Energy Smart Water Heater and Timer use.


I recently moved into a home that has a new Whirlpool Energy Smart water heater that uses the little computer control box and is claimed to save electricty.
http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com/how/es_electric_how.php
This water heater is also hooked up to a timer. The previous owner had the control set to "Smart" in which case the water heater operates like a conventional unit and also had it on a timer.
I am under the impression that a timer on a water heater this new is of little use and that it will also interfear (sp?) with the operation of the Energy Smart circuit. I am thinking that setting the control to "Energy Smart " mode and not useing the timer would be a more economical choice.
Should I disconnect the timer and let the energy smart circuit do it's job or can they both be used together?
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Canning the timer would be my vote as well. Why get in the way of the built-in optimizer. It's just a guess but I'm guessing that the timer was installed with an older tank in place. With the new tank's built-in Smart Circuit the timer is an unnecessary dinosaur.
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FYI the tanks that are branded with the Whirlpool TM are made by US/Craftmaster. Having warranted two of the early runs of the control your water heater (two different tanks) uses IMO you'll be better served by disabling the timer control. The control monitors the tank temperature with a thermister adjusting the element use in an effort to save energy. Switching the power on and off to a solid state control "could" shorten the life of the control while serving little practical savings.
All my dealings with US/Craftmaster's customer service in their Johnson City Tennessee service center has been quick and responsive. They handle tank problems by issuing a service request number that you take to Lowes along with the water heater and do a simple exchange. For DYIs the programs and call center they have in place are likely second to none.
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Clearfield Consumer wrote:

Do you have OFF PEAK or TIME of DAY or PEAK DEMAD type of electric service?
These services charge less for electricity depending upon when you use it. If you have this kind of service, the timer may work to keep the water heater off during the "expensive" parts of the day....
Mark
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Thanks for the replies.
While I do have "Time Of Day" service, someone in another group mentioned that the water heaters Smart control unit "learns" to adapt to useage and the timer may be interfering with it's ability to do that as everytime it cuts power to the water heater it's also cutting power to the smart unit and it will thus reset and have to relearn usage each day and it may never be able to do that properly with the constant power on/power off cycling which sounds logical to me so I disconnected it this morning. I'm assuming that letting it go about it's business as designed will save me as much or more as my TOD rate, yes?
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Clearfield Consumer wrote:

I don't know. Try it and make sure the heater does NOT come on during the expensive time of day. If it does, you will defintly be loosing money.
How can the "smart control unit" know when your electic rate changes...Do you have to program that information into it?
Mark
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My dad has TOD service in phoenix, he says the commands come from the power company over the lines. so times can change occasionally.
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Clearfield Consumer wrote:

The "smart" control algorithm is on the webpage you linked:
"Every time the lower element is energized the controls lower the water temperature by three-tenths of one degree, but never lower than 115F. Every time the upper element is energized the controls raise the water temperature by three degrees, but never above the temperature set by the user."
Basically it keeps the water temp between 115 and whatever temperature is set by the user, at a temperature that is as low as possible while still supplying enough hot water.
I'd guess you'd be better off keeping the heater off during the expensive part of the day.
Of course, there's nothing stopping you from trying it for a few months, then switching it back the other way and comparing your power usage.
Chris
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Jim Baber wrote: If your Time Of Day peak vs off peak rates are like mine, where the wintertime rates do not vary much from peak ($0.114720/kWh) to off peak ($0.08966/kWh), it won't matter much. BUT, come summertime my rates jump drastically, with a peak of ($0.29372/kWh) and off peak of ($0.08664/kWh) at the lowest usage tier (under 17 kWh a day).
I do NOT fit in the lowest tier since I averaged 81 kWh a day from June 15 through September 15. I would have used 30 kWh of the very costly Tier 5 power which is at peak of ($0.51031/kWh) and off peak ($0.30323/kWh). I also would have used a lot more in the less but still exorbitant Tier 2 through Tier 4 groups of rates that would also apply to some of my 81 kWh between my best and worst summer rates.
TOD rates don't apply on weekends and that helps.
In my own situation I have my own 10 kW solar system that helps a lot, and generally covers all of my power bill except for a fixed daily meter and connection fee to stay hooked up to the power.
It does not generate all of the power we use, but because it does produce most of it's power during the peak time of the TOD billing rates it does generate far more than it's actual $ value as far as credit towards the bill. See "www.baber.org"
Jim Baber " snipped-for-privacy@baber.org"
Chris Friesen wrote:

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