Elec Hot Water Heater wiring amps?

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wrote:

Mine seemed to have the top set way down at the bottom from the factory. I don't know that it was intentional on their part, but it seemed odd.

I've set the bottom to the maximum temp I ever want to feel out of the tap. I'm trying to balance the recovery though... we tend to take long showers and it's nice if the temp stays relatively constant. That led to my questions about the top element.
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@me:
Well that is stupid... Setting the bottom element to to the highest temperature you want to get out of the heater is backwards...
The cold water enters the top of the tank and continues inside a cold water dip tube which allows the water to flow into the tank near the bottom...
So by setting the bottom element thermostat to the highest temp you want the water to be you are heating your tank to that higher temp all of the time for all of the water coming in -- even when it is just sitting there not being used...
The upper element is there by design to give a temperature boost to the water being drawn out the top of the tank to be used... When you use enough hot water fast enough out of the tank, the lower element can not keep up with the demand, i.e. it can not "recover" fast enough... The upper element is set at the temp you want the water to be at the faucets and only would run during your highest demand times to help boost the temp of the water already in the tank but is cool enough to trigger the thermostat for the upper element...
@mm:
How many gallons does your bathtub hold ? If you look at it, and it isn't one of those tiny apartment sized tubs, it is almost the same volume as your hot water heater tank... To fill it, your hot water tank must drain completely and you are probably adding too much cold water...
It doesn't "seem" like the hot water helps when you try to add more when the water is cooler because your hot water tank has not yet recovered from being mostly drained of hot water and the output is only luke warm...
You would be better served by an instant hot water heater system if you like to take baths than by a tank type heater...
You would also be better off if you let the tub fill up slower, as your water heater would be able to heat the water more at a slower flow rate than it ever could hope to keep up with the faucets nearly all the way open...
~~ Evan
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On Mon, 19 Apr 2010 11:53:38 -0700 (PDT), Evan

Thanks for the insult! Always sets the tone nicely for the rest of your post.
<snip>

So your suggestion is that I should set the lower element which maintains the tank temp to a level LOWER than the temp I initially want out of the faucets? Yeah.. right... that's going to work. I'm going to guess you've never actually used a tank type electric hot water heater... or you like cold showers.
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Its your electric bill, not mine, so knock yourself out...
~~ Evan
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On Tue, 20 Apr 2010 10:41:42 -0700 (PDT), Evan

It's my showed too, and I want it hot.
Riddle me this, my friend: Why do you suppose that the engineers who design tank type hot water heaters only give the consumer access to the lower thermostat?
Tank type heaters are NOT the equivalent of tankless heaters and do NOT perform well in that role.
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Right, they don't... But the one thermostat on the outside of the tank is meant only for convenience and not requiring the disassembly of unit or opening any access panels to change that setting...
If more consumers were aware that tank type hot water heaters required maintenance before they fail, you would learn more about them and know how to keep them in peak condition without costing you more in energy to run them...
If your house has poor quality water (hard, lots of chlorination) then you would probably freak out if you cut your tank open and saw what it looked like inside since you bathe in that water, it washes your clothes and you prepare your meals with it... How much encrustation of calcium from hard water do you think it takes to cause a dramatic increase in the cost of heating all your water before the elements in the tank burn out ? By the time you start noticing an odor or a rusty tint to the water at the faucet, the damage has already been done...
If your area experiences problems with sediment in the water, either periodically for some unknown reason, or during a water main breakage event, that sediment stays inside your tank unless you drain the tank and flush it out... How well do you think your tank will heat the water inside with 4" of sand and sediment in sitting in the tank that you are unaware of ?
But setting the thermostat on your tank type electric water heater to what you want the temperature at the faucets to be will definitely use much more energy than you ever need to because the water sits there being heated to that temperature and reheated to maintain that setting 24/7, even while you are busy at work and all night while you are asleep... All for maybe 15 minutes of time once or twice a day you want that temperature water out of your shower...
You would do better with installing a small tankless instant hot system in your house to feed your shower... You will waste a lot less electricity keeping the water in your hot water heater tank heated up to your desired shower temperature for the 23 or 23 hours of the day you are not using your shower... You would only be using 15 minutes worth of electricity to heat the water as you use it...
Up to you, but you are the one who said your shower wasn't hot enough and that you felt the need to keep the setting on your tank up high...
~~ Evan
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Hmm. The electric WH I've serviced, years ago, you could get at both. So, you can have a nice hot showed.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 20 Apr 2010 19:43:57 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Typically I would want my top stat pretty hot and the bottom one, not so much. You won't really be using that much water from the bottom anyway unless you have a house full of people taking showers at about the same time. I know a lot of people who lost the bottom element completely and only noticed it when they had a lot of overnight company
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