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Ways to save with water heater
knowledge, behavior, products ... no magic bullet, no single answer for saving energy
  Savings estimates show 'approximate/ savings/ depending on usage and other factors
Single handle faucet

Cold water enters bottom of water heater each time hot is turned ON
 1. Behavior that will save money: Do not turn on hot water when using cold
Save $2 per month.
When hot is turned on, even a moment, cold water immediately enters water heater. Water heater runs more. Single handled faucet lifted in center will draw hot water from tank.
Repairs: If single handled faucet has crossover, then hot water can draw through defective faucet cartridge when other faucets turn on.
Moen double handled faucets at Amazon

Crossover/ that causes hot to run when cold is on
Ways to increase amount of hot water
Cold water dip tube
How electric water heater works         How gas water heater works
Washing hands in hot water not necessary/ pdf

2. Product choice: Install Dual-handle faucets when replacing faucets
Save $2 per month
Product will save money if people do not turn on Hot when using only cold water.
Prevent unintentional hot water consumption. It is easy to know when Hot water is drawn from tank.
Solves potential plumbing problems such as crossover
Dual handle faucets at Amazon
Moen faucets at Amazon
Crossover on bad single-handle faucet cartridge draws hot from tank
Take a shower 3. Behavior that will save money: Take showers/ not baths/ save 10 gallon hot each time/
Save $4-10 per month / + save water
Take showers/ not baths. Bath consumes 12-17 gallon hot, shower 4-7 gallon hot. Depending on usage. Save 10 gallons hot each time
Use shower shut off to save water between lather and rinse, or to reduce flow
Shower shut off at Amazon
How much hot water does bath of shower use
Photoshop how-to
Shower shut off
Shower shut off
3a. Product that can save money: use shower shut off
Save 20 per month
Stop drips.
If shower drips when valve is off, and valve is off in center position, or if double handle faucet leaks on hot side, then hot water is leaving tank and new cold water is entering tank.
Reduce flow.
Reduce consumption.
If shower head is turned off between lather and rinse, this action will save water and save hot water
Remove shower head. Apply teflon tape to threads. Install shut off. Apply teflon tape to shut off threads. Re-install shower head.
Shower shut off at Amazon
Water-loss-with-one-drip/ pdf
Bath uses 12-14 gallons hot water
Take showers instead of bath.
Safety grab bar
Use safety grab bar on bathtub
Safety grab bar at Amazon
Bathtub safety grab bars
4. Behavior that will save money: reduce consumption
Save $10 per month

Take showers instead of bath.
Don't run water continually when shaving
Wash clothes in cold water
Install low-flow faucets and shower heads
Fix leaks
Do not install garden-size or over-sized bathtubs

Read: how much hot water for bath/ shower 
Read: how much does it cost to run water heater

Large bathtubs...
Require bigger water heater

NEW efficiency standards will affect large bathtubs and whirlpool tubs
Remember the water cools off as tub fills
Air bubbles cool the water
5.  Behavior + product choice: Large bathtubs consume large amounts of hot water.
Save $10-40 per month
Oversized bathtub requires 60 gallon gas water heater or 65-80 gallon electric water heater.
Large water heaters over 55 gallon are expensive to buy, maintain and operate. Buying two heaters costs more.
Each gallon taken from water heater is replaced by another gallon of cold water that must be heated to temperature setting.
Two water heaters
Amount of hot water used for bath or shower
Cost to run water heater
Review GE heat pump
How to maintain water heater
How to adjust water heater temperature
Ways to increase amount of hot water
Is water heater supplying right amount of hot water .pdf
Review solar water heater
dripping faucet
6. Behavior that will save money: Fix drips and leaks
Save $1 per month
Save 1/2-2 gallon per day:
When hot side faucet drips, then cold water is entering tank at same rate water is dripping out of faucet.
Turn off all taps... put ear against pipe... listen for leak... look at water meter and see if meter advances.
Water detectors at Amazon
Automatic water heater leak shut off at Amazon
Water-loss-with-one-drip/ pdf
Automatic water heater leak shut off installation
Leaking water heater/ steps
Automatic water heater shut off valve
Automatic shut off valve

7. Product that can save money: Prevent flood damage/ automatic shut off valve
Savings undetermined/ save massive damage to home
Shut off water automatically when leak is detected
Valve attaches to water line... detector sits on floor... electric power does not rely on batteries

Water detectors at Amazon
Automatic water heater leak shut off at Amazon

Leaking water heater/ steps
Honeywell mixing device
mixing valve
8. Product that will save money: Use mixing valve
Save 15-40 per month/ vrs cost of product and install
Save $5-20 per month if used for off-peak strategy or when used with solar water heater

How does this save hot water?
Each household tap is a mixing valve... where you manually adjust water temperature by adding cold.
Install mixing valve located at water heater can save the amount of hot water that travels down the pipe going to tap. A mixing valve keeps more cold water out of tank, and water heater stays hotter.
Good off-peak strategy... heat water off peak... then conserve hot water during peak times
Good solar strategy.... heat water during peak sunshine... then sip needed hot water throughout night or over several days.
How much hot water is saved?
Every 10 feet of 1/2" pipe holds .12 gallons of water.
If bathroom is 20 feet away. 3 showers per day .72 gallons per day x 365 days = 262 gallons of cold water that does not enter tank.
That means 262 gallons of cold water is not heated from 60 to 120 thermostat set point.
Buy from my affiliate links:
Mixing valve kit at Amazon
Water heater mixing valves at Amazon
Advantages-disadvantages of mixing valve
Review solar water heater
Off peak ideas for electric heater
Ways to increase amount of hot water
cost of hot water
Larger image
Heat traps save small amount each month
Tempering tank/ preheat incoming cold water
Insulate pipes
Insulate water heaters
Locate usage near water heater
Total $3-5 per month savings
9. Home design will save money: Locate water heater near bath and kitchen
Save $4 per month/ save water
The closer water heater is to faucet, the larger the savings since less cold water enters tank as hot is drawn from tap.
Draw hot from 15 feet away, then 1/2" pipe x 15' of cold waters enters tank just to get hot to faucet.
The new cold water entering tank must be heated to thermostat set point again.
.229 square inches per 1/2" pipe. Ten feet 1/2" pipe = 120 inches x .229 square inches = 27.48
27.48 cubic inches  231 cu in per gallon = .12 gal for each 10 feet of distance.
Tempering tank
Heat traps
Distance water travels in pipe
How much hot water is used for bath and shower
Footnote Each Home is energy battery
Winter sun benefits overnight warmth of home
Summer night benefit coolness of home in day
More insulation benefits year-round
Footnote Water heater tank is energy battery
Heat tank during off-peak hours
Insulate tank to hold heat inside tank
Place tank in naturally warm location
Water heater tank exposed to sun will hold more heat
Geothermal energy: all underground water pipes are geothermally heated.
Geothermal heat prevents pipes from freezing / except extreme latitudes
Underground water pipes are energy battery
Each home and community benefits from geothermal heat that protects pipes from freezing
Earthquake-proof water heater
Earthquake straps at Amazon

10. Product, behavior, science that can save money: Earthquake-proof water heater
Save property damage and possible fire
Read pdf    See illustration  See seismic map
Earthquake straps help prevent gas leak and fire in event of earthquake.
Prevents damage to property and injury from falling tank.
Dropped water heater, or water heater fell over
Earthquake straps at Amazon

How to maintain water heater
11. Behavior that will save money: Maintain water heater to last twice as long
Save $8-10 per month replacement cost
If water heater lasts 10 years, and cost $600 to buy and install today, but $1200 to buy and install 10 years from now, then the depreciation cost is $8-10 per month.
All costs are energy. Add depreciation cost to monthly energy bill to accurately estimate cost for operating water heater.
It makes sense to maintain water heater.
Flush tank each 6 months
Inspect for leaks each 6 months
Check and replace anode rod each 1-3 years
Check pressure/ pressure should not exceed 80 psi
Read and save product manual
Troubleshoot resources for electric
Troubleshoot resources for gas
Safety precautions
More Do-it-yourself resources
Protect heater: Install whole house surge
minerals in water
Clean out tank
12. Behavior that will save money: Flush tank each six-months
Save $1 per month/ extend life of heater and keep efficiency high
Flushing each 6 months helps prevent efficiency loss.
Heating water distills chemicals out of water with some water conditions more problematic. Even water that is softened can cause distillates. Higher thermostat temperatures cause more distillates. Sediments often cannot be fully removed from bottom of gas or electric heaters.

Electric heater can be vacuumed and full efficiency restored, but gas heaters suffer efficiency loss when bottom of heater and thermostat probe get coated with minerals.
How to replace element and clean sediment out of tank
See steps to flush tank
See steps to clean tank
Read softener research pdf
How to flush tankless
How to clean tank and pipes with clorox
Hot water heater odor/ how to replace anode rod
Footnote 12a. Use Hydrogen Peroxide to deodorize and clean tank/ or for problem tanks, use bleach
See steps to clean tank
How to clean tank and pipes with clorox
Zinc-Aluminum anode rod helps prevent odor
How to replace anode rod
change water heater thermostat

How to adjust thermostat down to 120
14. Behavior that will save money: Turn down thermostat
Save $2-4 per month standby cost 
For each 10 degree reduction, save 3-5% operating cost.
     120F or lower is considered optimal. Typical shower bath 104F.
     140 degrees .
     Temperatures at or above 140 kills most bacteria but poses risk of scalding, can cause minerals to distill out of water, cause pressure problems on plumbing and damage pipes. pressure should not exceed 80psi.
Lower thermostat temperature reduces 'first hour delivery' or reduces the amount of hot water that is available from tank.
See how to adjust temperature on (gas and electric) water heaters
How to increase amount of hot water
Resources for troubleshoot:
Troubleshoot gas water heater
Troubleshoot electric water heater
How to replace thermostat on electric heater
How to replace thermostat on gas water heater
Calculate first hour delivery
Calculate recovery
Fewer BTUs
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15. Science: Slow heating uses less energy
Save $4-20 per month
Water heaters with high recovery rates and high first-hour delivery generally use more BTUs per gallon of hot water.
See typical gas and electric water heater recovery chart
Heat pump water heaters, when operated without back-up elements, can save energy, but technology is suited to warm climate. All costs are energy: small, inexpensive, well-insulated water heater might be better choice than heat pump. Do-it-yourselfers can change electric water heater into off-peak water heater, where lower element is turned off to save energy Read. Water heater timers can be wired so they turn off lower element. Water heater timers can be set so just enough hot water is available when needed
Two water heaters
Off-peak water heater ideas
Off peak water heater wiring
Image of timer controlling off peak thermostat
Compare water heater timers
Review GE hybrid water heater/ heat pumps can be expensive and inconvenient
GE energy smart water heater has temperature adjustments on front of water heater
wrap water heater
Insulate tank
See illustration

TP valve
Do not obstruct or cap off TP
Tank drain
Leave access to tank drain
16. Product that will save money: Wrap water heater with insulation
Save $1-2 per month
Save 4-9% operating cost. Home centers sell ready-to-use blanket for $25.
US Dept of Energy suggests R-8 which equals 2-1/2" fiberglass insulation.
Water heater manufactured after April 2015 have more insulation and tanks are larger.
Buy from my affiliate links:
Water heater insulation blankets at Amazon

Does water heater need insulation? Use thermal heat sensor to measure heat loss
-or- Tape thermometer to water heater, cover thermometer with fiberglass insulation, after 20 minutes, remove insulation & compare before and after thermometer reading.
Thermal heat sensor
High temperature mercury thermometer

       Gas water heater are wrapped differently
Electric water heater: OK to insulate entire tank, except TP valve.
Gas water heaters: NO insulation on top of tank -or- over draft air inlet -or- air intake opening -or- around gas control valve
See illustration
Dept of energy resource
See illustration of gas water heater blanket
IR infrared temperature gun 16a. Product that will save money: Infrared temperature gun
Saving undetermined
Insulate water heater tank
Check attic insulation
Check windows and doors
Check insulation on pipes
Buy from my affiliate links:
Water heater insulation blankets at Amazon
Thermal heat guns
High temperature mercury thermometer
Pocket thermometer
Insulate TP valve 17. Insulate TP valve
Small savings each month
Add insulation to TP valve to prevent heat loss.
Do not cover lever with insulation. Do not cap off TP valve or cap off discharge tube.
Read about TP valve code
Water heater safety precautions
How to replace TP valve
Troubleshoot leaking water heater
pipe insulation
Insulate pipes

Which materials have most insulation value?
Touch or grasp material with hand. Materials that feel warm are best insulators.
18. Product that will save money: Insulate pipes
Save 25 cents - $1 per month x 30 years = $90-180
For example, 100 ft of 1-1/2 in bare copper tubing results in a heat loss of 5300 Btu/h.
Pex tubing cab have less heat loss.
Insulate pipes at water heater and rest of house
Water pipes lose heat. When colder water enters tank, it must be heated more.
Pipes on top of tank draw heat out of water heater. Tank runs more.
Gas water heater: Insulation must stay away from top of heater and vent pipe.
Electric water heater: Insulation can cover all pipes and top of water heater
Pipe insulation at Amazon
Thermal heat sensor/ Infrared heat gun
Insulate water heater
Electric water heater only

In winter, sit on a cold outdoor bench and it feels cold.
Next, place piece of styrafoam on bench and sit again, and it feels warm.
Practical application: sit on piece of styrafoam at football game
19. Personal behavior: Set ELECTRIC water heater on insulated surface
Small savings each month
Prevent heat loss through bottom of tank.
Electric water heater only: Internal steel tank has no insulation on bottom. Water in bottom of tank is hot. Proof: open drain valve at tank bottom releases hot water. Heat loss can be slowed with insulation. You are warmer sitting on insulation, so is water heater. If there was no vertical transference between hot and cold, then you could sit on block of ice and never feel cold and pants would never get wet from the melting ice.

For example, use Dow blue styrafoam
Or build 2x4 frame filled with insulation and covered with 3/4" plywood. Plywood is good insulator. Metal and aluminum are very poor insulators and will cause heat loss. To test insulation value of material, put hand on material and see if it warms quickly under hand

Note: water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon
40 gallon steel water heater filled with water weighs approx 450lbs.
80 gallon water heater with water 870lbs.
Make sure floor structure can support weight of 2-4 large men.
Electric meter  Resources for electric water heater: Water heater causing high electric bill
Water heater is tripping breaker
Troubleshoot electric water heater
How to install meter on electric water heater
solar recirculation system 20. Product that might save money: Commercial solar recirculation system
Save $0-20-40 per month vs cost of product and maintenance
Recirculate solar-heated water into storage tank
Absolutely: research full cost of system vrs payback
Areas like Hawaii, where energy costs are very high, will benefit
These systems last about 12-14 years/ some claim they last longer.
Generally solar water heating is not mobile, check area for re-sale value
Review: should you buy factory-made solar water heater
Photovoltaic water heater 20a. DIY solar project can save money: experimental Photovoltaic DC water heater/ 
Save $0-40 per month vrs cost of materials and install and maintenance
Heat water using sun
Solar assistance or full solar... the less hot water is heated using electricity or gas, the larger the savings
Low voltage PV photovoltaic heater
High voltage PV photovoltaic heater
Review Techluck
20b. Passive solar water heater collector
Save money each month vrs cost of materials
Cheapest way to go is DIY passive heat collector
Heat water using sun ... go off grid and save full cost of water heater
Set old water heater in the sun
Put two gallons water in the afternoon sun... it all counts.

Passive DIY solar heater using old water heater or solar collector
Long list of DIY solar water heat ideas.
Tempering tank
Larger image
21. Personal behavior, science, recycling: Install tempering tank/ Pre-heat incoming cold water
Save $2-8 per month
Tempering tank located in naturally warm location can preheat water before it flows into cold water side of water heater.
Re-purpose old water heater: Use old water heater for tempering tank, don't throw it away. 
Tempering tank can be old water heater, or coil of copper tubing, or any 20-80 gallon water tank not connected to fuel source.
Tempering tank is Excellent use for old water heater
Also use old water heater for passive solar water heater
Thermostat range on ordinary 20 gallon residential electric water heater is 90-150 degrees F

20 gallon water heaters at Amazon
Compare small tanks

How to Install tempering tank 
Convert water heater to DC photovoltaic
Passive solar water heater
Compare 20 gallon water heaters + installation
Two water heaters
Read about electric water heater thermostats
Add another thermostat to gas or electric water heater
Turn off 2nd water heater 22. Behavior that will save money: Turn off 2nd water heater
Save $40 a month right now
Read about 2 water heaters
Many homes have 2nd water heater for convenience. The 2nd heater may not be necessary.
If 2nd water heater is needed, put in a smaller tank, or install under-counter water heater at faucet.
How to install under-counter water heater

How much does it cost to run water heater? Read

Control two water heaters
Electric water heater timers
Gas water heater timers
two water heaters 23. Options and products that might save money: Control 2 water heaters
Save $2-5 a month
Many homes have 2nd water heater for convenience.
Run 1 water heater full time/// run other heater part time as needed.
If 2nd water heater is needed, put in a smaller tank, or install under-counter water heater at faucet.

Control two water heaters
How to install under-counter water heater
How much does it cost to run water heater
smaller water heater
24.  Product choice: Install smaller water heater
Save $4-10 per month
... and reduce consumption. Don't oversize, choose right size. See chart.
Smaller tank costs less to operate when consumption is also reduced. Overworking gas water heater will cost more in repair. Choose the right size. Conserve. Plan. Put in smaller tank if consumption is reduced.
Home might require at least 40 gallon for resale value. Read  
Home with garden-sized or over-sized tub require minimum 80 gallon first-hour delivery.
Consider that all costs are energy, so total cost over life of appliance is important. Save water heater manual. Anticipate that water heater lasts 6-12 years Read the basics,  See typical reference chart and plan ahead for most efficient unit read 1. Consider solar assisted read 3a Consider self-cleaning tanks. Dept of Energy efficiency information Consider heat-pump water heater read 6 Avoid hype: read side-by-side test for tankless read 7. Compare water heater innovations. Save old tank for solar project read 8 or tempering tank read 9
Under counter water heater 25. Product that can save money: Small heater at sink
Save $2-8 per month/ under-counter heater/ 
Weigh cost of products against hot water savings
Pot heater can save instead of using hot water from main heater (requires frequent cleaning with white vinegar)
Connect small under counter heater... connect to cold water line
Avoid tankless: it costs more to heat water rapidly with tankless
Thermo hot pot at Amazon
Point of use water heaters at Amazon
Compare under-counter water heaters, manuals, and installation
How to increase amount of hot water
tankless under counter 25a. Product that can save money: Small tankless heater at sink
Save $2-8 per month/ under-counter heater/ requires 10 gauge wire and 30 amp breaker
Weigh cost of product and installation against hot water savings
Connect to cold water... never draws hot water from main tank
Instant hot water at sink
Tankless point of use at Amazon
Point of use water heaters at Amazon
Compare under-counter water heaters, manuals, and installation
How to increase amount of hot water
Washing machine 26. Behavior that will save money: Use cold water for Washing machine/ dishwasher
Use cold water instead of hot
Turn off hot to washing machine
Connect dishwasher to cold water line.
Avoid expensive products: When starting machine, add 1 cup white vinegar to remove spots and stains from dishes and machine.
Connect under-counter water heater to cold water line instead of hot
If very hot 135 degree water temperature is needed for wash day:  
Raise water heater temperature for that day or hour, and then reduce temperature to 120 degrees later.
How to adjust temperature
Adjust water temperature on front of water heater: Whirlpool energy smart
Use timer to temporarily raise water heater temperature (alters water heater wiring/ voids product warranty)
140 degree temperature needed to kill bacteria
clothes dryer
Photo shows my wife removing socks from dryer.
Product promotion that has nothing to do with water heater
Product that will help you
This product is shown here because I use it.
The grabber makes our lives easier
Use for clothes dryer; get objects down from top shelf; pick up a dime off the floor; squeeze the cat

36" size is best.
50" size is too heavy for us older folks

Grabber at Amazon $18
Hot water recirculation system
Larger image
27. Product that might save money: Recirculation system provides hot water for frequent hand washing
Save $20-35 per year
Recirculation system motor costs money to operate, and water heater runs more hours.
If you have recirculation system, use timer instead of thermostat to control circulation.

Typical Grundfos UP15 pump uses 29 watts and costs modest $25 per year when run 2 hours per day, but water heater runs more and costs additional $20-35 per year.
Recirculation system operation, manuals, diagrams

Install water heater timer

28. Product that can save money: Install water heater timer
Save $10+ per month by reducing consumption & using timer
Good for homes with few people and homes with peak electric pricing
Not good for homes with several people and large consumption habits.
Timers can save money when people also reduce consumption and schedule hot water read1 read2.
See water heater timers  Read3
Does a timer save money: yes especially in stated with tiered pricing/ and small amount in states without tiered pricing.
If you have old heater, start fresh: clean out tank, replace anode rod, lower thermostats,
wrap heater with insulation, and install a timer.  
Go next door and install timer for neighbor.
How much money does a timer save

See water heater timer installation

Family chart for setting water heater timer,
based on incoming water temperature
Off peak water heater timer 29. Behavior that will save money: Off-peak water heater options
Save by avoiding peak electric pricing
Applies to electric water heaters
Avoid peak electric prices. Save money.
Wire timer to operate electric water heater during off-peak times.
Water heater is always ON like usual, but less hot water is available during peak-price hours
How to wire off-peak water heater

Changing water heater to 120Volts will save money during peak hours. If people also lower consumption.
How to convert water heater to 120Volt.
How to install electric meter on water heater.
Di-electric union

remove water heater nipple
30. Product that will save money: Prevent electrolytic corrosion/ & connection failure
Save cost of plumbing repairs
Applies to galvanized pipe. Pex pipe does not cause electrolytic corrosion
Lengthen lifespan of water heater and protect plumbing from deterioration.
Use di-electric nipple with plastic lining when connecting pipes to water heater. Image on left shows failed di-electric unions. Failed because washer wore out. Di-electric nipples do not require washer. Some folks prefer brass fittings since they do not corrode.
Di-electric prevents electrolytic corrosion or electrolysis caused when different metals are connected together.
Different metal pipes can also cause
Low Hot Water Pressure
How to replace short nipple
Di-electric nipples
Dielectric nipples at Amazon
brass elbow and nipple
stainless pipe fittings
30a. Product that will save money: Use brass or stainless pipe, elbow and nipple when connecting copper pipe to galvanized pipe
Save cost of plumbing repairs
Prevent electrolytic corrosion/ deterioration of galvanized pipes and clogs
Use 6 wraps teflon tape on threads
Brass nipples at Amazon
Brass elbows at Amazon
Stainless nipples at Amazon
Stainless elbows at Amazon

water heater connections

Flexible Water Heater Connector at Amazon
Flexible stainless 24" connectors>
31. Product that can save money: Use Flexible copper -or- braided -or - Stainless Steel lines
Save some installation costs
I personally use copper flex lines and they seem thicker and more stout than flexible stainless.
Flexible connections make water heater installation easier
Broken and leaking pipes cause repair costs.
Braided hoses can leak, and interior rubber coating can come apart and get into pipes.
This applies to both water heater and washing machine and water softener.
Ruptured washing machine hose and water heater supply lines cause flooded homes.
Use di-electric nipples between flex connections and water heater.
See insurance loss chart, water heater failure data
High water pressure above 80psi can cause water heater damage, plumbing damage and rupture. Install pressure-reducing valve and set pressure for 40 psi. 
Read about low hot water pressure and clogged pipes

Buy from my affiliate links
Stainless steel flexible connection at Amazon
Sharkbite water heater connection
Water heater installation kit
heat trap
Minimum 6"
heat traps
See larger image of installation

32. Behavior that will save money: Add heat traps
Electric: Save $9.20 per year 2012 prices
Gas: Save $4.00 per year
2012 prices
.... to slow natural convection of heat upwards
Prevent loss of heat leaving top of water heater.
Insulate pipes. Some new water heaters have built-in heat-trap nipples and washers.

Factory-installed heat-trap nipples and washers can clog
Read heat trap bulletin/ pdf
Heat trap research/ pdf
Making heat traps /at forum
Low hot water pressure/ causing pressure problems.
New water heater making noise
Replace factory heat traps with di-electric nipples, and then add heat trap pipes

Code requires all household grounds be connected together... including satellite, phone, cable, USB, solar panels, etc,,, and all grounds must be bonded to main household ground rod
Homes that are properly grounded as less susceptible to damage from surge and damage from lightning strike
how to bond control panel
Example shows solar panels... but also includes pool control centers etc
33. Behavior that will save money: Ground all electrical devices, and all household grounds together and bond to main breaker panel and to ground rod
Do not ground to water pipe: Make sure ground is connected to ground rod
Family safety/ extend life of water heater/ resist surge damage/ resist lightning damage
Water heaters and metal water pipes corrode with stray current corrosion.
Modern pex water lines are not affected, and cannot be used as a ground.
When installing new water heater, water pipe, doing repairs on plumbing, installing new electric service etc... check that all electric is connected to dedicated ground wire that is bonded to outdoor ground rod
Bonded means steel electric panel enclosure must be directly connected to local ground rod

Ground rod and clamps at Amazon
Bonding lugs

Why ground is important
Basic household wiring
See inside main breaker box
What is 3-phase electric
How to wire T100 series timers
How to wire Control centers

Larger image
Image of shorted element
33a. Behavior that will save money: Prevent electrocution/ injury/ damage from lightning:
Family safety
Electrically ground gas and electric water heater
Check that water heater is bonded to electrical ground at main panel: this action will prevent electrocution.
Add a ground screw directly to metal tank, and run ground wire to grounding busbar on main panel.
Applies to gas and electric water heaters.
Many gas water heaters are connected to electrical outlet for power vent, or damper etc
Electric water heaters have ground screw. Make sure ground wire from main panel is connected to screw.
Attach ground wire from both hot and cold pipes to ground screw.
Shorts can occur if electric heating element touches anode rod, or if element cracks inside electric heating element.

Troubleshoot electric water heater

Keep insulation away from top of gas water heater.
Insulate both hot and cold pipes.
Larger image
33b.  Behavior that can save money: Electrically ground water heater pipes
Save cost of plumbing repairs/ gas and electric heaters
Water heaters that rust out quickly might be connected to water pipes that are not grounded.
Does not always apply to pex pipe
Hot water pipes are not grounded in many homes. Read Pdf  
To get 'rid of stray current corrosion, jumper between hot and cold pipes with #6 solid copper wire. And check that cold water pipe is grounded to main panel and to grounding rod.

Check that water heater is bonded to electrical ground: this action will prevent electrocution.
Example image on left shows
: ground wire, di-electric nipples, heat-traps, and pipe insulation
With gas water heater, keep insulation above top of tank
With electric water heater, pipes can be fully insulated
Attach vent hood to water heater using 3 sheet metal screws
Connect each vent join with 3 sheet metal screws
Read about low hot water pressure and clogged pipes
Ground clamps at Amazon
Ground clamps at Amazon
Ground clamp Amazon
water heater circuit breaker 34. Behavior that will save money: Electric water heater: use 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire
Save cost of replacing circuit breaker/ and main breaker panel
Use 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire on household 4500 watt water heater.
30 amp circuit runs cooler = less amp loss from heat = more efficient use of electricity
Circuit breaker and breaker box last longer
Color code for wire/ breaker size
How to replace circuit breaker
Figure volts amps for water heater
hot breaker Safety action: If circuit breaker is undersized, or if breakers feel warm
Fire safety/ cost of electric repairs
a) Install 3500 watt elements instead of 4500 watt elements.
Recovery is slower by 6 gallon per hour. Circuit breaker load is reduced. How to replace element
b) Convert water heater to 120Volt and draw 1/4 watts and amperage   How to convert to 120Volt
Related links:
How to repair: water heater is blowing breaker
Off-peak water heater ideas
Troubleshoot household electricity/ stress-test circuit breakers
Choose correct wire and breaker
How to replace circuit breaker
Flooded water heater 35.  Behavior that will save money: Set water heater higher: avoid rising water.
Save cost of water heater replacement
Flooded heater will void warranty and manufacturers recommend replacement. 
Do not touch water heater that has been flooded, risk of electric shock. Make sure breakers are turned off before servicing. Most homes have ground wire connected to cold water pipe.
Flooded gas water heater can be risk of explosion and fire if put back into service. Malfunctioning gas control valve and gas that is not completely burned cause risk.
Read flooded water heater
Water heater leaking 36.  Behavior that will save money: Inspect tank each 6 months for water leak
Save cost of water damage/ mold
Prevent leaks/ resources:
Read:  Leaking water heater
Read about anode rods
Avoid major damage to home caused by tank rupture and leaking..
Inspect water heater each 6 months.
Inspect and replace anode rod every 2 years. Use reinforced flexible connections.
Keep water pressure below 80 psi, or install expansion tank
Read more
Drip pan
Drip pan saves damage
See drip pan installation
Water heater drip pans at Amazon
Water detectors at Amazon
Auto-shut-off valve at Amazon
Replace anode rod
Anode rods at Amazon
37. Behavior & Product that will save money: Inspect anode rod: prevent rusted tank
Save $4 per month
How to Inspect Anode rod
Inspect every 1-3 years and increase life of water heater
Prevent leaks and early demise of heater
Anode rod prevents water heater from rusting.
Maintaining anode rod means water heater lasts longer, saving money.
Install 2 anode rods, and tank lasts longer. Two anodes can convert 6-year tank into 12 year tank.
Tanks needing frequent anode replacement might benefit from powered anode rod.
Anode rods at Amazon
Check and replace anode rod each 1-3 years
Water softener Water softeners accelerate anode consumption because they eliminate the formation of scale in
the water heater tank Light scale formation in a water heater is desirable since it forms a barrier
film on the exposed steel surfaces in the tank such as pipe connections and weld areas.
Read AO Smith pdf
Clean sediment out of electric water heater
Efficiency of electric water heater can be fully restored
Efficiency of gas water heater cannot be restored
38. Science: Understand Efficiency, Hard-water, and Water-softener. 
Storage-type Electric water heaters operate at 99% efficiency with or without water-softener, until sediment reaches bottom element. Full 99% efficiency can be restored to Electric storage heater by cleaning sediment out of tank. See how to clean electric Storage-type gas water heater operates at 69% efficiency. Tankless gas 79%. High-efficiency storage-type gas has 96% efficiency. All gas water heaters lose efficiency when hard water is not softened. Efficiency of gas water heaters cannot be fully restored by cleaning or de-liming. See how to clean gas  Anode options   Read softener research pdf Hard water must be softened for gas water heater efficiency. However, soft-water is corrosive to anode rod. When water-softener is used, anode rod needs inspection every 2 years.
Repair tankless water heater
Avoid tankless promotion
39.  Avoid tankless water heater promotion.
All costs are energy: tankless computers do not save money
Saving money with tankless is highly questionable for average 4-person home. Read side-by-side test results  
All costs are energy. True cost includes monthly energy bill, cost of product, installation, softener-and-filter, maintenance, water consumption, disposal and replacement of water heater.
Read manual and ask questions. Recommended maintenance schedule will cost more than energy savings. Look at parts sheet and ask about repairs costs. Visit manufacturer's website for troubleshoot resources. Web search brand and model.   Troubleshoot Rheem tankless Troubleshoot Bosch tankless
water heater tools
Do-it-yourself repairs
40.  Do it yourself repairs will save money
Save $300-400 repair bill
Fix it yourself, and that saves money. Read product manual before you buy. Keep it simple.
Post your question on a pro water heater forum 1 2 3 4 5 6 Read product manual. Install gas water heater yourself |^| Install under-counter water heater |^|  Troubleshoot gas water heater |^| Troubleshoot electric water heater |^| Troubleshoot tankless. Visit water heater manufacturer website for manuals see list of manufacturers/brands.
Do-it-yourself resources
Can you fix it yourself?
Generally: Heat pump, hybrid water, tankless heaters repairs are expensive, repairs are usually not do-it-yourself, since these water heaters are complicated electronic machines. These water heater are more expensive, and  generally cannot be maintained to last longer than 10-12 years. Repairs and replacement cost must factor into anticipated savings estimate, since one repair can wipe out years of manufacturer's claimed savings.
Tankless repairs are expensive. Warranty does not match promotion. Tankless are maintenance heavy. Anticipated savings shown in promo literature does not factor repairs, maintenance and replacement.
Drain water heat recovery
Connect coil to cold water line
41. Behavior & product that might save money: Drain-water heat recovery DWHR
Net savings undetermined
DIY installation $7-800?
This idea possible if house has accessible drain system
Copper pipe or strap is wrapped around outgoing copper drain pipe to recapture hot water as it leaves house.
Recaptured heat is transferred to incoming cold water.
Water falls along inside wall of pipe, causing pipe to heat... and this heat is transferred to cold water flowing into water heater.
Heat from laundry, bath, dishwasher drain is not recovered because cold must be entering tank same time warm water is going down drain.
Disconnect unit when doing plumbing repairs, and flush pipe before reconnecting..  so dislodged material won't catch and stop up unit.
Shower heat recovery estimated at 60% since heated shower water is draining same time new cold water is entering heater.
See pie chart  
Government energy site
See GFX heat exchanger video
Read: good write up on drain water heat recovery
Re purpose old water heater 42. Behavior that will save money: Re-purpose old water heater
Support conservative causes and conserve resources
gas car uses ~ 4x more energy than an EV electric car
25,000 kWh is the energy savings of riding a bike instead of driving an electric car.
energy to ride a bike is much much lower. Like on the order of 2000-4000 mpg
100,000 miles on bike approx 25,000 Kwh .... or 4 Kwh per mile
Assuming 2000 mpg, the energy a bike rider uses to go 100,000 miles is about 1730 kWh, not 25,000 kWh.

100,000 miles / 2000 miles per gallon = 50 gallons (of equivalent gasoline energy).
34.6 kWh per gallon * 50 gallons = 1730 kWh.

100,000 miles / 1730 kWh = 58 miles/kWh.
or 17.3 watt-hours per mile.
Recycle the metal
Use old tank to make tempering tank
Use old tank to make Solar collector

Temporary pressure gauge
Water pressure gauge

pressure gauge
Permanent pressure gauge
Pressure gages at Amazon
43. Behavior & products that will save money: Avoid water pressure over 80psi
Save cost of water heater replacement and plumbing repairs
Water pressure: Pressure over 80 psi can damage water heater
High pressure will also shorten life of plumbing fixtures, and cause washing machine hoses to rupture, etc.
Symptoms: TP valve goes bad frequently. Cause: Closed system because of check valve or faulty pressure valve, or community water problem or water well pressure set too high.
Test and diagnose TP valve problems
Connect BTG 100 pressure gauge to water heater drain valve to check pressure.
Install pressure reducing valve. Replace check valve. People with water well > turn down pressure on water well > save both hot and cold water, save electricity, and well equipment lasts longer.
How to test pressure

Water pressure gauge
Temperature pressure gauge
Pressure reducing valve 44. Product that will save money if pressure is high: Pressure reducing valve
When using pressure reducing valve, install expansion tank on cold water line between pressure reducing valve and water heater
Save cost of water heater replacement and plumbing repairs
High pressure over 80psi can damage water heater and plumbing
Install expansion tank, and/or pressure reducing valve
Pressure reducing valve is installed on supply line to regulate and stabilize flow pressure

Pressure reducing valves
Pressure regulating valves at Amazon
Identify and repair water heater valves
expansion tank
Installed on cold water line
Expansion tanks at Amazon

expansion tank
45. Product that will save money if system is closed: Expansion tank
Save cost of water heater replacement and plumbing repairs
Expansion tank is small safety device put on incoming cold water line to stop excessive expansion of pipes and tank caused when thermostat is set high.
High pressure damages tank and plumbing.
Also install pressure-reducing valve.
Read 1 3 4 5 Not normally installed with residential heaters. Expansion tank reduces risk of catastrophic water heater rupture leading to water damage and could prolong life of appliance. Expansion tank usually required with solar and solar-assisted systems

Expansion tanks at Amazon

Read about expansion tanks
Read about expansion tanks and closed system
Expansion Tank Installation pdf

Lightning strike
Digital controls and electronic gas controls can fail with surge
46. Product that will save money: Protect water heater electronics with surge protector
Save cost of repair and replacement
Many new gas and electric water heaters plug into outlets that are not protected from surge. Gas controls must be replaced after surge event. Many water heaters have blowers and electronics, including digital controls that are not protected from surge. Water heaters are connect to water pipes that are affected when lightning strikes house. Solution: Install whole house surge All electronics should be protected by surge protector. Read water heater manual to see if water heater has electronic parts and would benefit from surge protection.
Water heaters that connect to electricity should have dedicated outlet with correct polarity and ground
See water heater electronics.
Whole house surge
Whole house surge protectors at Amazon
Belkin plug-in surge at Amazon
Raise water heater 18" off floor
Larger image
Water heater stands at Amazon
47.  Behavior that can save money: Install gas water heater 18" off floor
Save property damage and avoid fire hazard
.................to avoid flammable vapors and flood damage.
Hydrocarbon vapors from gasoline, fuel and thinners stay low to ground.
Raising water heater will prevent flammable vapor ignition, and repairs if water heater goes into lockout.
Do not set gas water heater on carpet. Must be on wood or metal surface.  
Read how to troubleshoot gas water heater
Read about flooded water heater
Combustion air 48. Exterior air inlet for gas water heaters:
Undetermined savings
Conditions where outdoor air supply is needed
1 Sq inches per 4000 BTU for air intake. Gas heaters draw air into combustion chamber as gas burns and heat goes up vent pipe. Air enters house through cracks from outside and works against heat and air conditioning. Gas heaters designed for high-output and fast-recovery will draw more air than typical gas heater. Tankless gas heaters also draw more air as they consume large amounts of gas to heat water as it passes in pipe. Lack of sufficient air causes 'recirculation of combustion product' causing CO risk to occupants. Consult product manual. Read Pdf  Ventilating tight-house/ pdf  See illustration pg4
Dusty environments 49.  Protect gas water heater 
Save water heater repairs and replacement
-Avoid dusty environment that will clog air intake, cause unburned fuel, and create fire hazard
-Do not install cold water line above gas valve where condensation drips on valve.  
-Annually clean burner area with wire brush and vacuum cleaner.
Troubleshoot and clean gas water heater

-Remove chemicals from same room as water heater.
-Chemicals corrode water heater parts and vent pipe. 'Spray propellants, cleaning solvents, refrigerants, swimming pool chemicals, calcium and sodium chloride, household bleach, waxes and process chemicals are corrosive at very low levels with no odor." Read Bradford White Pdf pg2-8    Read Rheem pdf

Trace chemicals
flammable vapors
50. Behavior that will save money: Do not expose gas water heater to flammable vapor 
Save loss of life and home. Save possible replacement of water heater.
Read1 about FVIR  Read2 about FVIR
This applies to gas water heaters and electric heat pump water heaters. 
Today's gas water heaters require more clean air, and no exposure to flammables.
Flammable vapor ignition retardation system is mandatory on gas water heaters due to casualty and property loss by insurance industry. Specific things cause FVIR to trip including poor air quality, bad vent, dirty combustion parts, clogged air intake, and exposure to flammable vapors.
FVIR senses ignition of flammable vapor from solvent or fuel, and shuts access between flame and fuel. Thus preventing flashover or explosion that will save your life.
Flammable vapor event can require replacement of water heater.
Do not store gasoline in unapproved or open container.
Read household product labels for flammable warnings.
Turn off burner and pilot when using flammables
Gas safety cans at Amazon
50a. Behavior that will save money: Do not expose heat-pump water heater or tankless gas water heater to flammable vapor 
Save loss of life and home. Save possible replacement of water heater.
This applies to electric heat pump water heater...
Applies to tankless gas water heater
Applies to fireplace, space heater, gas stove etc.
close up water heater air intake 51. Behavior that will save money: Keep arrestor screen clean 
Read about arrestor screen by brand water heater
Dirty air intake screen will cause FV lockout. Slower air means slower venting, yet same amount of gas is burned, causing overheated combustion chamber, and FV trips.
Read water heater manual for advisories  Read2  Water heater precautions
How to install gas water heater
51a. Keep air intake clean - gas heater
Save water heater repairs and replacement
Some gas water heaters have air intake located on bottom of heater. 
Set this heater on bricks so air intake can be cleaned.
Read manual thoroughly. 
Clean air intake frequently.
Keep water heater area free of lint, chemicals and solvents that clog air intake or cause deterioration of combustion parts or trip FVIR.
Read water heater safety precautions
Clean air intake
How to clean air intake frequently
Carbon monoxide detector 51b. Product that can save lives/ carbon monoxide detector / CO detector
Undetermined savings/ safety
Carbon monoxide detector,
Combustion of natural gas produces Carbon monoxide, Nitrogen oxide, Sulfur oxide, Carbon dioxide and acidic water
Carbon monoxide CO is deadly
Symptoms of CO poisoning: headache that goes away when leaving house, affected people can pass out, and suffocate, move people immediately outside to fresh air and lay on side. Affected people need fresh air and oxygen in the lungs.
Do not leave affected people laying on back, must lay on side
Call for emergency immediately, open windows to ventilate space, call plumber and call gas company for inspection and repairs
Symptoms of improper gas appliance venting include soot on top of water heater, loose vent pipes, holes and white condensate on pipes, frequent pilot outage, headaches that go away after leaving house and lethargic people
Battery powered carbon monoxide detector/ best seller
Carbon monoxide detectors at Amazon
Smoke detectors at Amazon
Is natural gas clean burning... NO ... read more
Exploded house 52. Behaviors that will save money: Water heater safety precautions
Save property damage and avoid fire
Prevent loss and damage
Leave home immediately if you smell gas
Water heater precautions
How to install gas water heater

Solar heat 53. Home design that will save money: Re-think home layout
Save $5 per month
Locate hot water usage points near water heater.
Locate showers and baths next to water heater, while toilets that use no hot water can be farther away.
Avoid garden-sized or over-sized bathtubs that require bigger water heater.

Water usage points should face south to take advantage of nearby passive solar heater since lunch & dinner occur at times when solar water heat is most abundant.

$100,000 small house design that uses .88 cents per day energy
 Must read
Gary Klein research pdf  Must read
How to make passive solar water heater
Heat pump water heater 54. Home design that saves money: Heat pump water heater integrated with refrigerator
Modest home has 88 cent energy bill
Real science at work that you can apply.
Heat from refrigerator re-used in water heater
Seems like you could build miniature heat pump water heaters for the kitchen that would be able to sync up thermally with the fridge and synergize. The waste product from one is the feedstock for the other. Maybe install water heater above the refrigerator. There is waste heat happening off of fridges, freezers, generators and of course the biggest one .... Air Conditioners.
Water heater uses refrigerator heat
Low-energy home uses heat pump integrated with heat from kitchen refrigerator pg9
Research shows savings potential.
Hybrids require maintenance.
Repairs are not DIY generally
Repairs are expensive, and can void the predicted savings.
Best in warm climates
Must be installed in 10' x 10' room
Read manual before purchase.
Heat pump water heaters and other new ideas
Review GE heat pump water heater
Review water heaters
Solar water heat
Best in warm climates
Factory-made systems can be expensive
There are cheap alternatives
There are many DIY opportunities
55. Solar water heat is efficient use of solar energy.
Save $40 per month
Tomorrow's homes will have solar water heaters. Use old water heater tank. Start today.
Set 2 gallons water in sun to wash dinner dishes.
Read long list of ideas
Hawaii requires all new homes to have solar water heaters.
Congressional bill aims for 200,000 rooftop solar water heaters
Buy DIY solar collector 2'x2'
Questions you should ask before buying factory-made solar water heating system
Make DIY solar water heater
Convert AC water heater into DC water heater

Geothermal heat
Larger image
56. Geothermal might save money
Unknown savings
Compare costs with average underground temperatures See average ground temperatures
Ideas 1 2 3 4 5 6 7  Geothermal self-help forum
Federal energy tax credits
Geothermal can be from volcanic heat.
Or from local ground temperatures.
All water that enters home in underground pipe is geothermally heated.
Incoming cold water causes water heater to run more. See chart
Average groundwater temperature
Average ground water temp
Greenhouse gas
Larger image
Original image: death of a planet '97
57. Understand greenhouse gas
Paradox: liberals want to conserve and conservatives want to consume the earth
Burning hydrocarbon fuel produces acidic water, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone
      Breathe this and die. A = B
      Reduce consumption today using this webpage.
Natural gas: 84,470 BTU produces 1 pound of carbon dioxide
Propane gas: 62,893 BTU produces 1 pound of carbon dioxide
Coal (electricity): 47,780 BTU produces 1 pound of carbon dioxide
Electric water heaters produce more carbon :
There are more gas water heaters than electric.
Carbon from generating electricity is centralized at power plant
Gas water heaters, and gas appliances release carbon from vent stack located at each home and business.
Carbon footprint calculator
Solar water heating ideas
Water heater manual 58. Save and read product manual
Save $4 per month, save $300-400 repair bill
Read everything in manual.
Record date of purchase and warranty period
Follow maintenance schedule and installation advisories
Manual will save money and heater will last longer.
    1)  Read about anode rods
    2)  Read about stray current corrosion
    3)  How to flush water heater
    4) Water heater safety precautions
    5) Find manual: Water heater manufacturers
           E-mail and I might have manual posted:  geno03245w@gmail.com
    6) Warranties
    7) Best gas water heater
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