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Old 08-01-2022, 10:47 AM   #1
SailinAway
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Default Electric water heater: OK to turn it off?

It's August 1, the day the new electric rates begin. This month I'm going to experiment with ways to reduce water and electricity usage.

Electric water heater: I need very little hot water. In the summer cold showers would be OK. For washing dishes I can heat water on the stove. Laundry doesn't really require hot water. So I'm paying a lot to keep the water hot in the tank, but I get little return on that investment.

I believe my water heater is set at 120 degrees. I can't set it lower due to the risk of Legionnaire's disease (in fact on study found that the bacteria can grow at 136 degrees). Plan B: Turn off the hot water heater altogether so that cold water is drawn directly from the town water supply. Questions:

(1) How exactly would I do that?

(2) Will the standing water in the water heater cause any damage to the heater or other problems?

(3) When (if) I turn the water heater on in the winter, how would I ensure the safety of the water in the tank?
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
It's August 1, the day the new electric rates begin. This month I'm going to experiment with ways to reduce water and electricity usage.

Electric water heater: I need very little hot water. In the summer cold showers would be OK. For washing dishes I can heat water on the stove. Laundry doesn't really require hot water. So I'm paying a lot to keep the water hot in the tank, but I get little return on that investment.

I believe my water heater is set at 120 degrees. I can't set it lower due to the risk of Legionnaire's disease (in fact on study found that the bacteria can grow at 136 degrees). Plan B: Turn off the hot water heater altogether so that cold water is drawn directly from the town water supply. Questions:

(1) How exactly would I do that?

(2) Will the standing water in the water heater cause any damage to the heater or other problems?

(3) When (if) I turn the water heater on in the winter, how would I ensure the safety of the water in the tank?
1) Electric breaker in the fuse box. Possibly a service switch right next to it.
2) No. Full of water, hot or cold, no difference.
3) I'm not sure on that one. I'm of the opinion that you use cold water for potable water, meaning drinking and cooking and brushing teeth. Use hot for showers and dishwashing etc. Keep in mind your cold water may not be great to start with, never know until you test it.

Having said all this, I don't recommend what you are thinking of trying. Warming a few pots of water on the stove will use more energy than full days of the hot water heater. A good quality, well insulated hot water heater doesn't use much energy to keep water up to temp, the energy use is when you use hot water and it has to bring cold up to temp. So if it were me, I'd minimize hot water use with cooler showers etc. but leave the hot water heater on.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:08 AM   #3
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(1) Electric breaker in the fuse box. Possibly a service switch right next to it. . . . Warming a few pots of water on the stove will use more energy than full days of the hot water heater. A good quality, well insulated hot water heater doesn't use much energy to keep water up to temp, the energy use is when you use hot water and it has to bring cold up to temp. So if it were me, I'd minimize hot water use with cooler showers etc. but leave the hot water heater on.
I think you forgot to mention the valves on the water heater?

I'm one person, so washing the dishes takes at most a small kettle of hot water mixed with cold. Literally two minutes on the stove for the whole day's dishes. That's really the only hot water I need in the summer.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:14 AM   #4
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I think you forgot to mention the valves on the water heater?

I'm one person, so washing the dishes takes at most a small kettle of hot water mixed with cold. Literally two minutes on the stove for the whole day's dishes. That's really the only hot water I need in the summer.
No need to shut the valves. IMO you are better off from a health standpoint with full pipes, not pipes partially full and partially with air. By leaving valves open, when you open a hot water faucet cold water will flow through the heater, keeping air out.

I hear what you are saying about not using much water. I'd still leave it on.
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Old 08-01-2022, 11:43 AM   #5
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Many people place them on timers, so that they only heat up about an hour before they need the water and then shut off for the day.

Shutting it off is as simple as flipping the breaker.
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Old 08-01-2022, 12:40 PM   #6
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Water heaters with cold water are a total gamble with bacteria.

In fact, most new ones come with "vacation modes" and manuals that say not to use it.

Also, the on-off cycles may be more damaging in the long-run.

You're starting to get into the "penny-wise, pound foolish" territory.

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Old 08-01-2022, 01:49 PM   #7
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Many people place them on timers, so that they only heat up about an hour before they need the water and then shut off for the day.

Shutting it off is as simple as flipping the breaker.
My water heater is on a timer and runs 1 hour a day my bill went way down and there is more than enough water for my needs. I have been doing this for many years and always have at least warm water for dishes at the end of the day.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:50 PM   #8
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No need to shut the valves. IMO you are better off from a health standpoint with full pipes, not pipes partially full and partially with air. By leaving valves open, when you open a hot water faucet cold water will flow through the heater, keeping air out.

I hear what you are saying about not using much water. I'd still leave it on.
If I don't shut the valves, doesn't that mean the water is coming from the water heater, with the risk of bacteria??

If the valves are closed, why would there be air in the pipes? The pipes would be under pressure from the town water main, no?
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:53 PM   #9
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Water heaters with cold water are a total gamble with bacteria. In fact, most new ones come with "vacation modes" and manuals that say not to use it. Also, the on-off cycles may be more damaging in the long-run. You're starting to get into the "penny-wise, pound foolish" territory.
What on/off cycles? The water heater would be off all the time, unless I come to my senses in the fall and realize I don't enjoy cold showers. However, there are other ways to heat bathing water, e.g., wood stove.

By the way, I could get hot water from the furnace---I mean boiler---in the winter, but I'm not going to do that at $8 a gallon for oil. I'm hoping to minimally use the furnace this year.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:01 PM   #10
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My water heater is on a timer and runs 1 hour a day my bill went way down and there is more than enough water for my needs. I have been doing this for many years and always have at least warm water for dishes at the end of the day.
How does that 1 hour work? Is it one continuous hour at a particular time of day? What do you estimate is your monthly electricity cost for hot water?
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:12 PM   #11
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It runs as long as it takes within 5 to 6 am to reach 120 degrees. My whole house electric runs around 60.00 in the summer and 80.00 in the winter. Also included is an electric stove and a clothes dryer I use twice a week or so and all lights are LED.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:26 PM   #12
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I'm with the NH Electric Coop and I expect with the new rates my bill will go to 80.00 in the summer and 100.00 in the winter.
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:01 PM   #13
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If I don't shut the valves, doesn't that mean the water is coming from the water heater, with the risk of bacteria??

If the valves are closed, why would there be air in the pipes? The pipes would be under pressure from the town water main, no?
To answer your question, with valves open you only get water from the tank if you open a hot water faucet, or push a mixing valve (kitchen sink for example) toward hot. You're right, close both valves and you've "trapped" the water in the tank. I'd still rather leave them open and pressurized, just from my experience with house piping and winterizing, etc.
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:02 PM   #14
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It runs as long as it takes within 5 to 6 am to reach 120 degrees. My whole house electric runs around 60.00 in the summer and 80.00 in the winter. Also included is an electric stove and a clothes dryer I use twice a week or so and all lights are LED.
That's impressive! No air conditioning or dehumidifier?
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:11 PM   #15
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I run an energy star window AC maybe a half dozen times a summer, my house is in the shade so it gets in the 90s only a few times a summer. I like the heat I'm old......lol
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:19 PM   #16
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To answer your question, with valves open you only get water from the tank if you open a hot water faucet, or push a mixing valve (kitchen sink for example) toward hot. You're right, close both valves and you've "trapped" the water in the tank. I'd still rather leave them open and pressurized, just from my experience with house piping and winterizing, etc.
In my house there are unavoidable mixing valves for the washing machine and shower.

You can't (shouldn't) draw water from the tank unless it's heated to minimum 120 degrees to avoid Legionnaire's bacteria. Thus water should not be drawn from a cold tank. Thus the tank would need to be completely closed off from the household pipes, no?

The presence of Legionnaire's bacteria in rain barrels would also limit the use of that water. Apparently even flushing the toilet with those bacteria present is unsafe. This is all new to me. Sounds important.
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:26 PM   #17
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You would a need a 140F temperature.

https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/wmp/c...r-systems.html
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Old 08-01-2022, 03:36 PM   #18
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I think a water heater blanket would be a better idea. They are cheap and will reduce heat loss to a negligible amount.

If you also insulate your pipes then the standby loss will be low, and you are only paying to heat the water you use.

As fuel prices go up the sensible answer is more insulation, including walls, windows and attic.
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:40 PM   #19
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Why not just convert to an "on demand tankless hot water system" which will run only when the hot water is actually called for?
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:44 PM   #20
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An electric version may need a panel and service upgrade.
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Old 08-01-2022, 04:52 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
It's August 1, the day the new electric rates begin. This month I'm going to experiment with ways to reduce water and electricity usage.

Electric water heater: I need very little hot water. In the summer cold showers would be OK. For washing dishes I can heat water on the stove. Laundry doesn't really require hot water. So I'm paying a lot to keep the water hot in the tank, but I get little return on that investment.

I believe my water heater is set at 120 degrees. I can't set it lower due to the risk of Legionnaire's disease (in fact on study found that the bacteria can grow at 136 degrees). Plan B: Turn off the hot water heater altogether so that cold water is drawn directly from the town water supply. Questions:

(1) How exactly would I do that?

(2) Will the standing water in the water heater cause any damage to the heater or other problems?

(3) When (if) I turn the water heater on in the winter, how would I ensure the safety of the water in the tank?
#1. Put simple on off toggle switch on your tank. I have one on mine and been using it for years for when we are not at the house for any long period.

#2. No

#3. As long as you let the water heat up fully before using you should be OK.

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Old 08-01-2022, 05:18 PM   #22
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What on/off cycles? The water heater would be off all the time, unless I come to my senses in the fall and realize I don't enjoy cold showers. However, there are other ways to heat bathing water, e.g., wood stove.

By the way, I could get hot water from the furnace---I mean boiler---in the winter, but I'm not going to do that at $8 a gallon for oil. I'm hoping to minimally use the furnace this year.
I misread and thought you'd be turning it off and on frequently—a lot of electronics prematurely fail from constant power cycles.

If you keep your WH on a timer once a day to bring the temp up, the only savings would be temp. maintenance power which, as others alluded to, is not much at all.

If it's off for a while, however, then you're definitely going to save money (minus the costs for heating cleaning water).

Doing some research, it looks like as long as you heat the tank up to the right temp before using it after it's been cool for a while, it should be safe.

I might still use the "hot" periodically just to get some fresh water through there, but what I would NOT do is get into shutoff valves—if by chance the heater runs without enough water, your WH element is junk.

I'd be interested to know how long you have to have it off before noticing a decent savings.

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Old 08-01-2022, 05:34 PM   #23
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A more reasonable approach would be to replace your water heater with a smaller capacity unit so that you are not heating so much water. Add a timer so that the heater is only heating water when are awake and you might eliminate 100 hours of heater run time in a month.

Depending on where your water heater is located, the heat loss (other than in summer time) may not be as much of an issue as you think. If it's in a part of the house that you heat anyway, then the heat loss from the water heater is offsetting runtime from your furnace. Granted it may not be a 1:1 factor, but it also might not be large enough to be a major factor.
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:39 PM   #24
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I'd be interested to know how long you have to have it off before noticing a decent savings.
Larger (30gal+) water heaters are usually 4000-5000W. Let's say 4500W on average. Your electric rate is based on Kilowatt hours, or using 1KW for 1 Hour. 4500 = 4.5Kw. Multiply your full electric rate by 4.5, and that's how much it costs to run your heater for an hour.

If that rate is 20 cents, then an hour of operation is 90 cents, for example. Of course it's not running the whole time, but if you can eliminate 2 hours of heater run time per day that can add up to $54.00/month, or less than $2/day.
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:00 PM   #25
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Larger (30gal+) water heaters are usually 4000-5000W. Let's say 4500W on average. Your electric rate is based on Kilowatt hours, or using 1KW for 1 Hour. 4500 = 4.5Kw. Multiply your full electric rate by 4.5, and that's how much it costs to run your heater for an hour.

If that rate is 20 cents, then an hour of operation is 90 cents, for example. Of course it's not running the whole time, but if you can eliminate 2 hours of heater run time per day that can add up to $54.00/month, or less than $2/day.
Right, but now the calculation is how long to "catch up" to 120 degrees vs. what it would have cost to keep it there for that couple hours.

The same thing applies to heating/cooling homes: that sometimes it's cheaper to keep them at one temp rather than have to cool down/warm up a warmer/cooler house.

The calculations, of course, depend directly on how long the appliance would not be used, which is why maybe vacation mode—7 days off/the whole summer for Sailin—may actually work *if* bacteria's not an issue if warmed back up before use.

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Old 08-01-2022, 06:42 PM   #26
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What I would NOT do is get into shutoff valves—if by chance the heater runs without enough water, your WH element is junk.
If the shutoff valves on the water heater are open, then I'm drawing water from the COLD water heater for the shower. Legionnaire's bacteria is spread by aerosol when it comes out of the shower head.

Under what circumstances would the water heater lose water? Does it depend on pressure from the town water inlet? Like when the town water pipe freezes, the water in the boiler backflows? That has happened to me twice (frozen pipe at the road and cracked water main down the street). Scary.
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:51 PM   #27
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Default Legionnaire's disease

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailinAway View Post
It's August 1, the day the new electric rates begin. This month I'm going to experiment with ways to reduce water and electricity usage.

Electric water heater: I need very little hot water. In the summer cold showers would be OK. For washing dishes I can heat water on the stove. Laundry doesn't really require hot water. So I'm paying a lot to keep the water hot in the tank, but I get little return on that investment.

I believe my water heater is set at 120 degrees. I can't set it lower due to the risk of Legionnaire's disease (in fact on study found that the bacteria can grow at 136 degrees). Plan B: Turn off the hot water heater altogether so that cold water is drawn directly from the town water supply. Questions:

(1) How exactly would I do that?

(2) Will the standing water in the water heater cause any damage to the heater or other problems?

(3) When (if) I turn the water heater on in the winter, how would I ensure the safety of the water in the tank?
Energy conservation concern aside, did I miss something that Legionnaire's disease is spread by running water???

I thought it was spread through HVAC systems and was caused by standing water in the vents somewhere,,,

Has there been some newer discovery I may have missed?

I have a friend who barely survived this and to date we still dont know were he got it, so I have a vested interest in this. Thanks for any new insight.
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:56 PM   #28
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You should only draw from the water heater if the hot valve is open in the shower or faucet.

If you do open the hot side, that should flush the system enough to keep the bacteria count from exploding. The only real value to that is that well water is cold, and the tank would slowly warm to ambient temperature without the use of electricity by drawing heat from the ambient air.

So the tank water would be warmer than the well water.
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Old 08-01-2022, 06:58 PM   #29
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If the shutoff valves on the water heater are open, then I'm drawing water from the COLD water heater for the shower. Legionnaire's bacteria is spread by aerosol when it comes out of the shower head.

Under what circumstances would the water heater lose water? Does it depend on pressure from the town water inlet? Like when the town water pipe freezes, the water in the boiler backflows? That has happened to me twice (frozen pipe at the road and cracked water main down the street). Scary.
Yup, with your mixing valve you're right.

If you had a shutoff after the water heater, you'd be fine. I was mostly referring to one before, which would prevent the water heater from filling if any were lost. Just not worth it given the potential damage to the tank.

It sounds like if you're willing to shut it off for a while with a shutoff to keep the water heater water from mixing with the straight cold you might save a few bucks.

I'd really like to know if it's worth all the rigmarole, though, after calculating costs to heat from cold, heat cleaning water, and always cold showers.

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Old 08-01-2022, 08:05 PM   #30
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Energy conservation concern aside, did I miss something that Legionnaire's disease is spread by running water??? I thought it was spread through HVAC systems and was caused by standing water in the vents somewhere,,, Has there been some newer discovery I may have missed?
I have a friend who barely survived this and to date we still dont know were he got it, so I have a vested interest in this. Thanks for any new insight.
Legionnaire's bacteria can grow in water heaters if the water isn't hot enough. This article explains how energy conservation efforts by the government---recommendations to lower water heater temperatures to 110 degrees---led to an increase in Legionnaire's disease: https://www.phcppros.com/articles/82...-water-systems

Quote from a report cited in that article: "A minimum storage temperature of 131 F is essential to prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease (131 F is the temperature at which Legionella begins to die). To assure a safety factor, the minimum storage temperature should be 135 F."

CDC: "Legionella grows best within a certain temperature range (77°F-113°F). To keep water outside the range for Legionella growth, it is important to keep cold water cold and keep hot water hot."

Empirical study: "L. pneumophila still persisted up to 58 °C [136F], with evidence that it was growing under the conditions of this study. Further, exposure to 51°C [124] water in a low-use tap appeared to optimally select for L. pneumophila (e.g., 125 times greater numbers than in high-use taps)."

So I was mistaken in my statement that 110 degrees is safe. Numerous websites cite that figure as safe, including some government energy conservation sites, without giving evidence.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:16 PM   #31
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If you shut the power to the tank down... the tank should not in any realistic condition get to an internal water temp of 77F.

When you turn it back on... a setting of 140F, and letting the taps run a bit should remove any concerns... as the water will not truly be stored - just not heated by the electric elements.

The mixing valve should easily allow the 140F to be lowered to were you feel comfortable... and can be further adjusted by the faucet.

At that time, heat lost by the tank to the surrounding air would just be space heating where the tank was located.
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Old 08-01-2022, 08:39 PM   #32
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Legionnaire's bacteria can grow in water heaters if the water isn't hot enough. This article explains how energy conservation efforts by the government---recommendations to lower water heater temperatures to 110 degrees---led to an increase in Legionnaire's disease: https://www.phcppros.com/articles/82...-water-systems

Quote from a report cited in that article: "A minimum storage temperature of 131 F is essential to prevent the spread of Legionnaires’ disease (131 F is the temperature at which Legionella begins to die). To assure a safety factor, the minimum storage temperature should be 135 F."

CDC: "Legionella grows best within a certain temperature range (77°F-113°F). To keep water outside the range for Legionella growth, it is important to keep cold water cold and keep hot water hot."

Empirical study: "L. pneumophila still persisted up to 58 °C [136F], with evidence that it was growing under the conditions of this study. Further, exposure to 51°C [124] water in a low-use tap appeared to optimally select for L. pneumophila (e.g., 125 times greater numbers than in high-use taps)."

So I was mistaken in my statement that 110 degrees is safe. Numerous websites cite that figure as safe, including some government energy conservation sites, without giving evidence.
So how does this work for tankless heaters? Can there be no growth if there is no tank?

Interesting this information is not more widely communicated. Begs the question why,,,
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:29 PM   #33
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Some part of this discussion doesn't make sense to me. I think from the reading the issue is that water that is warm, but not hot enough, can grow the bacteria. That is not what you are talking about. You are shutting down the heater completely.

How could cold water flowing through copper coils in a hot water heater be more "dangerous" than cold water flowing through copper pipes to your cold water faucets?
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:48 PM   #34
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So how does this work for tankless heaters? Can there be no growth if there is no tank?

Interesting this information is not more widely communicated. Begs the question why,,,
With a tankless the water before the heater is at well temperature, and after the heater is at set temperature... both those should be outside the range for bacteria to grow at any dangerous rate.

At best, the piping leading to the tankless sitting long enough might reach ambient temperature... so a warm period might make it to the lower threshold... but once being heated, the bacteria would die.
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:36 AM   #35
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With a tankless the water before the heater is at well temperature, and after the heater is at set temperature... both those should be outside the range for bacteria to grow at any dangerous rate.

At best, the piping leading to the tankless sitting long enough might reach ambient temperature... so a warm period might make it to the lower threshold... but once being heated, the bacteria would die.
Sailin, maybe this is then your answer, a tankless heater???
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Old 08-02-2022, 07:33 AM   #36
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A tankless is not inexpensive...
And many times requires a panel and service upgrade.

So the output of capital most likely would eat up much of the savings.
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Old 08-02-2022, 07:36 AM   #37
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I'd just turn off the breaker to the water heater if you don't feel you have a use for hot water. Leave the valves open to and from the tank. If you close them the hot water taps in the house won't work without a plumbing bypass. Leaving them open will introduce fresh water into the tank when you open the hot water taps. You say you're on town water. Good chance the water is tested for bacteria and chlorinated if needed. There's a lot of standing drinkable water in pipes and tanks long before it gets to your house, most of it at 50 or so degrees. I wouldn't worry about storing 40 gallons in a tank for a short period.
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Old 08-02-2022, 08:24 AM   #38
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A tankless is not inexpensive...
And many times requires a panel and service upgrade.

So the output of capital most likely would eat up much of the savings.
While mine is only 9 years old, it has been a flawless performer and saved me untold dollars not heating water when we dont need it.

It takes up far less space than a tank style, and has an endless capacity when you need it.

And the biggest plus of all, no tank to fail! And after having had several failures over the years, one that made a bit of a mess and ruined some stored paper items, this was a big bonus for me.

Yes it might be double the price initially, but worth much more in the long run, well so far anyway!

Dont think I'll ever be going back to a tank style again, and if what I am reading here is correct, it will keep me out of trouble for exposure to Legionnaire's disease, so add that to the plus column.
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Old 08-02-2022, 08:30 AM   #39
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So how does this work for tankless heaters? Can there be no growth if there is no tank? Interesting this information is not more widely communicated. Begs the question why,,,
I agree. I was very surprised to learn about this. The first article I linked explains why more people don't know about this: lowering the temperature to 110 degrees was recommended and even required by state codes to save energy, on the grounds that no one really needs 140 degrees for daily needs. When studies found that a higher temperature was needed to kill Legionnaire's bacteria, the government did not correct its earlier recommendation.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:05 AM   #40
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I agree. I was very surprised to learn about this. The first article I linked explains why more people don't know about this: lowering the temperature to 110 degrees was recommended and even required by state codes to save energy, on the grounds that no one really needs 140 degrees for daily needs. When studies found that a higher temperature was needed to kill Legionnaire's bacteria, the government did not correct its earlier recommendation.
Thanks for the insight, I will be sure to share this with my friends!
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:24 AM   #41
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I looked at electric tankless water heaters a while ago. One thing that was recurring in all the articles I read was that tankless electric wasn’t recommended in the northeast due to ambient ground water temperatures (i.e., you couldn’t heat the colder water to a high enough temperature as it passed thru the system.). Has this changed?


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Old 08-02-2022, 09:45 AM   #42
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I looked at electric tankless water heaters a while ago. One thing that was recurring in all the articles I read was that tankless electric wasn’t recommended in the northeast due to ambient ground water temperatures (i.e., you couldn’t heat the colder water to a high enough temperature as it passed thru the system.). Has this changed?


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You raise an interesting point, but one that has not at all been a problem for me ever.

I can set mine at any temp and yes it gets plenty hot, once set it at 140 to see how we might like that and it was scalding!

Now I run off city water, so I have no idea how that impacts the temp vs a very deep well, but I would think the deeper you go the warmer it is???

Any deep well owners that can tell us what your cold water temp is?

Im a very long way from our treatment plant and our water can be pretty cold when it gets to me,,,
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:06 AM   #43
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An organization I belong to has a kitchen and we use a propane fired Navion tankless hot water heater. Our water source is an artesian well. The unit is in a utility area connected to the building and has one 6 ft long FHW heater register to keep that room warm. The bigger is also located in that area. When the building is not in use, the thermostat in that zone is set at 50.

When we do have a meal, once or twice a month usually, we do not notice any difference in the hot water temperature summer or winter. Nor do we notice a difference in how long it takes for the hot water to deliver the hot water. We do use a circulator to keep the water at a constant temperature when we are running the commercial dishwasher.

Never have measured the cold water temp, but it's plenty cold.

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Old 08-02-2022, 10:14 AM   #44
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You raise an interesting point, but one that has not at all been a problem for me ever.

I can set mine at any temp and yes it gets plenty hot, once set it at 140 to see how we might like that and it was scalding!

Now I run off city water, so I have no idea how that impacts the temp vs a very deep well, but I would think the deeper you go the warmer it is???

Any deep well owners that can tell us what your cold water temp is?

Im a very long way from our treatment plant and our water can be pretty cold when it gets to me,,,
To be clear: you have an ELECTRIC on-demand water heater?

I've not heard good things at all with those, but you've been happy?

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Old 08-02-2022, 10:19 AM   #45
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Motivated by Sailin's "frugality," I decided to try putting my water heater's vacation mode on (60) while we're away the next week and while away the last two weeks of August.

In addition, most info I found says to set the central AC thermostat to 85 while away, so I'll try that as well—we usually just bumped that up from 72 to 75.

I subscribed to Direct Energy this AM for my provider, which will limit my increase to $.165 vs. the $.225 Eversource jumps to this month. It looks like they had a $.12/.13 deal a couple weeks ago for a bit, but I missed that. Either way, it cuts the increase in half.

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Old 08-02-2022, 10:35 AM   #46
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I'd leave the hot water tank hooked up and just take cold showers. Have the hot water when you need it. You'll save almost as much money.

You keep asking for ways to lower your bill, but no details as to what is using the power. Some detail would be good. You did say you run dehumidifiers, which I do too. I just had a guy in here who saw the dehumidifier I'm using and told me to get an April aire unit. So I looked it up, an 80 pint a day April aire unit draws about 5 amps. The unit I'm using now draws 7.6 amps and is only rated at 40 pints. So in a perfect world the April aire would run half the time of my 40 pint unit and use only 2/3s the power while it is running half the time. Those are the things to look at. Another might be your fridge or freezer. If those are older a new one may save money.
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:37 AM   #47
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To be clear: you have an ELECTRIC on-demand water heater?

I've not heard good things at all with those, but you've been happy?

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No I have a gas tankless hot water heater and it works flawlessly well.

Never heard of an electric tankless, I dont doubt they make one, but thats not what we have.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:32 AM   #48
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Now I run off city water, so I have no idea how that impacts the temp vs a very deep well, but I would think the deeper you go the warmer it is???
Yes. A few years ago in a long cold snap the town water lines froze all over Franklin. Mine was one of them. They had to dig a huge hole in the street and bury the pipes deeper.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:36 AM   #49
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You keep asking for ways to lower your bill, but no details as to what is using the power. Some detail would be good. You did say you run dehumidifiers, which I do too. I just had a guy in here who saw the dehumidifier I'm using and told me to get an April aire unit. So I looked it up, an 80 pint a day April aire unit draws about 5 amps. The unit I'm using now draws 7.6 amps and is only rated at 40 pints. So in a perfect world the April aire would run half the time of my 40 pint unit and use only 2/3s the power while it is running half the time. Those are the things to look at. Another might be your fridge or freezer. If those are older a new one may save money.
ITD, I spent a couple of hours this morning analyzing my appliance use. I've provided a list in the other thread.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:37 AM   #50
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In addition, most info I found says to set the central AC thermostat to 85 while away, so I'll try that as well—we usually just bumped that up from 72 to 75.
Why run the AC at all? Even when we are at the lake we run only 4-5 days/Summer.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:57 AM   #51
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I just had a guy in here who saw the dehumidifier I'm using and told me to get an April aire unit. So I looked it up, an 80 pint a day April aire unit draws about 5 amps.
Whew, that thing is expensive. For one third the price, there's a 60-pint Frigidaire that uses 400 watts. I believe the Aprilaire uses 600 watts on 120.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frigidai...547389#overlay

(Of course, there are many complaints that MOST air conditioners and dehumidifiers only last two or three years these days.)
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Old 08-02-2022, 12:12 PM   #52
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Whew, that thing is expensive. For one third the price, there's a 60-pint Frigidaire that uses 400 watts. I believe the Aprilaire uses 600 watts on 120.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Frigidai...547389#overlay

(Of course, there are many complaints that MOST air conditioners and dehumidifiers only last two or three years these days.)
Yes, I had one of those, it lasted a year. The april aire is expensive, but lasts a long time and has a 5 year warranty. You also have to factor in the water removed, not just the power used.
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:35 PM   #53
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You raise an interesting point, but one that has not at all been a problem for me ever.

I can set mine at any temp and yes it gets plenty hot, once set it at 140 to see how we might like that and it was scalding!

Now I run off city water, so I have no idea how that impacts the temp vs a very deep well, but I would think the deeper you go the warmer it is???

Any deep well owners that can tell us what your cold water temp is?

Im a very long way from our treatment plant and our water can be pretty cold when it gets to me,,,
You wouldn't go deep enough to change the temp.
A shallow well (dug well) will actually have a higher temperature as it will approach ambient if not insulated.
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:51 PM   #54
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Yes, I had one of those, it lasted a year. The april aire is expensive, but lasts a long time and has a 5 year warranty. You also have to factor in the water removed, not just the power used.
I just bought a new dehumidifier after the previous one crapped out in...three years. Got it replaced under warranty, though, which cost $8 at the time. The new warranty cost $14. Still a bargain for a new dehumidifier every three years.

I had it set to "comfort" mode, but it seemed to run too often and was very dry, so I set it to 60 percent. One common complaint about these units is that the moisture sensor is close to the water path, which throws off the actual reading.

I'll see how 60 really performs and go from there.

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Old 08-02-2022, 02:04 PM   #55
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No I have a gas tankless hot water heater and it works flawlessly well.

Never heard of an electric tankless, I dont doubt they make one, but thats not what we have.
Google them. They do make them.

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Old 08-02-2022, 02:08 PM   #56
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Why run the AC at all? Even when we are at the lake we run only 4-5 days/Summer.
This is what I found in most of my searching.



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Old 08-02-2022, 02:10 PM   #57
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Google them. They do make them.

Dave
They're not nearly as common because they lack the speed and efficiency that make on-demands valuable.

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Old 08-02-2022, 04:45 PM   #58
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They actually have great speed and efficiency.
But they require an amount of power that generally results in a service and panel upgrade.
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Old 08-02-2022, 05:10 PM   #59
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They actually have great speed and efficiency.

But they require an amount of power that generally results in a service and panel upgrade.
When we researched them a couple years ago, very few could maintain more than 3gpm, which wasn't enough to do two things at once. They also took incredible amounts of power (the increased service requirements you mention) and took longer to heat, leading to wasted water.

The long-term reliability of electric on-demands was also reportedly lower, which meant the lifespan was shorter.

Things certainly may have changed.

Point-of-use electric on-demands were usually rated much higher, but that opened a different can of worms in terms of install costs, multiple units, etc.

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Old 08-02-2022, 07:00 PM   #60
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The heat is instant... why we call them ''on-demand''.
The gallons per minute that they can deliver is based on the temperature rise needed and the wattage of the appliance.

While this link shows ''up to'' gpm; in general, for our area using well water would require the two bigger models for most homes... and if you undersize... you deal with it; while if you oversize... the unit just costs a bit more rather than take a lot more energy as the internals make up the difference.

https://www.amazon.com/Rheem-Tankles...1MR7Z39V&psc=1

At the bottom comparison, you would see the 18 and 24. The data on the package is much more specific as to flow rate based on the required rise in temperature. Both would likely need a service and panel upgrade.

I doubt when compared to a tank water heater that they would have a shorter lifespan or more energy consumption based on equal usage.

It is just not the way that I would go.
The cost of removing a functioning water heater, possibly moving it to a new location, and the upgrades would take quite some time to recoup when only the standby loss is taken into consideration. A simple time, or shutting of the breaker for longer periods, would cost less and create a large percentage drop in the standby power usage.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:31 PM   #61
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I don't understand why running the hot water heater for a few hours a day on a timer or switch saves much, if any, energy.

Leave it on, and it maintains the temp you have it set for. Temp drops a bit and it comes on, in a 2 element unit (many are) only one element comes on.

Turn it off for 12 hours and turn it back on, you are asking it to heat water from whatever it has dropped to back up to temp, using a longer run of the element and likely kicking in the 2nd element.

And finally, if you use some of the hot water when the heater is turned off, you are later heating from room temp to set temp since you pulled much of the residual heat out by using the water.

I'm not following the logic. I still say, make sure it is well insulated, and leave it on. JMO.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:43 PM   #62
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For two reasons... she is talking about shutting it down for the season, not a few hours.
And secondly... when cold water is pumped into a tank and allowed to set... it will draw ambient heat from the room (the one you are trying to cool) and warm up to the point of reaching ambient temperature.

Since the heating elements would be shut down for months... and the tank would gain heat while cooling the space... she gets water at maybe 70F without any cost to her... while also losing heat in the space.
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Old 08-02-2022, 11:58 PM   #63
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Thanks for that explanation John. I guess I get it with the complete shut down, but multiple people have talked about switches and timers that run the heater for a period of time each day and I guess I question the real savings of that. I admit I get mixed up between this thread and the "substantially reduce" thread so maybe it was mentioned in the other thread.
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Old 08-03-2022, 08:21 AM   #64
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Timers work in a different way.

It basically takes the same amount of energy to heat X number of gallons quickly, but at various times of the day, using the tankless systems... as it does to heat the same number of gallons slowly using the tank systems.

The tanks systems must maintain the temp through extra standby usage; but if used all at once the difference between tank and tankless would be meaningless.

The tankless version just allows more flexibility in the timing of the use.
While the timer tank version has to be used when ready and not allowed to set.
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Old 08-03-2022, 01:43 PM   #65
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Thanks for that explanation John. I guess I get it with the complete shut down, but multiple people have talked about switches and timers that run the heater for a period of time each day and I guess I question the real savings of that. I admit I get mixed up between this thread and the "substantially reduce" thread so maybe it was mentioned in the other thread.
I was thinking the same as you initially, but it would be interesting to know how long the tank would have to be off to break even and save money.

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Old 08-03-2022, 02:56 PM   #66
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Motivated by Sailin's "frugality," I decided to try putting my water heater's vacation mode on (60) while we're away the next week and while away the last two weeks of August.
Think, I look forward to the results of your experiment. Remember, saving energy isn't just about saving money, it's about the environment too.

Update: I meditated on the whole question of the water heater while taking a cold shower the other night. Brrrrr.

Why are we so far behind the Europeans? 45 years ago I visited friends in Germany. They had a small box on the wall over the kitchen sink that provided hot water in a minute or two with the flip of a switch. They were amazed that I had never seen this before. I had to say, "Oh, in the U.S. we prefer to heat 50 gallons of water to wash the dishes and keep the water hot all day just in case."

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Old 08-03-2022, 03:09 PM   #67
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Think, I look forward to the results of your experiment. Remember, saving energy isn't just about saving money, it's about the environment too.

Update: I meditate on the whole question of the water heater while taking a cold shower the other night. Brrrrr.

Why are we so far behind the Europeans? 45 years ago I visited friends in Germany. They had a small box on the wall over the kitchen sink that provided hot water in a minute or two with the flip of a switch. They were amazed that I had never seen this before. I had to say, "Oh, in the U.S. we prefer to heat 50 gallons of water to wash the dishes and keep the water hot all day just in case."
Because in America, we may not use it but it's nice to have.

What you're referring to in Germany absolutely exists in America—point of service water heaters—but I think American homes typically have more rooms with water than European (multiple bathrooms, washrooms, etc.).

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Old 08-03-2022, 03:52 PM   #68
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Propane tankless.

We have had them in the camper trailer since the 70s... maybe before.
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Old 08-03-2022, 04:24 PM   #69
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Think, I look forward to the results of your experiment. Remember, saving energy isn't just about saving money, it's about the environment too.

Update: I meditated on the whole question of the water heater while taking a cold shower the other night. Brrrrr.

Why are we so far behind the Europeans? 45 years ago I visited friends in Germany. They had a small box on the wall over the kitchen sink that provided hot water in a minute or two with the flip of a switch. They were amazed that I had never seen this before. I had to say, "Oh, in the U.S. we prefer to heat 50 gallons of water to wash the dishes and keep the water hot all day just in case."
Sailin, I know I've been consistent in saying "just leave it on". That doesn't make me right about it, just consistent . But I do think you may have an incorrect impression of water heaters. Yes, cheapo hot water heaters with poor insulation are not great on energy usage, particularly in their loss of heat on standby. But good quality well insulated hot water heaters, whether 10 gallon or 50 gallon, are actually pretty efficient devices for the service they perform. Europe isn't 45 years ahead of us because they used high btu output propane hot water heaters at point of use.
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Old 08-03-2022, 06:26 PM   #70
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Think, I look forward to the results of your experiment. Remember, saving energy isn't just about saving money, it's about the environment too.

Update: I meditated on the whole question of the water heater while taking a cold shower the other night. Brrrrr.

Why are we so far behind the Europeans? 45 years ago I visited friends in Germany. They had a small box on the wall over the kitchen sink that provided hot water in a minute or two with the flip of a switch. They were amazed that I had never seen this before. I had to say, "Oh, in the U.S. we prefer to heat 50 gallons of water to wash the dishes and keep the water hot all day just in case."
In the late 70’s, when I was playing basketball in Europe, we had a propane tankless in the locker room to heat shower water. We used to draw straws to see who would be the lucky one to have to stick a match up inside to light it. As the season went on more and more of the guys stayed longer and longer on the court after practice so that someone else would have a chance to burn their hand. It’s kind of funny now, not so much then.


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Old 08-03-2022, 07:20 PM   #71
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Think, I look forward to the results of your experiment. Remember, saving energy isn't just about saving money, it's about the environment too.

Update: I meditated on the whole question of the water heater while taking a cold shower the other night. Brrrrr.

Why are we so far behind the Europeans? 45 years ago I visited friends in Germany. They had a small box on the wall over the kitchen sink that provided hot water in a minute or two with the flip of a switch. They were amazed that I had never seen this before. I had to say, "Oh, in the U.S. we prefer to heat 50 gallons of water to wash the dishes and keep the water hot all day just in case."
I had friends who were in the service that were stationed in Europe and lived off base in apartments as opposed to on base. They said the hardest thing to get used to was the individual hot water heaters. There was one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. The bathroom unit was for the sink and the shower. That unit was ok, but couldn't keep up with the hot water needs for a loooonnng shower. It was fine for a 1-2 minute shower,. They got very good at a hot shower, short but hot shower.

We now know them as on demand heaters. They worked well with the knowledge of their "short comings ". Just couldn't take a half hour "aaahhhhhhhhhhh" shower.

Most of them, as I understand it, were electric units.

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Old 08-03-2022, 09:40 PM   #72
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Sailin, I know I've been consistent in saying "just leave it on". That doesn't make me right about it, just consistent . But I do think you may have an incorrect impression of water heaters. Yes, cheapo hot water heaters with poor insulation are not great on energy usage, particularly in their loss of heat on standby. But good quality well insulated hot water heaters, whether 10 gallon or 50 gallon, are actually pretty efficient devices for the service they perform. Europe isn't 45 years ahead of us because they used high btu output propane hot water heaters at point of use.
The ten maybe, the fifty not so much.
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:20 AM   #73
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50-gallon water heaters are from the era when we believed that bigger is better and everything in our daily life must be super convenient and always at hand. I don't think we can afford that any more, financially or environmentally. I had a 53-gallon water heater installed only because (a) I didn't want to turn on the oil boiler in the summer to take a shower and (b) I knew that a 10-gallon heater would impact the resale value of the house. I could easily live happily with two gallons of hot water per day, mixed with cold. Surely there is a more efficient way to obtain that than a 24/7 53-gallon water heater! Hence my original post! For the life of me I still don't clearly see the solution in all that has been said in this thread.
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:37 AM   #74
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If you don't want to lay out money and make changes...
The easiest thing to do is just shut off the breaker.
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Old 08-04-2022, 10:56 AM   #75
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50-gallon water heaters are from the era when we believed that bigger is better and everything in our daily life must be super convenient and always at hand. I don't think we can afford that any more, financially or environmentally. I had a 53-gallon water heater installed only because (a) I didn't want to turn on the oil boiler in the summer to take a shower and (b) I knew that a 10-gallon heater would impact the resale value of the house. I could easily live happily with two gallons of hot water per day, mixed with cold. Surely there is a more efficient way to obtain that than a 24/7 53-gallon water heater! Hence my original post! For the life of me I still don't clearly see the solution in all that has been said in this thread.
Sounds to me like a perfect example of a tankless on demand system you want. If you don’t want to pay for the expense for this system, shut the breaker off on your current system…
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Old 08-04-2022, 04:49 PM   #76
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Sounds to me like a perfect example of a tankless on demand system you want. If you don’t want to pay for the expense for this system, shut the breaker off on your current system…
I'm warming up to the idea of a small tankless unit for the shower. Can someone post a link to a suitable appliance?

EDIT: Woops, I think I meant to say "under sink water heater."

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Old 08-04-2022, 05:26 PM   #77
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Sounds to me like a perfect example of a tankless on demand system you want. If you don’t want to pay for the expense for this system, shut the breaker off on your current system…
I'm warming up to the idea of a small tankless unit for the shower. Can someone post a link to a suitable appliance?
I have a Rinnai RL94 thats 9 years old and so far has been a near flawless performer. I say near flawless as the installer had originally installed it with one of the DIP switch settings in the wrong option, and it was timing out periodically. Once that was changed to the correct option it has now been 100% flawless. I believe they have several different flow rates and other options to consider, so you need to do your homework and only buy as much heater as you need. In my case the Model 94 flow rate allows you to have the clothes washer running and take a shower or 2 people showering in different bathrooms at the same time and never see any reduction in flow. Well assuming you are on city water and/or have a good flow from your well.

I see no down side and on the plus side, there is energy savings to be had, no tank to rust out, and no volume of standing water to grow bacteria. Some argue they cost more, but I dont think I paid more than if I bought a good brand/model of tank style heater.

Take a look!

Good luck.

https://www.rinnai.us/residential/ta...-water-heaters

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Old 08-04-2022, 06:53 PM   #78
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Sounds to me like a perfect example of a tankless on demand system you want. If you don’t want to pay for the expense for this system, shut the breaker off on your current system…
I'm warming up to the idea of a small tankless unit for the shower. Can someone post a link to a suitable appliance?
I have had this one for 13 years now trouble free! It is used from ice out till mid November. In the spring when water temp is 34 degrees it still heats water flawlessly! No issues with two showers going at once or laundry while showering. We use approximately three 100 lb propane tanks per season strictly for hot water and yes we have a lot of visitors so many extra showers taken during the week. The wife is also a “laundry nazi”!

I am not a plumber and don’t know much about these and all I can say is I love mine and wouldn’t be without it.

Here is a couple pics of it and the spec sheet on the side…

Dan
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Old 08-04-2022, 09:47 PM   #79
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Sounds to me like a perfect example of a tankless on demand system you want. If you don’t want to pay for the expense for this system, shut the breaker off on your current system…
I'm warming up to the idea of a small tankless unit for the shower. Can someone post a link to a suitable appliance?
It depends on your fuel options.
Electric or propane?
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:12 AM   #80
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It depends on your fuel options.
Electric or propane?
Electric....
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Old 08-05-2022, 12:46 AM   #81
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Rheem has good ones.
I think you may be able to find them at one of the two Big Boxes.

Just determine the size that you need, because too large will need a panel and service upgrade.
We have quite a few of those going on in the Bristol area... and the pvc conduit is getting tricky to supply.
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Old 08-05-2022, 06:49 AM   #82
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I have had this one for 13 years now trouble free! It is used from ice out till mid November. In the spring when water temp is 34 degrees it still heats water flawlessly! No issues with two showers going at once or laundry while showering. We use approximately three 100 lb propane tanks per season strictly for hot water and yes we have a lot of visitors so many extra showers taken during the week. The wife is also a “laundry nazi”!

I am not a plumber and don’t know much about these and all I can say is I love mine and wouldn’t be without it.

Here is a couple pics of it and the spec sheet on the side…

Dan
Thanks for this. I have a 20 year old propane hot water heater (tank) on the island that I know is at the end of it's life. I go back and forth about replacing it with something like this - leaning toward doing it. I like the idea of "trouble free" as while I am willing to try and fix things, sometimes my enthusiasm is greater than my abilities - and getting tradespeople out to the islands can be a challenge, esp. when I tend to be there on weekends rather than during the week.
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Old 09-04-2022, 02:49 PM   #83
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At this point I've had the water heater turned off at the breaker for the past month. My August kWh usage was 34% lower than August last year with a combination of strategies.

Yesterday I closed the hot and cold valves on the water heater to make sure I'm not bathing with water from the heater due to the risk of bacteria. I'm drawing cold water from the town supply for bathing.

Q1: My handyman says I should drain the water heater at this point to avoid mold etc. growing in it and also rust. Is he correct?

Q2: Would the simplest solution be a well-insulated 10-gallon tank placed next to the 53-gallon tank? That way the next owner of the house could use the larger tank if they prefer, while I would not use the large tank from this point forward.
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Old 09-04-2022, 05:23 PM   #84
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Q1. What would the mold be eating? It shouldn't increase rust.
But if you aren't going to use it for a long period of time, draining it would be best... and shouldn't be that hard.

Q2. You could. I remember when my grandmother would fill the tub about quarter/half way and then poor water from the kettle heated on the wood stove to warm it up.
Since I prefer showers now... that is a bit harder to do.
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Old 09-28-2022, 05:53 AM   #85
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Red face "Working" with Water Heaters...

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At this point I've had the water heater turned off at the breaker for the past month. My August kWh usage was 34% lower than August last year with a combination of strategies.

Yesterday I closed the hot and cold valves on the water heater to make sure I'm not bathing with water from the heater due to the risk of bacteria. I'm drawing cold water from the town supply for bathing.

Q1: My handyman says I should drain the water heater at this point to avoid mold etc. growing in it and also rust. Is he correct?

Q2: Would the simplest solution be a well-insulated 10-gallon tank placed next to the 53-gallon tank? That way the next owner of the house could use the larger tank if they prefer, while I would not use the large tank from this point forward.
Why not use your breaker-controlled tank for other chores? (Watering, rinsing, cold water washing machine chores). Maintaining a regular (cold) flow through the water heater shouldn't be difficult. I do it, and turn the breaker back "on" 15 minutes before a shower. The freshly-heated water rises to the top of the heater, and is drawn-off first. You'll know when your shower is nearly over--automatically.

Back when I had 120-v water heaters, I put a household timer on them to save on excessive heating. It doesn't need to be really hot to be useful. One was 40-gallon, the other was 90. (!)

Speaking of timers, take two $8 household timers--plugged together--to operate an irrigation/utility pump one hour a week from a lake (or cistern). Set one timer to go on for three hours, the second to operate one hour. Using this technique, you don't have to be present at the lake to water your plants. As to the number of days and hours, YMMV.

Insurance-based water heater "take-outs" will help to economize. This being hurricane season, advertise "WTB" on Craigslist. I sold two to a desperate contractor who had a "tent city" of volunteer electricians with no hot water.

I should add that mold is suspect in peripheral neuropathy, a nerve condition experienced by ~15% of Americans.
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Old 09-28-2022, 04:06 PM   #86
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Why not use your breaker-controlled tank for other chores? (Watering, rinsing, cold water washing machine chores). Maintaining a regular (cold) flow through the water heater shouldn't be difficult.
I don't get this. Why would I draw cold water from the tank rather than directly from the town inlet? Just to make sure I understand: Cold water enters the tank from the town inlet, gets heated, and exits from the tank. Cold water to the house (e.g., sinks, washing machine) comes directly from the town inlet. Correct? That why I don't understand your reference to getting cold water from the tank for the washing machine.

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I do it, and turn the breaker back "on" 15 minutes before a shower. The freshly-heated water rises to the top of the heater, and is drawn-off first. You'll know when your shower is nearly over--automatically.
What I found online: “A 50-gallon hot water heater with 5,500-watt elements set to 120 degrees takes about 1 hour and 47 minutes to heat water coming in to the unit at 40 degrees.”

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Insurance-based water heater "take-outs" will help to economize. This being hurricane season, advertise "WTB" on Craigslist. I sold two to a desperate contractor who had a "tent city" of volunteer electricians with no hot water.
What's a water heater take-out? You mean you sold your water heater to a contractor and he did the removal? I need to save my 53-gallon tank for the next family that lives in my house, because it has been suggested here that I sell my house and move! (An idea that I've contemplated every day for the last 10 years.)
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:33 PM   #87
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What's a water heater take-out? You mean you sold your water heater to a contractor and he did the removal? I need to save my 53-gallon tank for the next family that lives in my house, because it has been suggested here that I sell my house and move! (An idea that I've contemplated every day for the last 10 years.)
I replaced a 7 y-o water heater because, after being partly submerged during a hurricane's surge, turning on the breaker resulted in a plume of smoke.

Days later, when the plumber replaced it, it was put out by the curb. Looking at the now-exposed wire connections, I realized that the heater was still good.

As a backup, I'd previously purchased a 20-gallon, 120-V, water heater for $50. Small, it may have been smaller than 20-gallon.

Those two "take-outs" I sold to the above contractor for $150. (Explaining all that I knew). So, I was "ahead"...sorta...
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Old 09-29-2022, 04:51 PM   #88
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What I found online: “A 50-gallon hot water heater with 5,500-watt elements set to 120 degrees takes about 1 hour and 47 minutes to heat water coming in to the unit at 40 degrees.”
Remember, you do not have to heat the WHOLE tank to be able to take a shower.

20->30 mins is more reasonable.
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Old 09-29-2022, 05:35 PM   #89
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Arrow When Shutting Off the Breaker, Observe...

Use the left (hot, red) faucet frequently to avoid "stale" water residing in the "shut-off-breaker" tank. (Although I don't think this is a real problem--even with lake water). Of course, there is no tank involved in the right (cold, blue) faucet.

Note, however, the left (hot, red) side is likely to have a taste of magnesium--or whatever anode is installed in the tank--so drinking from the left (hot, red) side might be objectionable.

And, yes, town water ultimately feeds both faucets. (Or both of the red and blue sides of single faucets)

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I don't get this. Why would I draw cold water from the tank rather than directly from the town inlet? Just to make sure I understand: Cold water enters the tank from the town inlet, gets heated, and exits from the tank. Cold water to the house (e.g., sinks, washing machine) comes directly from the town inlet. Correct? That why I don't understand your reference to getting cold water from the tank for the washing machine.
That's only regarding one's preference for a complete/fully cold-cycle washing.
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:51 AM   #90
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My Myson 325 Thermor is over 20 years old. Propane.
Made in England.
On demand instantaneous hot water heater.
Direct vent out the wall.
No electricity required.
Does have a pilot.
Starts heater by water pressure.
Works perfectly.

Unfortunately Reagan, Bush, Clinton did away with pilot light appliances.
Recently took cover off and all still looks new inside.

Works perfectly.
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Old 09-30-2022, 01:45 PM   #91
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Remember, you do not have to heat the WHOLE tank to be able to take a shower. 20->30 mins is more reasonable.
You make it sound like I can just heat the top 5 gallons in 20 rminutes and get a 10-minute shower. Is that really how a water heater works? Or is all the water mixing inside it such that ALL the water has to reach 140 degrees?

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Old 09-30-2022, 03:31 PM   #92
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You make it sound like I can just heat the top 5 gallons in 20 rminutes and get a 10-minute shower. Is that really how a water heater works? Of is all the water mixing inside it such that ALL the water has to reach 140 degrees?
A typical electric water heater of any size has two heating elements, upper and lower, with two thermostats. My 40 gallon tank has two, 4.5 KW each. The upper element and thermostat are located somewhat below the top of the tank, and not right at the top. Starting cold, the upper thermostat turns on that element, and the lower element is off. When the upper thermostat is satisfied, with enough hot water above it to take a shower (for most people), that thermostat turns off the upper element and sends power to the lower thermostat. The lower element heats water from there up to the upper element. When the lower thermostat is satisfied, that element is turned off. Power remains available at the lower thermostat, to turn that element back on after some use of hot water. If enough hot water is drawn, the upper thermostat switches off power to the lower thermostat and turns on its element again.
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