Water Heater Problem


Hi
We run our hot water heater on Economy 7 (cheap overnight electricity in uk) and the last heater element I installed lasted just a couple of months. The one before that lasted less than 12 months and on inspection the guy in the shop thought it was a few years old due to all the scale.
Any thought?
Thanks
Dave
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Hi Dave.
Replacing the element with a stainless steel one instead of copper should lengthen greatly the time between changing.
It seems also that you are in a hard water area and should consider some kind of scale control gadget or water softener.
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On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 13:15:17 +0100, "John G"

Hi John
I have been told to use an incalloy element...is that the same as a stainless steel one? What scale control or water softener would to suggest and how would it work?
Thanks
Dave
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Where in the UK do you live?
If it is scaling up, then consider a water softener. It's not just your immersion that's being affected. You're probably scaling up all your kitchen appliances and pipework, too. The ongoing costs of the softener salt is easily offset by the savings in detergents before you even consider the damage that the soft water is doing to your appliances.
Also, what temperature is the immersion set to? Scaling gets worse with temperature, which is why kettles are particularly affected by it. Turning your immersion stat down to 55C or thereabouts may reduce the problem, particularly if it was quite high (i.e. 70+C).
Christian.
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On Tue, 19 Apr 2005 09:53:21 +0100, "Christian McArdle"

Hi Christian
I live in Ellesmere Port on the Wirral; when speaking to guys at our local plumbing specialist they wondered if I lived in Elton (very close to EP and apparently prone very much to this problem). Can you tell me more about softener salt and its method of use?
Thanks
Dave
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Though it sounds like a straight hard water problem but there is another possibility.
If for some reason the heating element were allowed to operate partially submerged in the water, the water would boil off its surface causing premature mineral build up and excessive heating leading to premature failure. Not knowing what kind of heater you have or any installation details I could only guess as to why.
If you do not have evidence of hard water mineral build up elsewhere like on your faucet spout or inside the tea kettle or inside the toilet tank then your heater may be doing something like the above description to concentrate the minerals onto the heater element. Anywhere water is regularly left to evaporate should leave mineral deposits if the problem is as significant as your heater problem indicates. You should also be able to get your water quality tested to know exactly what is in it
Search on "water softner" and choose a website that allows you to download manuals and other literature to learn more about the cost and maintenance involved in such a system. It is a significant appliance and requires regular monitoring and maintenance.
wrote:

kitchen
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With the type of water heater usually used in the UK, it is close to impossible for the heating element to emerge from the water.

As well as proper "ion-exchange" water softeners, there is a much cheaper option. It is most definitely second best, but may help in the specific case. They work by having a phosphate dosing capsule plumbed into the water line (after any drinking water spurs have been taken off). They don't actually soften the water, so you still need loads more detergents and soaps. However, they have cheaper running costs, and MUCH cheaper purchase costs and should prolong the life of heating elements.
The other alternatives are magnetic and electronic water conditioners. These require even less money, but rely entirely on faith and gullibility, as they are simply bolt on pieces of plastic (sometimes with an LED to make it look like they do something) sold by charlatans at a large mark up.
Christian.
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Water softeners here (UK) are made by Tapworks, Waterside/Aquadial among others and are not cheap 6-800. Plumb Center or PTS or whoever you like sell them. Not worth the bother for the odd immersion heater even though it will be clogging your pipes a bit. Anyhow, the water in the Wirral is not excessively hard. Only ever come across them in "posh" houses and even at that not very often. Unless you are feeling a bit flush with the cash, put in an alloy or even better, titanium immersion (around 70 for a 14" one). That should last a while. Tam

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Ok....what's a Whirall ? It sounds exciting.
wrote:> I live in Ellesmere Port on the Wirral; when speaking to guys at our

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