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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.
All designs of Energy Smart have dry fire detection.
This will help prevent dry-fire incicent, but is not foolproof.
Fill tank completely with water, until water is coming out of tub spout, before turning power ON.
Then open TP valve briefly to bleed last of air inside tank. How electric water heaters work
Water heater must be full of water before electricity is turned ON
If water is not covering elements, then elements will dry-fire and instantly burn out.
If you supect 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
Brief troubleshoot 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.
Made by American water heater companyEnergy 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° F or when error condition is detected. Wait 10 minutes before resetting while software assess problem.
Green indicator light is 'on' when unit has power.
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 capitia 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.
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.
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.
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
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 eements.requires 30 amp breaker and 10 gauge wire
Whirlpool Energy Smart Electric water heater
9-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
Yearly estimated cost is unknown. However 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
|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.
|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 chosing 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 insticntively 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
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