switch for new rheem tank

The Tank switch for new rheem tank

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  • #4840
    alabamaDev
    Participant

    I want to install a on/off switch on a 40 gallon Rheem low boy water heater, The lady at power company said I couldn’t, My old speed-o-matic had an on/off switch, Can I install a simple wall switch or will I need a panel with circuit breaker just for water heater? it is 120 volt. has double elements. I live alone and running it all day just doesn’t make sense. I want to turn on, take shower, wash dishes and turn off.

    #4841
    Randy Schuyler
    Keymaster

    This sounds like a question for the tech folks at Rheem. I suggest you contact them. http://www.rheem.com.

    Randy Schuyler

    #4842
    alabamaDev
    Participant

    Problem with that is that manufacturers usually give you a ho hum answer, not a truth answer. Their view is that if it was made for a switch they woulda built it on in factory. seems funny how in 60’s water heaters lasted over 15 years and todays models only last avg of 6. what does that tell you? they make em for maximum electric/parts replacing costs. they got an industry to help, not the consumer.

    #4843
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I’ll chime in. The reason for putting a switch on the power supply to the heater would be to reduce heat loss during standby. Newer heaters often have much better insulation than the older ones. This would make savings from installing a switch pretty small. So, I’d check to see if you can feel warmth from the tank when it’s hot. If the tank feels cool all over, a switch won’t do you much good. Otherwise a switch and possibly even a blanket will help. I would also insulate both hot and cold lines at least back to the wall.

    If you do put a switch in, get one that’s rated for the amperage the heater draws, at a minimum. Put it in a box and run conduit to the heater. Get help with the electrical if you need it. Shocking experiences happen often enough as it is :shock:.

    Yours, Larry

    #4846
    alabamaDev
    Participant

    Quote

    I want a on/off switch not a timer switch to kill power usage.

    ok, first off I live alone, and use hot water for maybe 1 hour per 24 hours, don’t need hot water whenever . My last water heater I turned off the heater except 1 hour of water duties. Now it seems unfeaseable the water heater can retain heat 23 hours later. Why pay for energy cost for all those hours it is keeping my hot water maintained. That’s why I want the switch, I don’t see supporting the energy industry anymore than I have too. When I figure out a economical way to go solar, I’ll go that route. I simply want to turn on, heat water, take shower, wash dishes and turn off.

    Starting power usage for 1 hour (85,000 btu) VS (smaller) Maintaining usage(40,000 btu) x 5=200,000 btu (examples)latter seems like a waste.

    I’ve got a friend that is a plumber that is doing the install for free.

    A new product was invented on the basis that water heating uses 25% of energy costs and energy is wasted. the tankless water heaters were built for this purpose.

    #4847
    Larry Weingarten
    Participant

    Hello: I understand that you want a switch. You’ll need to turn it on about an hour before you want hot water though and that’s a reason to consider a timer. The timer could be set to switch the power on for only an hour daily.

    Modern electric heaters have an energy factor around .90. That means they deliver 90% of the energy input into the plumbing. The most you stand to save is 10%. Tankless claims of energy savings have been greatly exaggerated at times. Testing I’ve done has shown that a well insulated electric heater will lose ten to fifteen degrees over 24 hours. You could test your heater easily with a clip on thermometer. That will show you your potential savings.

    A different way to reach the goal is to install a GFX shower drain heat exchanger. It can capture 60% of the heat lost down the drain and put it back into the shower. That savings can add up :cool:.

    Yours, Larry

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