Propane hot water - set on a timer?


My propane hot water heater will kick on two or three times each night to maintian its temperature. It plugs into an outlet for electricity. Can I plug it into a timer so the water heater does not turn on until just before we get up in the morning?
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On Sat 02 Aug 2008 08:31:05a, told us...

Yes, of course you can, assuming that its thermostat and ignition system are electrically operated. Make sure that the timer you choose is rated for the proper voltage and amperage required by the water heater. Most common timers are designed for controlling lighting, but there are also many that are designed for controlling appiances.
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Wayne Boatwright
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On Aug 2, 8:31 am, n_o_a_h snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Since the unit plugs in, I guess we can assume that it has electronic ignition.
Per WB's comment, a properly chosen timer should do the job. I think I'd shy away from those cheap lighting timers & get a "real" timer, Intermatic
But before you go through all the hassle of buying & wiring it up, I would suggest just unplugging the unit for a few hours (long enough to get the water temp below the T-stat setting) & then plug it back in to see if everything fires up ok.
If so, you just did what the timer would do & you're good to go. If there is some sort of non-trivial startup procedure then maybe this concept won't work.
cheers Bob
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Thanks, Bob. We have lost power several times in the past. Once for nearly 12 hrs. The water heater started normally when the power was restored. Thanks for the tip on the Intermatic timer!
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I would begin by carefully adding a extra layer of insulation to the tank....
This saves energy by preventing the water from cooling to begin with. Pretty cheap too
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On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 14:23:34 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@aol.com"

much. If it came on three times for 10 minutes each time in the past, by using the timer, it will come on one time just before you get up for maybe 25 minutes.
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The insulation is a good idea.
He never said how long the burner ran for....but your numbers of 25 minutes in the morning & three times at night for 10 minutes each are strictly pullled out of the air. As the temp of the w/h falls it will lose less heat. Your argument seems the same as people who say letting your house cool off during the day doesn't save any energy because it takes a lot of fuel to bring it back up to temp.
Setbacks always save energy....how much for a water heater, we'll see or we need more info to calc it.
One issue with a w/h is letting the water cool too much cold create health problems.
cheers Bob
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It fires up at least three times during the night, for about ten minutes each time. I agree with your setback comment - we let our house cool all day then turn on the heat when we get home and save bit of $. As for insulating, it already has a pretty thick layer surrounding it. Not sure if more would help...
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n_o_a_h snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

That is to keep the water in the tank at contant temp. You may have to experiment little be setting the timer. Also it may be different in summer and winter. Or you can install a insulating jacket for the tank.
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