuel and thus require no incoming oxygen supply or vent to outside.
Do not expose water heater to rain or water.

Resources:
Read about flooded water heater.  
Read about leaking water heater.

Water heater voltage:
Electric water heaters work on any voltage 120, 208, 230, 240, 277 etc:
Resource
How to connect water heater to generator
Convert water heater to 120Volt


To save energy, fix leaks and do not turn on hot side faucet when using only cold water.
Entry of cold water causes tank water to cool. That causes steel tank to cool.
Thermostat reads water temperature through tank wall. When tank wall is cooler than thermostat set point, the element turns on.

Heating is done by electric elements.
Tanks have 1 or 2 elements depending on design.
Elements are similar to electric stove burners except they have elongated shapes and are designed to be immersed in water.
Elements instantly burn out if no water is inside tank.
Elements burn out for different reasons and can be replaced.
Resources
How to test elements.
How to replace elements.

In 2-element tank, if lower element burns out, the amount of hot water is reduced.
On 2-element tank, if upper element burns out, the lower element stops receiving electric power so neither element works and no hot water is available.
Resource
See how to troubleshoot electric water heater.

Lower element is key factor in 'standby loss.'
Water heater manufactures have targeted both elements for wasting electricity. They set lower thermostat 10 less than upper thermostat, and added better insulation and heat traps to inlet pipes to save $2-6 per year. Factory-installed heat traps can cause clogs and sounds. Adding insulation blanket will save money, and product warranty is NOT voided by adding insulation as long as TP valve and overflow are not obstructed. See warranties
Look at water heater efficiency numbers


Larger image
Wire colors vary
How to wire thermostats

Advantages of electric over gas:
Electric heaters cost more to operate than gas heaters.
But electric heaters can be maintained to last forever, are cheaper to buy and install, can be installed in small confined areas, can be connected to solar power, can have additional insulation, can be installed in dusty dirty environment like basement, workroom, shop, laundry, are not affected by exposure to household chemicals, do not puff out hydrocarbon byproduct at each home, are easy to fix and alter using generic off the shelf parts

Resources:
Which is best gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater.
Solar PV water heater.
How to wire thermostats.
Compare timers.
Is gas clean burning
How to maintain water heater
Anode rods
Two water heaters
Energy guide. Yearly cost estimates can help when comparing water heaters.
Electric heaters cost more to operate that gas heaters. But electric heaters can be maintained to last much longer, are cheaper to buy and install, can be installed in small confined area, can be connected to solar power,

Water heater standards changed April 2015. New heaters are more efficient. More insulation was added to each tank:
New water heater standards
See cost of running electric water heater at various rates.

Manufactures have added foam insulation to most products. Most tanks come with heat-trap nipples or heat-trap inserts, but heat traps can clog or cause whistling. Read about pressure issues and replacing manufacturer's heat-traps
Recommend action when doing plumbing repairs: disconnect water heater and flush pipes by running water so heat traps do not get clogged.
Manufacturers have added self-cleaning features that help efficiency. See about cleaning tank to maintain efficiency. Manufacturers have turned down thermostats from 135 to 120, or lower. Manufacturers have re-estimated amount of hot water consumed by families. These changes plus reducing consumption always save money. Over entire year, differences add up. But it still takes same number of Kilowatthours (Kwh) to heat a pound of water. The physics hasn't changed. And every pound of hot water that leaves the tank is replaced by cold water that is heated and kept heated until next time hot is used. See Water heating math
9-ways to save with water heater
How to wire off-peak water heater.

If great strides were made in electrical efficiency, it would spark a scientific revolution and somebody would be shouting. Read about electric water heater efficiency
9 ways to save with a water heater

Which is best gas water heater.
Find age of water heater
Elements screw or bolt into side of tank and come in many shapes and wattages
How to test element
How to replace element
How to troubleshoot electric water heater
Upper and lower thermostats clip into mountings and read temperature through tank wall. Reduce temperature and save 3-5%  
see how-to

Water heater cycle
Larger image
How to wire thermostats
Element burns out

Tank must be full of water or elements burn out
How to troubleshoot electric water heater
Flooded water heater

Tanks with two-elements are rated 240Volt
Larger image
Reset button
Reset button on electric water heater
Remove upper cover and insulation.
Firmly push in reset button
How to troubleshoot electric water heater
Water heater insulation
Larger image
Water heater is steel tank, covered with insulation, and surrounded by metal shell


1) Steel tank holds pressure of hot water.
2) Tank can be rusted and leaking. Read Leaking water heater. Read about Anode rod
3) Insulation helps prevent heat loss.
4) Metal shell protects wires from damage.
5) Any short to metal tank will trip breaker. Ground wire must be connected to water heater.
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Water heater insulation
Larger image
NON-simultaneous: Household electric water heaters are wired for NON-simultaneous operation.

Both elements are not ON at same time.
Upper element is ON, or Lower element is ON, or both elements are OFF.
How to wire thermostats
How to wire thermostats
Water heater cover Thermostat and element must be covered
Cover, insulation and protector are necessary so thermostat can read correct temperature
240 volt water heater circuit Basic 240Volt water heater circuit

How to wire thermostats
Electric meter on water heater ll
How to install electric meter on water heater

Gas water heater

Unlike electric water heaters, Gas water heaters need supply of air to support combustion
Gas water heater How to install gas water heater

9 ways to save with water heater


Read about dip tubes

Read about anode rods

Test and replace TP valve

Replace drain valve
Gas water heater parts
Larger image
Gas water heater parts
Read about FVIR flammable vapor system

Troubleshoot gas water heater

How to adjust temperature on water heater


Multimeter

Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Buy:
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon 
Resource:
How to test and replace element
How to test thermocouple
Element tests for 120 volts
How to test wire
Safety when testing wires:
Never touch wet or previously flooded appliance.
Never stand on wet surface when working on electric.
Never stand on bare soil, put down dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks to keep hands away from power.
Use non-contact voltage tester before touching wires.
Never touch or lean into any made of metal.
Remove metal objects from pockets.
Do not use oxygen or fuel accelerants in same room as electrcial repairs

Resource:
Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching connectorss
NEVER assume power is OFF
Buy:

Non-contact voltage tester Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon
 
Resource:
How to test electric power is off

Resource:
How to install terminals
Treminals

Terminals

Buy:
Terminal kit
Blue for 16-14 wire
Yellow for 12-10 wire
Read about terminals
wire connector assortment

Twist-on wire connector assortments

Do not reuse old connectors 
Buy

Connector assortment at Amazon
Connector assortment at Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Weatherproof wire connector

Weatherproof wire connector

Connector cavity is full of silicone
Built-in cover keeps silicone in place
Protect from water, dust etc
Buy from my affiliate links
Weatherproof size 14 to 6 Amazon
Weatherproof size 22 to 8 Amazon

Resource
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Wire connector wrench

Wrench to apply wire connectors

Tighten connector 
Buy

Wire connector blaster
Twist connector wrenches at Amazon

Resources:
How to twist wire
How to select and install twist-on wire connectors
Push on wire connectors

Push-on wire connectors in place of twist-on connectors

Buy:
Push on wire connectors Amazon
Red 3P connector for 10-14 gauge wire
Lever connectors for stranded wire at Amazon
add solder to stranded wire

Turn stranded wire into solid wire

Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

linesman pliers
Buy tools:
Wire strippers at Amazon
Linesman pliers
Utility knife at Amazon
End cutting nippers at Amazon

Fire inside timer caused by stranded wire
Keep enclosure door closed at all times

Fire caused by stranded wire

Do not use stranded wire under screw plate

Applies to timers, switches, outlets, pumps etc.
Small devices, with small loads, such as lamp socket, stranded wire is fine
Add solder to 1" length of tightly twisted stranded wire to make into solid wire
Heat wire. Touch solder to wire. Let cool. File away over-solder.
Buy:
soldering guns
Resource

Timer caught fire

Orange 10 gauge 30 amp


Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
with ground
Buy:
10-2 gauge/ 30 amp
10-3/ 30 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Yellow 12 gauge 20 amp


Yellow/ #12 gauge wire for 20 amp
with ground
Buy:
12-2 gauge/ 20 amp
12-3/ 20 amp

Roll stranded wire

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground
White 14 gauge 15 amp


White/ #14 gauge wire for 15 amp
with ground
Buy:
14-2 gauge/ 15 amp
14-3/ 15 amp

NMB is house wiring
UF is underground

Copper ground wire
Use same size as other wire in circuit

Buy
Spools of ground wire
Additional links

See basic water heater circuit

Clean sediment out of tank

Try water heater timer free

Figure volts amps watts for water heater

Shower 7 gal/ bath 15 gal

Do it yourself water heater

How to replace circuit breaker

9+ ways to save with water heater

Compare water heater timers

Electricity from pole to breaker box

Anode rods

Pro and con tankless

How to replace gas water heater

Troubleshoot leaking water heater


Programmable water heater timer

Difference between 120Volts and 240Volts
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
Buy water heaters  from my associate links:

50 gallon Gas water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon gas water heaters at Amazon
50 gallon Electric water heaters at Amazon
40 gallon electric water heaters at Amazon
Hybrid / heat pump/ water heaters at Amazon

Resources:
How to install gas water heater
How to install electric water heater
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
Point of use water heaters
Gas and electric water heaters Industrial electric at Amazon

Industrial supplies at Amazon

Industrial and scientific Amazon
Tools
Shop Amazon - DEWALT
Shop Amazon - Black and Decker
Shop Amazon - Stanley Tools
Shop Amazon - SKIL Tools
Shop Amazon - Porter-Cable Tools
Shop Amazon - Bosch Tools
Shop Amazon saws and saw blades
box timers Compare box timers

Control water heater w/ Z-wave
Intermatic control centers Control centers:
+ manuals and parts


All control centers and parts

Including Z-wave
programmable timer Compare programmable timers

Control water heater with programmable wall timer
Countdown timers Compare countdown timers

Control water heater with countdown timer
Low voltage power packs Low voltage transformers


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