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Whirlpool Energy Smart electric water heaterSame as US Craftmaster Energy Smart
Features + comparison with ordinary electric water heater
Use only 10gauge wire and 30 amp circuit breaker with Energy Smart water heaters
Newest model Energy Smart has different control box
Energy Smart has dry fire protection
Dry Fire prevention is not 100% sure.
What is dry fireIf water is not covering elements, then elements will dry-fire and instantly burn out.
Water heater must be full of water before electricity is turned ON, or element instantly burn out. So if element is 'dry' and electricity is turned ON, then element burns out.
All designs of Energy Smart have dry fire detection.
This will help prevent dry-fire incident, but not foolproof.
To prevent dry fire:
Fill tank completely with water, until water is coming out of tub spout, then open Tp valve to release last of air from inside tank, as lastly, turn power ON.
How electric water heaters work
Test elements if you suspect dry fire is causing water heater not to work:
How to test elements
Error codes and Service manual & troubleshooting resources
Energy Smart Troubleshoot Guide and service manual
Help at Whirlpool water heater
Full troubleshoot for electric water heater
Videos at Whirlpool
Whirlpool energy smart gas water heater manual
Older Energy Smart
See larger image
How much it costs to run gas and electric water heaters
How to install electric meter on water heater
Whirlpool Energy Smart manual
Review at Whirlpool
American water Heater Energy Smart manual
Energy Smart Troubleshoot Guide
American water heater 6 year warranty
Manuals at Whirlpool
Whirlpool assistance 1-877-817-6750
US Craftmaster assistance 800-999-9515
The appliance manager at Lowes let me take pictures of Whirlpool's 40 Gallon "Energy Smart" electric water heater. The photos and Whirlpool's product manual are source of information.
Estimated yearly operating cost:
Regular 40 Gallon, 4500 Watt = $508
Energy Smart 40 Gallon, 4500 Watt = $492
Today, the yellow price-estimate sticker shows identical price between regular water heater and energy-smart.
Achieve savings by reducing consumption and using 4 different Energy Smart modes shown below.
9 Ways to save with a water heater
Made by American water heater company/ US Craftmaster/ owned by AO SmithEnergy Smart water heater is Made by American water heater company, and sold under Whirlpool and Craftmaster labels at Lowes and other outlets. Good solid water heater with additional features. Select modes and control temperature directly on top of water heater. The control box is not a timer. Selections must be made manually.
Newest version of this water heater (shown top of this page) has interface for home automation, but unclear what the interface connects to the water heater in 2012.
Raise temperature to 135 degrees F on laundry day, and reset to 120 F for rest of week to save energy.
Service manual is available. Product manual is easy to read. Error codes are good start-point for troubleshoot.
Except for elements, parts must be ordered, but parts are simple to replace. Homeowner can install and maintain and repair this water heater
Other than control box, this is ordinary electric water heater, and there is no energy-savings unless hot water consumption is cut >> but same is true for all water heaters.
My experience shows that people mess with the control box for a month or so, and then just set water heater to convenient setting and forget it.
Six year warranty. Pex-lined dielectric nipples. Plastic drain valve. Standard tank and anode rod.
4 operating ModesEnergy Smart control options located on top of water heater. Change setting as needed. Advantage is easy access and diagnostics instead of removing covers on side of tank to adjust thermostats or reset ECO.
Temperature control: When guest arrive, rotate temperature knob so more hot water is available. On wash day, set temperature to 135°.
4 operating modes:
> For vacation, turn knob to setting #4 Vacation sets temperature to 50° and prevents freezing in winter.
> For peak electric prices, choose setting #3 Low temperature and amount of available hot water is reduced.
> If fewer people are home, choose setting #2 Energy Smart.
> Or choose setting #1 Smart and let computer chip maintain selected temperature setting
Reset button is located on top of tank. Reset cuts power to heater when temperature is higher than 170°
Green indicator light is 'on' when unit has power. F or when error condition is detected. Wait 10 minutes before resetting while software assess problem.
A simple electric meter on each appliance would be a consumer wow.
Self-diagnostic controlSelf-diagnostic control can diagnose problems and simplify troubleshooting. Flashing light shows on control box LED. Error messages explained on box.
Energy Smart Troubleshooting Guide
Di-electric nipples marked H for Hot and C for Cold. Di-electric connections mean that copper pipe or galvanized pipe can be directly connected to water heater without causing metal deterioration. Read
Whirlpool is making products smart-grid-ready by 2014. Future Energy Smart electric water heaters will connect to 'off-peak' electric meter by 2014.
A simple electric meter on each appliance would be a consumer wow. Instead, smart grid wants to sell products that give you access to the meter information.
Off peak operation on other water heaters means upper element keeps top 2/3 of tank warm, while lower element stays off. Amount of hot water is reduced during peak electric prices. Energy Smart setting #3 operates in off-peak manner so less hot water is available.
How to wire off-peak thermostats in regular water heater.
international smart-grid has software
and appliance companies
vying for best innovation. A
simple electric meter on each
appliance would be a consumer wow. Electric
meter would end need for 'energy star' labels and
'energy factor' ratings that favorably compare huge appliances and huge
homes with smaller energy-sipping appliances and homes.
Smart-grid* aims to stabilize price and production in daily electric market by letting each meter & appliance respond to demand. Free-market electric supply will not be cut for wealthy homes, so peak-time power outages will fall on the average guy.
I think 'energy factor' ratings should measure consumption on per capita basis. When the energy rating system rates large homes equal to small homes, then smart-grid will face challenges when it comes to turning off power.
How to install electric meter on water heater
Control boardPhoto shows electronic control board. Do not operate water heater if control board, elements or heat sensors get wet. All electric water heaters carry risk of electric shock after flood or when tank is leaking. Turn off circuit breaker and call plumber.
240V power connects to red and black wires at top of control box. 30 amp, 240V breaker and 10 gauge wire required for connection. Green ground screw sits out of sight in this photo and threads into metal top of tank.
Blue and Yellow wires send power to upper element.
Blue and Orange wires send power to lower element.
Label on side of tank shows each element is 4500 Watts, and overall tank wattage is 4500 Watts. This information means tank operates in typical 'non-simultaneous' manner where both elements are not 'on' at same time. One element is 'on' or the other element is 'on,' or both elements are off.
Small black and red wires located on bottom left of control board connect to temperature sensors located above each element. Temperature information is processed by control software that turns heating elements on and off.
Test for 240Volt across incoming red-black wiresPhoto shows control board
Power is ON.
Do not stand on damp surface or wet surface.
Do not stand on bare soil or ground.
Do not lean into or touch anything made of metal.
Stand on dry boards.
Tape tester leads to wood sticks
Set multimeter to read volts AC
Upper element/ Yellow and Blue wires
Upper element and foam insulationAfter removing two screws holding access door, and pulling back tight-fitting 2" foam insulation and plastic cover, the upper element was visible.
Energy Smart Parts list
The plastic cover acts as electrical insulator for 240 volt, 10 gauge wires and terminals.
Manual says that operating water heater "without insulation and access doors will result in much higher water temperatures than desired set point."
See Whirlpool product manual for more maintenance/ installation information.
How to test elements
Lower element/ Orange and Blue wires
Insulation and covers must be in place for thermostat to operate correctly. Read manual pg 9
Lower elementLower element was also covered by thick 2" foam insulation and plastic cover.
Adding water heater insulating blanket to Energy Smart electric water heater could void warranty.
Do not cover control box or TP valve with insulation.
Does water heater need more insulation?
Can 2" foam insulation stop heat loss with 60 degree temperature differential? Answer: No.
Tape thermometer to water heater, cover thermometer with insulation, after 20 minutes, remove insulation & compare before and after thermometer reading.
How to test elements
Upper and lower elements can be replacedManual says "make sure replacement element has correct voltage and wattage rating" Whirlpool Energy Smart elements for 40 gallon are 240 Volts and 4500 Watts. Element information printed on end of each element. Typical replacement elements available at hardware and home center.
Temperature Sensor can be ordered as repair part.
Phone call to Whirlpool parts sales was handled in United States, and sales lady said she replaced sensor during training, and added that she is 'not mechanical at all.'
TP valve is located on side of tank. Additional 3/4 plug on top of tank for relocation of TP. Check your manual since models vary. Plug on top of tank allows easy adaptation when replacing water heater.
Location of element and thermistorFigure 9 shows location of element wiring and heat /temperature sensor
Repair parts: Appliance manufacturers are adding more non-standard parts to water heaters. Non-standard parts increase sales for manufacturer, but cause delays and expense for customer. You might not have hot water until part arrives.
Off-the-shelf thermostat for regular water heater costs $15. Compare: Energy Smart temperature sensor $37.
Read updated manual when ordering parts and doing repair on Energy Smart.
New technology means frequent design change read
Energy Smart Parts list
Anode rod is replaceableEnergy-smart Anode rod is located on top of water heater in separate port.
Inspect and replace anode rod each 1-3 years and prolong life of heater.
How to replace anode rod
New Whirlpool Energy Smart Electric water heater/ with useless smart grid module
40 gallon ENERGY SMART/ Example image of 40 gallon tank, 12 year warranty:
Electronic upper thermostat
Wiring possibility for off-peak or home automation (or install timer)
Two 4500 watt elements.requires 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire
New Whirlpool Energy Smart Electric water heater
With useless smart grid module9-year and 12-year warranty (older energy smart 6-year warranty)
Shows Energy Smart Module located over upper thermostat and upper element.
Better photos will be available when Lowe's manager lets me open a box and research this product more.
Energy Factor appears on Lowes website as .92/ same as any ordinary electric water heater
Yearly estimated cost is unknown.
This is typical 240Volt non-simultaneous electric water heater.
Expect same cost as previous same-size model: 40-50 gallon $500-$520 per year for average family 4.
Cost to operate water heater.
Close-up photos and energy information posted as available.
Newest Energy Smart Manual
Manuals at Whirlpool
Energy Smart at US Craftmaster
Typical American water heater warranty
Whirlpool model number guide
Energy guide explanation
Energy Smart service manualPage 17-23 of product manual
Newest Energy Smart Manual
|Whirlpool announced several years ago that all their
appliances would be smart grid ready by 201?....
....except smart grid has stalled due to extreme cost, hackability, unpopularity, personal tracking worries, improved technology after you already paid for the smart meter (made in china).
Smart grid was going to offer thousands of new products... that did nothing for the customer.
Smart grid excitement waned as cost-benefit revealed high cost, no benefit for regular guy.
Enter the cell phone app... omg what a boom to our intelligence since we cannot produce anything significant with a cell phone app except generate profits for other folks clever enough to jangle our anxiety.
Now Whirlpool is installing wifi in all their appliances. Except smart grid water heaters are not quite ready yet, and Whirlpool does not manufacture water heaters. They sell Craftmaster-AO Smith water heaters with Whirlpool label. The wifi water heater is coming soon.
Whirlpool is rejecting smart grid and embracing wifi appliances.
This is important because we are anxious to have refrigerator report energy usage, and general status of ice maker.
Oh wait..we also get error codes that will jangle us into making service inquiries and spending money to fix the complicated appliance.
Energy smart module is for smart grid
What is smart grid module used for?Can you interface with the Energy Smart module? No
Will it work with your cell phone? No Or any other device? No.
Search for Grid Communication Adaptors
Read page 11 and 13 in manual
It's a goose egg: 0 results
|Current events first> jan 2015
Water heater companies are bringing wifi controllers to water heater market.
Forget smart grid... because that might save money... but wifi costs you money. Win-win.
Rheem already has wifi connection available on some of it's top end models... and Home Depot sells module.
Module uses phone interface... phone interface is online ... and there is no information available in .pdf format for non-owners to read anything except promotional literature....
... this is good for the seller and manufacturer, since they have your name, address, and email during registration, and will probably start dispatching emails offering repair service when error message is broadcast to cell phone... this is bad for folks who want to read before they buy, want DIY, and do not want sign-up-on-internet intrusion over their appliances.
There will be no DIY repairs or DIY replacement parts for your fancy new wifi water heater... just error codes broadcast to your phone without explanation
Remember the public outcry over smart grid? Our personal information exposed to the public... LOL
Smart grid is low power usage, low radiation, and information packets are very small.
Sounds like energy saver with low risk of revealing much information.
Compare smart grid with wifi. Wifi is high energy, high radiation, and full download of your information to the internet. Uses more energy, sells your soul, and fries your brain in one step.
What is wifi water heater
Energy Smart is NOT wifiControl water heater from cell phone after revealing your personal information to manufacturer and seller and entire internet.
Obviously wifi is more intrusive than the supposed 'smart grid'
Will you have DIY options with the wifi water heater? NO
You have 2 choices with wifi: use the cell phone, or push button operation from display panel
DIY is ending because manufacturers and sellers cannot make money with DIY
What about power surge? Don't be silly. Power surge will knock the whole thing out.
What about generic parts? Don't be silly. No generic parts because generic parts are cheaper.
How about error codes? OH yes, wifi sends error codes to your phone.
What do the codes mean? You have to call manufacturer who will recommend service technician.
Win-win for manufacturer and technician. Confusion and less money for you. LOL
You got scammed.
|Just imagine your appliance sending error code to your phone.|
Just imagine if the error code had a diagnostic message
Typical message would be: Call for service... call for service... Call for service
It would repeat the message like a seat belt alert, until you called for service.
Some people report the appliance beeps and they cannot turn it off. Call for service.
Just imagine the manufacturer's improved version of this message....
YES the error code goes to local 'service technicians' or to your 'service provider'
The service provider, masquerading as several different companies fills your inbox with 'competitive bids' to fix the error code. Service provider kicks back percentage to water heater manufacturer.
Maybe you will be required to sign up for service provider just to own the appliance... oh good.
You got scammed.
The future of wifi error codesControl water heater with phone, and get error codes that demand action.
Text says; Appliance is burning... appliance is burning... bzzt... house is burning, house is burning.
Followed by text from home security system asking if your appliance called.
But you spent all your money fighting for lower taxes, so fire department is volunteer, and all those guys quit and got a job fixing appliances.
Other good uses for wifi cell phone that are overlookedForget congressional representatives
Vote on every issue before congress using your cell phone
OMG what a F nightmare. [quote from Cousin Vinney]
|Supposedly April is deadline when companies have to
meet new energy
standards on water heaters. Strangely, the 80 gallon electric water
heater/ which is very good energy storage tank for off-peak and solar
applications/ is being discontinued... while the wildly inefficient
tankless electric water heater is untouched.
Any electric water heater larger than 50-66 gallon size must be a hybrid. The details are hazy.
Me thinks the whole thing mirrors somebody's profit statement, with intent of ending DIY repairs, ending generic parts, with a minor nod toward energy efficiency.
(sorta like energy-star rating for colossal home/ or mandatory CFL light bulbs, yet no mention of big screen TV)
Water heater futureGet out your wallet.
You getting scammed again.
|With regular tank-type heater, you can choose to
control with zwave.
80 gallon electric water heater/ which is very good energy storage tank for off-peak and solar applications
With regular tank.. we can modify and make interesting stuff.
Options using regular dumb water heaterOther options:
To my knowledge... there are no DIY options with Whirlpool energy smart or any of the other smart water heaters... just pay and pay
|Controls on front of unit make it easy to change
temperature, and select mode
Whirlpool Energy Smart Regularly sells for $418
This model was reduced after customer purchased unit, and returned to Lowes for unknown reason.
Once out of the box, customers expect discount, so unit was marked down to $329 where it sold a few days later.
How to convert Energy Smart to regular water heater
How to remove short water heater nipples
|1-1/2" Foam insulation||Standard aluminum anode rod located in separate port on
top of tank.
Inspect and replace anode rod each 2-5 years to prevent tank from rusting
How to check anode
Buttons for choosing mode:
Quote from product manual:
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), since 1982 the growth in peak electricity demand has exceeded power transmission growth. This has caused more frequent blackouts and service interruptions, as well as an increase in the costly reserve capacity the power grid requires to meet higher peak demands.
The increased demand for electrical power across the nation has also led to higher peak utility costs.
Smart appliances are one way to help mitigate this problem. By using advanced digital communication technologies, smart appliances will be able to communicate with local power company or home energy management systems, and react accordingly to save energy and money.
Make your own off peak water heater
|Error codes help diagnose problem|
Smart Module connection at Upper element
Newest Energy Smart water heater has electronic thermostat (ET)
ECO reset button located on front of electronic thermostat.
Manual thermostat setpoint knob lets you control temperature without using Energy Smart Module.
Electronic thermostat can control water heater in absence of Module
shows defective module where condensation has entered
Call Whirlpool for part replacement.
For Craftmaster, call 800-937-1037/ 800 999 9515
They will ask for model number and serial number found on label on side of tank.
Tank has 6 year parts warranty against defects in workmanship.
This example part failure is covered under warranty for original owner and residential installation for period of 6 years from date of installation.
Whirlpool water heaters are made by American Water Heater Co, which is an AO Smith company
of EMS Module
When contacting Whirlpool about smart-grid connections, Whirlpool asks that you contact local electric provider.
Manual says EMS module will be 'able to communicate with local power company or home energy management systems.'
As of Jan 2012, there is no remote connection available between Whirlpool products and power company's smart-grid.
The reasons are becoming clear.
1) Smart grid is promoted as the electric company turning off appliances remotely. People do not want this. Where will your electric switch be located? In China? People instinctively know that electric power will never be cut for those with money.
2) Hidden cost. Smart grid as currently promoted will cost each consumer several thousand dollars. People will never pay several thousand dollars for something they don't want.
3) Software to operate smart-grid. There is brisk competition among software patent-holders to sell their idea to big companies who will receive electric management contracts worth 25 cents per customer per month. But who pays for this 'innovation?' Who pays when inevitable software updates are needed? The days of forcing customers to go along with stuff they don't want are ending with advent of social media.
4) Two-way radio communication between smart-meters and remote data-collection antenna is vulnerable to hacking. The whole smart-grid is vulnerable. The risk and cost of hacking makes smart grid unlikely.
5) Privacy. Nobody wants personal usage tracked by corporate-owned utilities. Nobody wants to sign into utility company website and negotiate price based on personal usage pattern, when the utility company knows your usage pattern.
6) Other ideas. Home automation products and peak-use-price makes it more likely that each consumer will be responsible for monitoring electric usage.
7) Are smart-meters accurate. Yes. But if your electric bill spikes after smart-meter is installed, then wear goggles and break new meter glass with hammer. Another Chinese-made meter will be installed. Chances of a second meter being out of calibration are very small.
Clean sediment from tank
Do it yourself water heater repairs
How to find age of water heater
Troubleshoot leaking water heater
Calculate water heater cost
How electric water heater works
Pro-n-con tankless water heater
All cost are energy
|Technical data on efficiency and recovery|
Efficiency of gas and electric water heaters is unchanged over time when hard water is softened, however softened water corrodes anode rod and will reduce life of water heater unless anode rod inspected and replaced every 2 years. Once anode rod is 50-75% corroded, water heater tank begins to rust.
Read more & See how to replace anode rod
Hard-water with NO water-softener:
> Efficiency of gas heater drops 6-8% after two years > cleaning tank of sediment build-up will not restore full efficiency > however, regular flushing to prevent sediment maintains efficiency
> Tankless gas heater will fail when pressure sensor clogs with sediment within 2-3 years depending on hardness of water > regular de-liming will not restore efficiency > softener is required
> Efficiency of electric heater stays at 99% until sediment reaches bottom element > cleaning tank restores full efficiency > regular flushing to prevent sediment build-up also maintains efficiency
> Energy Smart electric water heater operates at 99% efficiency with or without water-softener
Water-softener reduces life of anode rod in gas and electric water heaters
Energy Smart manual says: "Artificially softened water is exceedingly corrosive because the process substitutes sodium ions for magnesium and calcium ions. The use of water softener may decrease life of water heater tank."
Whirlpool '6-year' Energy Smart electric water heater has 1 anode rod with access at top of tank.
Generally, tanks with longer warranties come with 2 anode rods.
Read pdf: water-softener/water-heater efficiency comparison
|Water heater recovery:
Electric water heater recovery is 21 gallons per hour
Gas water heater recovery is 40 gallons per hour
High-demand gas water heaters recover 80-130 gallons per hour.
Tankless gas heaters promise unlimited hot water, but correct size and installation required.
Whirlpool Energy Smart recovery is 21 gallons per hour on setting 1, and less on energy-saving settings 2 thru 4
Water heater recovery depends on variables including: incoming water temperature, thermostat setting, element wattage, tank insulation, and age/efficiency of heating unit.
Water heater efficiency:
Electric water heaters operate at 99% efficiency
Gas water heaters operate at 69% efficiency
Tankless gas heaters operate at 80% efficiency
High-efficiency gas heaters at 96% efficiency
Energy Smart electric operates at 99% efficiency
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
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
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Control water heater w/ Z-wave
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