I recently had to replace a large 85 gallon electric water heater. The orginal one, circa 1982 was being used on an off peak electric meter. The lower element was wired to the off peak circuit, activated from 11:00 PM to 6:00 AM by the meter. The top element cycled as usual during the day.
When I got a replacement 85 gallon heater, I was unable to wire the elements separately.
The original heater had four wires, two for each element, coming to the top junction plate. The new heater had only 2 wires going to the upper thermostat, which, of course, acts as the primarly switching device for both upper/lower elements.
Another pair of wires could not be fished to the bottom element due to the foam in place insulation between the tank and the metal jacket of the new heater.
After checking with an electrician friend of mine, he sez that they no longer make heaters like my old unit.Thus I had to wire the new unit sans the off peak feature.
Is my electrician friend correct? OR are new water heaters available that allow the elements to be wired separately????