Talk About the Latest in Home Automation/Home Electronics -
Home Automation Forum

Smarthome Forum
Insteon Home Automation
Login or Register
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Search | FAQ | Smarthome | Security and Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info
 All Forums
 General Discussion
 Energy Saving Solutions
 Looking for smart timer for electric water heater.
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2011 :  5:33:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have a 50 gallon electric water heater that costs a fortune to operate. Even though it's "energy efficient" because it's new, it's still costing me about $400 and some change annually to operate for ONE person. I have been looking everywhere for an intelligent, user-friendly timer that I can control a little easier than with those antiquated gray box mechanical timers. We live in an age of internet and smart phones and I'd like to think that there's a product SOMEWHERE that I can use that will allow me to turn my electric water heater on and off as I wish either from my iphone or the internet. Or at the very least, with a little bit better controls, say with an electronic digital programmer similar to my heating & cooling thermostat.

Does such a product exist here? Can someone recommend something? Thank you.


10840 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2011 :  5:45:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This lets your iPhone work as a remote control:
It can communicate with this unit to turn your heater on and off:
Go to Top of Page

Junior Member

50 Posts

Posted - 02/25/2012 :  5:58:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did you give this a try? I would like to measure how much electricity I could save by turning off the element in the heater for most of the day when no one is around.

It's too bad they don't have a Kill-a-watt for a 240 volt device like the dryer and the water tank!
Go to Top of Page

Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2013 :  12:00:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too live alone, and my hot water needs are minimal. You didn't say how much hot water you need each day, when you need it, or if you even need hot water every day.

Virtually all of the electricity used by a hot water heater is converted into heating the hot water, and much of that heat is lost through the water heater itself. That lost heat is just wasted energy.

"Intermatic" makes a double pole 240 volt 40 amp 24 hour timer (T101, T103 or T104 - it will be one of these part numbers) that you can use to turn your water heater on and off. On eBay, they cost maybe $40, maybe less. It will take some knowledge to hard-wire it with your water heater, but it is pretty easy if you know what you're doing with electricity and tools. I installed it next to my 220V water heater outlet by rewiring the water heater outlet to put the little gray box in line and ahead of the water heater plug.

These timers can be set to run for 15 minutes in the morning when you need a shower and 15 minutes at night to wash dishes. They also have a built in manual on-off switch. They used to be called the "little gray box".

I live in Florida where 15 minutes gives me all the hot water I need for a good shower or to do my wash, maybe 12-15 gallons of hot water. I mostly use the "little gray box" manually, because I don't need hot water each day at the same time. I set my oven timer to remind me to turn it off. I turn it off before I use any water, which lowers the average water temperature until I need hot water again.

If you live in colder climates and your water heater is outside the house, or your incoming water temperature is colder than 75 degrees, heating your shower water will take proportionally longer. This, you determine by trial and error.

You can turn down the bottom water heating heating element to a minimum setting, say 90 degrees, and set the upper element to maybe 120 degrees, which will also save electricity. The lower element comes on when the upper element temperature is reached. The first 15 gallons or so is all you will use for a shower or most other uses.

You can also wrap your water heater with reflective aluminized bubble wrap, or with reflective Mylar film (both are available on eBay), which will be cost effective over time. Or - get a water heater insulation kit from your local home improvement store.

I would guess I cut my water heating bill to a third or less of what it was when I was leaving my water heater on all the time. What you will save depends on the temperature environment of the water heater, what water heater thermostat settings you use, and the temperature of your incoming water supply.

Go to Top of Page

Advanced Member

1205 Posts

Posted - 01/27/2013 :  12:58:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit jdale's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Some other considerations...

Actual efficiency gains depend, of course, on the base efficiency of the hot water heater.

Insteon FAQ:
Go to Top of Page

Starting Member

United Kingdom
8 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2013 :  04:53:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit tomkent45's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can check out SmartHeating
It will allows you to programme and remotely control heating anywhere over the internet or using a smartphone.

Go to Top of Page

[email protected]
Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 02/22/2013 :  08:49:24 AM  Show Profile  Send Jim@rexco an AOL message  Reply with Quote
More information is available at concerning programmable water heater controllers. You can contact the company for pricing and shipping.

[email protected]
Go to Top of Page

New Member

22 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2013 :  5:02:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit pwfletcher's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Why not just get a tankless water heater? They are so cheap now, with the tax rebate they are almost free.
Go to Top of Page

Average Member

106 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2013 :  11:03:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Autonow's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thoughts While in the shower.... We all want a hot shower so lets look at what it takes to make the water hot. You add heat (gas or elect) to the water to raise the temp. The amount of energy required to do this is fixed. (meaning you can not reduce the amount required to do this task) But the moment you are at temp the water starts to cool off. Here is where you can save! Insulate.. Insulate... Insulate.. If you were to get perfect insulation (a vacuum bottle is close)the water would not cool off and you would not need to heat it up again. Note: you may also consider insulation the hot water lines in your house as they are a source of heat loss too.

Another fact the bigger the temperature difference between the air and the water the faster it cools. insulation will slow the rate.
So the question is how many times do you have to reheat the water before you take the next shower! This is where timers come in. A timer works because it allows the water to cool rapidly to room temp (poor insulation) At room temp there is no temp difference so no heat loss. Also remember the closer the temp difference the slower the heat loss. Timers are betting that it takes less energy to reheat the water at the time of the next shower than it does to keep it hot all day. This assumption only is true if the heater is poorly insulated and looses heat quickly! SO Insulate! The other thing you should do is turn down the heat. Smaller temp difference = less heat loss.

Tankless water heaters try to bypass the whole heat loss scenario. Only problem they are difficult to control with changes in flow. You will see instabilities in the water temp. The timer is a poor attempt to make your regular heater a thankless heater..

Food for thought... Most heaters run at about 140f a high temp. Consider building a lower temp solar powered preheater that heats the incoming water to say 80 or 90F (reasonable limit of solar heat) then this water is fed to the main water heater when you shower. In this scenario you will impact the actual energy required to take your shower. Something timers, insulation, and tankless heaters will not address. savings of the actual heat could be about 50%

Insulate insulate insulate. consider another 6" of fiberglass around your tank! (don't forget the top and bottom!)

Its all smoke and mirrors for the sales guys.. Thermodynamics is the only reality!

Go to Top of Page

Starting Member

1 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2020 :  12:37:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Apologies, yet I'm going to sound negative here. In the event that I comprehend this water warmer completely, it has a little warmth siphon framework (think about a fridge or climate control system) that ingests heat from the encompassing air, releasing cooler air into the room, and afterward places that warmth into the water in the tank. To do that it shows a blower to an electric engine. Likewise there is a choice to utilize electrical force through a warming component in the tank to include more warmth rapidly if necessary.

ANY warmth siphon framework is naturally LESS than 100% proficient in its utilization of power. It "moves" heat vitality starting with one spot then onto the next, however to do that it likewise makes squander abundance heat from the engine and blower operation.What can be beguiling is the manner by which the "effectiveness" figuring is finished. On the off chance that you figure the measure of warmth vitality conveyed to the water and contrast that with the measure of vitality gave by the electrical framework just, it looks awesome. In any case, in truth the explanation this entire plan works is that it TAKES vitality as warmth from the encompassing AIR and moves it into the water. In many warmth siphon frameworks (for a genuine model, Ground Source heat siphons) the warmth source is really free. Be that as it may, for this situation the warmth source is the air in the encompassing room. Where does that originate from? On the off chance that it is air that YOU heat utilizing your home's heater, at that point YOU are paying for that warmth in any case. Except if you make sense of an approach to gauge that additional warmth cost on your heater fuel charge, you will never acknowledge what this framework is truly costing you past the power cost.

Presently, IF your storm cellar is too warm a great deal of the time and you would somehow or another introduce a forced air system to cool it, that is somewhat extraordinary. This unit will act like a forced air system, pushing the warmth expelled from the room air into a water tank instead of outside a window. So the capital, working and support expenses of that cooling framework would be balanced to some degree by utilizing this water radiator framework rather for that reason for cooling the storm cellar. Yet, on the off chance that you would NOT burn through cash on that room cooling work, there are no investment funds to counterbalance the expense of the water tank.

What a few people don't understand is that any plain electrical water warmer is by its plan ALWAYS 100% effective! That is, ALL of the vitality devoured from the electrical stock is conveyed into the water totally. Where such gadgets do have "productivity misfortunes" is in the protection frameworks. The tank itself will free warmth through the dividers, so REALLY great insulati0on around the tank is required. I expect that most basic electric water warmer tanks don't have the BEST protection gave on them, yet you can include more. Also, obviously, protecting the funnels through the house needs doing. However, both of those things are actually the equivalent for ANY kind of water radiator tank, regardless of the warmth source utilized.

Gas-consuming water warmer tanks regularly are less expensive to work than electric ones, particularly on the off chance that they are utilizing funneled petroleum gas. That is on the grounds that the vitality effectiveness lost (and greater expenses) for electric frameworks occurs at the force producing plant. Transformation of fuel of whatever structure to electrical force includes noteworthy vitality productivity misfortune, and there are little extra misfortunes in the electicity conveyance lattice framework, however then the electical vitality that lands at your home can be 100% proficient in a water radiator. For a gas-terminated warmer, the vitality proficiency of conveying the gas to your house is very high, and the productivity of changing over that fuel into heat in your water is likewise very high. That is the reason the general expense of a gas framework can be not exactly an electrical water tank IF you have a flammable gas source accessible.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Smarthome Forum © 2000-2020 Smartlabs, Inc Go To Top Of Page
Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000 Version 3.4.07