I have had a chance to take some measurements on the tank and it appears that I should be able to fit one (or two) of the low watt density folded elements in there with adequate clearance.
From my measurements it looks like there is about 14 1/8″ clearance between the element flange in the tank and the edge of the alternate T&P plug. This is assuming that the tank is straight within the outer steel jacket. I had to use an offset measurement and subtract.
Now the question is which one? My only local choices complements of Lowes and Home Depot are elements by Apcom and Camco. These I could actually measure and would fit. Any other element suggestions?
I have also been looking through the AOS parts catalog that has a large selection of elements including the “Sand Hog”, Unfortunately, they don’t give element length directly. They list an “A” dimension which appears to correlate to element length but is not defined as how it is measured. Do any of you know what that number actually means? Is it perhaps minimum tank diameter?
Here is another potential hack. This heater came with 4500 watt elements. Since this is a small low capacity heater and I like long hot showers what are your thoughts on upgrading to 5500 watt elements assuming that the electrical service will handle this? 5500 watts is about 23 Amps on a 30 Amp breaker.
Last question, do all of these screw in elements use the same size socket to remove them from the heater. I seem to recall that one of them fit a 12 point 1 1/2″ socket in one store yet a different element fit a 1 3/8″ 6 point socket at the other store. Are there two different sizes or did I mess something up in my comparison.
Steve, the Heater Hacker