electric element

The Tank electric element

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    I have a solar water heater with an electric backup. It is a closed system and propolyne glycol and water is circulated through the heater and when the temperature falls below a certain point the element kicks in. I have had a plumber and an electrician look at it and they have no idea as to what is going on. The heater is eighty gallons and it is a single element on a 20 amp circuit.
    Please help

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: There are a few things to think about.

    1. First is the quality of the water. Do you have copper plumbing and if so, do you get blue staining at any sinks? If so, the water is probably acidic and is eating through the copper sheath of the elements.
    2. Are there voltage spikes that could possibly damage the element? Do you see lights grow brighter or dimmer? This would be a clue that the electrical service is having problems.
    3. What kind of element do you have? The standard element is high watt density with a copper sheath. What you probably want is a low watt density element with a stainless steel. Or if you find Incoloy or Inconel, both are nickle based alloys that should hold up well also. 😎

    I trust that the glycol is NOT in contact with the heating element. Also, 20 amps for your breaker is too small for the normal 4500 watt element.

    Yours, Larry

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