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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    2

    Lightbulb Switched Water Heaters in Series

    My church recently allowed me to replace a failed 30gal. natural gas water heater with a 10gal. 110v (very easy install) electric water heater. The reasoning was that since no one was there 95% of the time, why heat a large amount of water for nothing? We're really enjoying the reduction in energy costs, but now when we have a potluck lunch ten gallons almost, but doesn't quite cut it for washing dishes, hands and babies. I'm considering installing another 10gal. 110v water heater in series ahead of the earlier one with a switch to turn on only when the added capacity is needed. The switch eliminates unnecessary energy use, and an in-series installation eliminates concerns about stagnation. Does this sound like a workable solution to our capacity problem or am I missing something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    South*East
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    1,168

    Default Re: Switched Water Heaters in Series

    If you check prices I think you will find the ten gallon heater to cost more then a 30 gallon heater. It's hind sight but you would be better off with one 30 gallon.

    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    5,084

    Default Re: Switched Water Heaters in Series

    In my opinion, a new 30 gallon gas WH would have been a better replacement for the old unit. Even though it costs more than a 10 gallon electric WH, it produces more hot water for less. And when not in use it can be turned down to 'vacation' mode, leaving just the pilot on.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    2

    Default Re: Switched Water Heaters in Series

    Trouble is, I'm not always there when more capacity is needed so I have to make this thing as no-brainer as possible. Flipping one standard wall switch (maybe with an indicator light) to add capacity just feels like the thing to do. I'm more concerned with whether there is some plumbing or safety snag to the arrangement I'm not thinking of, such as.....Do heating elements corrode quicker with less use? Do temperature sensors go bad because they aren't heated and cooled frequently? Will sediment accumulate faster in the first tank because it's cool most of time? Things like that. Eliminating the natural gas also eliminates potential leaks and the need to relight a pilot, which can be a challenge sometimes for the best of us. Remember, this will be in a building with all different levels of expertise touching it - from experts to elderly ladies who can barely change a bulb. (Don't get me started on adjusting the furnace thermostat. "It's too hot." "It's too cold." Ar-r-rgh! But I love 'em all.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Switched Water Heaters in Series

    I don't disagree with switching from gas to electric. I just think you would have been better off to use one thirty gallon heater. The difference in running a 30 or 10 gallon heater will not make a noticeable in your electric bill.

    John

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