Hi Robert, I don’t think it matters too much to the heat transfer whether it contacts the inner walls of the tank or not. However, assuming no problems with the preceding a simple bob connected to the fill aparatus may solve the extra water to heat to problem straight away on the cheap and in theory reduce your current expenditures by a logical half or thereabouts in normal use scenarios. Would like to build hybrid system, maybe convection (thermo-siphoning similar to the one you built) but use a water heater as storage tank. It is a nice conservation feedback system. Why not just keep the temperature controller dial from the original electric stove such as from a small electric cooktops? However, they are no more efficient than the stove element I used. Assuming 100% efficiency, the energy required to heat 40 litres of water by 30°C is simply 4.186*40*30 = 5023.2 kJ. Lastly, you should post a warning or disconnect the gas lines completely. But so far, many thanks to you, I’ve enjoyed just that immensely, (having curtailed what I regard as a gas price fixing monopoly long ago). An electric one would cost me about $40 a month. I do have one question though- I am off grid solar, and I plan to combine my solar water panels with the house for hot water. Hi Rob, what about using a toaster oven element, along with it’s temperature control? Cut old waterlines and pull the water heater. I doubt it. The only possible benefit would be increased element lifetime since the element would operate at a lower temperature. The utility company says the cost of electricity is less than ten cents, how ever the true cost ( Total bill divided by number of hours consumed ) is above TWENTY CENTS. Laurie Mark. Heat guns are not designed for continuous operation and I would think that the lifetime will be short. This means the heating stove element heats the air first, than the metal and the water in a slow and inefficient heat transfer process… therefore, there will be significant heat losses from the tank to the exterior if it is not very well insulated (so your plugging feature at the end of the chimney tube has to be 100% sealed and of very good insulating thermal properties). I believe I emphasized the importance of that with sufficient warnings about the potential for explosion if the tank overheats and the T&P valve fails. I do not recommend putting the element in contact with the walls of the flue pipe though. You claim backwards compatible with gas as an advantage. The hot water tank conversion has brought our savings up to about $530 per year. My daughter can shower as long as she wants and recovery time is only a little longer than when it was gas. Just lately I have been able to get some better elements that I don’t need to join. That would be 50% efficient. I inspected it last year while checking on my sacrificial anode. The average power required in kW is simply that energy divided by the time (one day) in seconds or 5023.2/(24*60*60) = 0.058 kW. For a given power input, the stove element will just run hotter. Brian D Nelson. I edited the article to make that clearer. BDN. The only difference is that an element in air must heat to a higher temperature to transfer the same amount of heat as an immersion element. Electrical … This was fine until we had house guests so in anticipation I Bought 1.25 gpm shower heads and tried a 300 watt bulb. Actually, a “proper immersion heater” would not be any more efficient. Thanks Rob! At first glance you might think that this is just a waste of water rather than a waste of energy – it’s only cold water after all – but what it really means is that after any hot water use, 1.75 litres of hot water remains in our pipes and simply dissipates heat to the surroundings. The preheating tank is maintained at a constant temperature and dissipates heat just like any other hot water tank, reducing the efficiency of tankless systems. You can extract up to 1 full tank of hot water which will generally suffice for several showers each morning. With either method, there is simply nowhere else for the heat to go but into the tank. In theory, electric tankless water heaters approach 100% efficiency. Thanks for a fantastic and informative article. I have had to buy 2 bulbs during this time but it is a small price to pay. 24 hours later hot not just warm water for everyone to have a controlled shower. The main advantage of immersion heating elements is that they can be much smaller to transfer the same power without overheating and melting. The other could be turned on manually when needed (ex when you have house guests). “Even an insulated hot water pipe will easily dissipate all its heat to the surroundings in a matter of hours because its surface area to volume ratio is so high. You used wood as a cap the potential for the wires getting hot and catching the wood on fire is another concern. DIY that pays back dividends. I waited a few moments then noticed a little smoke then unplugged it and pulled it out. This “ridge” significantly decrease the diameter of the hole making it very difficult to reshape the coil for it to fit. Otherwise we do not really need much warm water. Modifications to the home’s piping are required, and a proper venting system will need to be installed as well. I unplugged the heating element about 8:30am yesterday, and about 2 hours later, I went in the kitchen and was running the hot water and almost scalded my hands. Ads by Google Much thanks — jack. The wattage is a bit higher (around 750W) for slightly faster recovery time. Hopefully the element won’t run too hot. . I’m hoping this will have same effect as pilot light warming during summer months. Every day I have a nice hot shower with water that is being heated only by the pilot flame!! Propane water heaters … Converting from electric to gas heat with a 97% Efficient Gas Furnace + a gas water heater is nearly 2/3 less than with an electric furnace & water heater. Waterheatertimer.org is a great resource on everything to do with water heaters. High risk groups are the elderly, smokers, the immuno-compromised and those with chronic respiratory illnesses. I am confident it would work and would result in a much lower element temperature as you say. My tank still dissipates heat to it’s surroundings whenever the inside water temperature is higher than the outside air temperature. My installation is now 7 years and still going strong on the original element and water tank. There are several other things I’m planning to do as priorities and time permit: On the subject of reducing total amount of water heated by replacing oyur standard tank with two smaller tanks, it might be fairly feasible to install essentially something similiar to the little bob that hands in a toilet. The best solution is to use a programmable thermostat designed for baseboard heaters. Before install electric water heater to closet, you have to install any fittings to hook waterlines to the heater. Just turned it on about an hour ago but already have got water in my sinks going to let it sit awhile longer for showers. Cover the thermal fuse with heat shrink to prevent any danger of shorting out the leads and attach it adjacent to the outside of the hot water tank (under the existing tank insulation). Hi Robert. (perhaps the link to pictures negated my sumbission so I will refrain from doing that this time.) So instead of a stove element I said I would use a light bulb, after all its merely an oversized easy bake oven right? Reading on this site has been an absolute delight, I can’t tell you how much of a breath of fresh crisp mountain air it has been. Thanks again! 1) Air is an insulation medium. It should not matter if it lightly contacts the wall (ie you don’t need to ensure there is an air gap all the way around). All on 110 volts, with about 20 mins. First, if the timer beaks or if someone were to plug the element in without a timer, it will run continuously and eventually, it could heat the water tank to boiling temperatures which could cause scalding and in the worst case, could increase the tank pressure to the point of explosion. I turned The electric element in this conversion actually runs much cooler than its design temperature since it is operating at half its design voltage (240V element running on 120V). Burner comes right out – 3 nuts (2 small, 1 larger gas lines) Push it back into the tank to get the lines clear Nothing appeared burned when I pulled out the coil. (what I had) From that spec, one could determine the baseline power consumption and cost that the tank will have just to maintain a certain temperature above ambient, assuming no water consumption. Read the information below to know tips to convert gas water heater into electric water heater. If so, this technique should work just as well. If you can restrict your hot water use to a single time of day and your hot water use follows a reasonably regular pattern then you don’t need a thermostat. I wouldn’t advise mounting an element by drilling through the side of a pressure vessel like a hot water tank. Very interesting. If I were consuming water at that rate, my efficiency would be much higher. Attempting to duplicate the modifications described here could result in injury and/or death and/or significant damage to your home. I was going to get it but my cheapness took over. Well, I just finished shaping my coil and wiring up my device only to find out that there is a “ridge” at the top of the tube which holds the length of metal in the tube. Ideally, it should slide in freely, making only light contact with the walls of the tube. parallel? 8 hours later we had 40 gallons of reasonably warm water. Before soldering, pass the ends of the electrical cord through a drilled hole in a metal cap. Hi Gary, Disconnect and remove your old gas water heater. I used solid copper 600 volt insulated wire to connect at the terminals and wrapped with layered electrical tape. Because my cap is staying cool to the touch and it’s been about an hour. For example is about power outage. 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