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How to convert energy smart water heater to ordinary water heater

There is no such thing as a smart grid module

Whirlpool energy smart
NEW eneegy smart

Why convert to regular water heater? 

So water heater will work with any voltage/ connect to 120 volt generator       How to connect water heater to generator
So you can convert water heater to 120 volts            How to convert water heater to 120 volts      How to wire water heater thermostats
For ez same day repair using generic parts from hardware store ..........    How to replace water heater thermostat
Less vulnerability to surge/ electronics can blow out with surge     How to wire whole house surge protector
EZ diagnosis of problem/ buy parts locally ....  How to troubleshoot electric water heater
No app, no sign-in, no privacy invasion, no pop-ups.... just a plain simple ez-to-fix water heater
So you can rewire for simultaneous or off-peak . Read off peak water heater thermostats
So you can integrate two water heaters using same 30 amp breaker  Read two water heaters    New government water heater standards    55 gallon walk-in tub
You can integrate with solar   Convert water heater to solar DC power
You can add a timer without frying the electronics   Water heater timers
Energy Smart
OLDER style energy smart
OLDER style energy smart...wiring is different than new energy smart ... but... FINAL WIRING LOOKS THE SAME

Whirlpool energy smart

Whirlpool energy smart with control on front

Regular thermostat can be installed in place of electronic thermostat

Simple re-wire and 2 thermostats is all that is needed

Convert energy smart water heater
Larger image

Notice the upper thermostats on each diagram are mirror images
... the top two screws located above the reset button are the same L1 L3 on both electronic and regular thermostats
... while the screws located below the reset button are mirror images... with L4 with two wires moved to right side on regular thermostat... and T4 moved to right side... while T2 moved to left side
... wire color can vary.

Wiring diagrams for NEW energy smart with control on front

Remove upper thermostat and upper thermistor located above upper element
Must buy upper thermostat and thermostat mounting bracket as shown below
The upper thermostat must be covered with insulation when finished

Remove lower thermistor located above lower element
Must buy upper thermostat and thermostat mounting bracket as shown below
The lower thermostat must be covered with insulation when finished

The grounding bracket may need to be removed to install bracket to hold mechanical thermostat
The mechanical thermostats must sit flat against the tank wall when finished (just like the thermistor must sit flat against tank wall to read correct water temperature)
All thermistors and thermostats read approximate temperature.

If you have faom insulation... then foam insulation is difficult to cut off precisely
All thermostats and elements must be covered with insulation when finsihed

Keep the elements that are provided with tank/ no need to change elements

DO NOT USE STRANDED WIRE/ use only solid copper wire under screw plates

How to wire thermostats
How to replace thermostats
Add another thermostat to electric water heater
How to test elements
How replace elements
How to test if power is turned off

How to test water heater wires

How it looks when finished/ 89T upper thermostat

89T upper thermostat uses less space if the area is crowded

See larger

How it looks when finished/ therm-o-disc upper thermostat

Therm-o-disc works same as 89T but is larger
Water heater cover
Larger image

Thermostat and element must be covered

Cover, insulation and protector are necessary so thermostat can read correct temperature. Thermostats exposed to room temperature will misread temperature and cause overheating.
Thermostat must sit flat against tank.
89T thermostat kit
89T thermostat

Buy 89T thermostat kit

I sugest the 89T upper thermostat because it is smaller size and easier to install in space

Buy from my affiliate links

89T13 dual-element thermostat at Amazon
89T13 dual element kit with jumper wire

Shorter style 89T single-element thermostat at Amazon
89T short/ dual-element thermostat at Amazon
Upper and lower thermostats
thermostat temperature range

Buy regular Therm-o-disc or Aprom upper thermostat if it fits the space

Buy residential upper and lower thermostats

Thermostats are interchangeable/ each works with your water heater
Buy 90-150 degree F for residential tank:

Water heater thermostats at Amazon
Camco thermostats at Amazon
More thermostats
89T short/ dual-element thermostat at Amazon
Example Camco dual-element thermostat at Amazon
Therm-o-disc thermostat protectors

Thermostat protectors/ for therm-o-disc upper and lower thermostats

Terminal protectors for therm-o-disc
Does not fit Apcom style
All thermostats are interchangeable

Upper element terminal protector
Lower element terminal protector
Rewire electric water heater

How to change wiring on electric water heater / foam-insulated tank

Rewire foam insulated  tank
Foam insulation makes it impossible to change wiring.
Foam is pressurized and used to fill cavity between inner steel tank and outer tank shell
The foam fits very tight against wire so wires cannot be replaced.

Start with 3/8" standard drill bit to drill through steel top.
Then use 36" drill bit to drill through foam
Drill through top of tank near wiring cavities
Keep drill bit near outer edge of tank shell

36" drill bits
Fish bit

Alternate method

Re-wire water heater for PID

Insert probe near lower thermostat.
Position against tank wall and cover w insulation

Wire thermostat and element as shown
240 volt line for water heater MUST be routed through ECO located on upper thermostat.
Why? Because ECO is safety device that will cut power to element in event of overheating.

PID is powrered by 120 volt for example.
Hot and neutral are needed for PID.
Set temperature controller program.
When temperature probe senses cold water, then PID activates contactor
Contactor switches 30 amp water heater circuit, and lower element tuns on.
Lower element keeps tank hot.
This wiring design, both hot wires to element are cut off by contactor.
Do NOT connect 240 volt 30 amp water heater circuit to PID... must use contactor

PID Temperature controllers
Digital temperature controller
30 amp contactors

Solid State Relay Board for Arduino

Select breaker and wire size
Add another thermostat to water heater
heat trap

Heat traps can clog and make noise

Use illustration on left to open the heat trap washer by cutting off tabs
If missing, use washing machine hose washer
When homes have hard water, and repairs / installation are made to plumbing, then debris can clog the heat trap, causing low pressure and noise
heat trap insert
Hose washers at Amazon

Make your own heat traps
New water heater making noise

Water heater with short nipple

Replace short water heater nipple with brass or stainless steel nipple

Use 6 wraps of teflon tape on threads.
6 wraps is standard for all water heater connections, including TP valve and anode rod etc

3/4" x 6" brass nipple
3/4" x 6 stainless nipple at Amazon
Pipe threaders

How to maintain water heater
Flush tool
tank rinser

Buy plastic tank rinser

Works with ball valve
Tank rinser at Amazon

How to replace water heater drain valve
How to clean sediment out of water heater
How to replace thermostat
How to replace element
How to maintain water heater
Identify water heater valves
Advantages/ disadvantages/ Install mixing valve
Anode rod

Prevent rusted water heater/ Inspect and replace anode rod

Applies to gas and electric heaters
Anode rod prevents steel tank from rusting
Remove and Inspect anode each 1-3 years

How to replace anode rod
Tank pressure

Test pressure

Gas and electric
Pressure over 80 psi can damage water heater and damage plumbing pipes.
Faucets do not last as long, water heater can be damaged

Put BTG100 or similar gauge on water heater drain valve.
If pressure is high, then install pressure reducting valve.
Buy pressure gauges at Amazon
Water pressure gauges
Test for low and high pressure on water heater
Pressure reducing valve and expansion tank

What if tank is not working?

Read 'repaired water heater is not working'


Test for breaks in wire/ Test for voltage
Most appliance require 80% rated voltage to function correctly
Multimeters at Amazon
Electric testers at Amazon 
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

Basic house wiring

Non-contact voltage tester

Test for power without touching connectorss
NEVER assume power is OFF

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

How to install terminals


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 

Connector assortment at Amazon
Connector assortment at Amazon

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

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

Wrench to apply wire connectors

Tighten connector 

Wire connector blaster
Twist connector wrenches at Amazon

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

Push on wire connectors Amazon

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.
soldering guns

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.
soldering guns

Timer caught fire

Insdulation under screw plate
Larger image
Both wires MUST be same gauge
Straighten each wire
Tighten screw very tight against copper wire

Larger image

Connect stranded and solid with wire connector and run jumper to screw plate.
Or add solder to stranded wire to make solid.
See example image

Fire safety

Use only solid copper wire, and no insulation under screw plate.

Max 2 wires under screw plate

Both wires same gauge

Do not use stranded wire, it will come loose with heat expansion and overheat and cause burning. Turn stranded wire into solid wire by soldering stranded wire.

Always keep enclosure (box) cover closed

Orange 10 gauge 30 amp

Orange/ #10 gauge for for 30 amp circuits including water heater
with ground
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
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
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

Spools of ground wire

Household NM-B Wires are color-coded so inspectors/ electricians can easily identify which wire is used during construction

Match wire size and breaker amp rating

If your home was wired by professional electrician who pulled permits, then circuit breaker and wire size will match. If manufactured home or travel trailer has not been altered by homeowner then breaker and wire size will match.

If breaker is oversized for wire... fire danger

Breaker can let too much electricity travel through the wire. Wire can overheat and cause fire.
Call electrician if you suspect wiring is not correct,
Absolute electrocution danger when removing cover off main panel. More information below.
Main breaker terminals are still Hot when main breaker is turned off.

Wire wire at Amazon

Select correct wire and breaker size
How to replace circuit breaker

Electricity leaves power plant What is 3-phase electric: power plant to end user
Gas and electric water heaters Industrial electric at Amazon

Industrial supplies at Amazon

Industrial and scientific Amazon
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
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Compare ways to control water heater
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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