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2012
brazos bend state park How much money will a water heater timer save?

Answer ... $6-$10 per month depending on price of electricity and if you also reduce consumption.

No answer fits all households.
Reducing consumption is best way to save. A timer rations hot water and consumption drops. Water consumption drops also.
Family chart for setting water heater timer

A timer saves money. See water heater timers/ electric and gas
There are many other ways to save money, including a timer:  Read 9 ways to save with water heater
Save $5-10 per month in future replacement costs by maintaining water heater  How to maintain water heater

If home does not have enough hot water, then timer is not best idea:  How to increase amount of hot water

General guideline for saving:
If state has peak electric pricing, then savings can be significant, depending on price and consumption pattern.  How to wire off peak timer
If state does not have peak pricing, then savings is achieved because scheduling hot water reduces consumption.
Gas water heater timer?  See gas water heater timers  Gas water heater timer research
Electric meter
How to install meter

Save $70 to $150 per year with electric

ASSUMING consumption is cut, and effort is made to follow tips shown on 9-ways to save with water heater
Savings can result 1 month of free electricity each year.

Water heater runs less and lasts longer with fewer repairs, fewer backflushes
Also saves cost of water since our consumption drops while using a timer.
The DIY water heater timer project costs $50-120 See Project

Gas water heater timers also save money

Gas water heater timer research pdf
See gas water heater timers
Figures below result from drastically reducing consumption:

How much money do I save?
$6.88 in December during cold winter month, less savings during hot summer month

Using timer: $24.37 per month

I put electric meter on my water heater. Flat rate electricity. Two people in the home. Older water heater without foam insulation, and without additional water heater blanket (during testing), and water heater exposed to outdoor temperatures (since my tank sits on back porch).
Washing machine uses cold water only. Dishwasher not connected to hot water line ( I wash dishes by hand after taking shower to use rest of warm water inside tank).
There are many variables to measure and each home will be different.
Insulating water heater and lowering thermostat to 120 degrees will lower the cost. Most water heaters today are set to 120 degrees by manufacturer.
Starting with 50 degree incoming water, and heating water to 135 degrees: When using timer, household consumption for water heater is 6.5 Kwh per day
6.5 Kwh per day x 30 days x flat rate .125 per Kwh = $24.37 per month.

Running water heater full time: $31.25 per month

When timer was off: Noticably our usage increased as my wife discovered abundant hot water was available. I increased consumption too.
So the timer actually caused us to consume less. So water heater ON full time caused us to use more hot water.
The washing machine still uses cold water, and dishes are washed by hand.
Other than cost of electricity, behavior is the biggest factor for cost of water heater.

Family chart for setting water heater timer

Single handle faucet
Cold water immediately enters bottom of tank when hot tap is ON > even if hot never arrives at faucet, and you don't actually use hot water.
Do not run hot when only cold is needed.
If single-handled faucet is lifed in center, then cold water immediately enters tank.
If faucet is far away from water heater and you run water until hot arrives, then cold water is entering water heater the entire time.
All cold water that enters tank must be heated and kept heated until next usage.
Locating hot water usage points close to heater will save money.

By adding a timer, and scheduling hot water usage, the waste described above is eliminated.
You have specific amount of hot water available, and no more will be heated until next scheduled heating event.
Once tank is hot, water will stay hot for several hours.
It is best to use hot water as soon As possible after the heating event.

Cold water enters tank
Timer to control water heater.
See timer installation
Family chart for setting water heater timer
Small water heater How much does it cost to run a water heater:
3 hours is approximate daily run-time for a water heater [depending on usage and temperature of incoming water]

5500 Watts x 3 hours = 16,500 watt-hours or 16.5 Kwh per day
For a full 30-day month <=> 30 days x 16.5 Kwh per day = 495 Kwh per month for water heater electricity
Calculate cost <=> 495 Kwh x $.10 per Kwh = $49.50 + tax
@.10 Kwh 3 hours a day @ $.10 per Kwh
5500 Watt tank = $49.50 per month + tax
4500 Watt tank = $40.50 per month
3500 Watt tank = $31.50 per month assuming low usage
1500 Watt tank = $13.50 per month
@.12 Kwh      3 hours a day @ $.12 per Kwh
    5500 Watt tank = $59.40 per month + tax
    4500 Watt tank = $48.60 per month
    3500 Watt tank = $37.80 per month assuming low usage
    1500 Watt tank = $16.20 per month
How to install electric meter on water heater
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
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
box timers Compare box timers
programmable timer Compare programmable timers
Countdown timers Compare countdown timers
Compare power packs

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