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Author Topic: Water heater control  (Read 11000 times)

aspid

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Water heater control
« on: November 25, 2006, 12:58:20 PM »

Hi all, I have this water heater that I want to control but I'm concerned about which module should I use.
The water heater says it's 220v 12000w 50amp and as far as I know the heaviest duty module around is a 20amp so I don't know if I will be able to control the water heater by using x10 or I would have to buy a normal timer.

Thanks.
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Brian H

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 03:25:46 PM »

ELK makes a module ELK9100 that is 30 Amps, but sounds like you need even a larger one. http://www.elkproducts.com/
One way maybe an X10 module controlling a heavy duty contactor in an electrical enclosure.
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Oldtimer

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 04:37:08 PM »

Have you looked at the thermostat circuit in your water heater.  In the old days when I was more up to date with this sort of thing the thermostats did not always switch the load directly but used an intermediate relay.  If that is true in your case then you only need to turn off the thermostat circuit not the heating coils.  That would probably only involve switching a few watts.  Of course if the heater is still in warranty then cutting into that circuit could be an issue.
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 08:53:05 PM »


In the old days when I was more up to date with this sort of thing the thermostats did not always switch the load directly but used an intermediate relay.

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FromDimension12

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2006, 09:26:38 PM »

As Brian appropriately points out, a good approach for X10 control of water heaters is to use a suitably high current contactor, controlled by a wire-in appliance module, all tucked into a suitable electrical enclosure. The contactor would be a two pole device with a 120 VAC coil. For the wire-in appliance module, see X10 Pro or (if you are a qualified device modifier) you could convert a standard AM486 into a wire-in configuration.

http://www.idobartana.com/hakb/index.htm offers a wealth of module modification procedures.

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« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 03:49:21 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2006, 11:21:49 PM »


As Brian appropriately points out, a good approach for X10 control of water heaters is to use a suitably high current contactor, controlled by a wire-in appliance module, all tucked into a suitable electrical enclosure...

And, as Oldtimer succinctly pointed out, that " additional expense " may not be necessary...
;)
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Brian H

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 11:48:37 AM »

Oldtimers break the Thermostat wire is also a good way to go. As long as it isn't also switching the main current or power.
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dave w

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2006, 01:24:17 PM »

FWIW
In the past 20 years, every water heater I have seen at Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, Billy Bob's Plumbing, etc has used 220V high current thermostats.
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lance96816

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2008, 04:37:27 PM »

Newbie here...
 Also former Radio Shack Employee...

  Excuse me for bumping an old post, but I felt this is where I can get the most feedback and help.

 I've done this to my Stereo, and want to see if I can do this to my Water heater.
 I would like to be able turn on my water heater when I turn on my bathroom light.
 OK I can see I need the 3rd party, EZSwitch30 30A INSTEON X10 http://www.smarthome.com/_/SimpleHomeNet/_/1Zr/nav.aspx?Ntt=220 Controller.
 But I have more than one Bathroom.
 I don't need all the bathrooms lighting up when I turn on one bathroom. Any suggestions besides getting a controller for each Bathroom and hooking them up in parallel?
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Walt2

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2008, 05:04:40 PM »

As Brian appropriately points out, a good approach for X10 control of water heaters is to use a suitably high current contactor, controlled by a wire-in appliance module, all tucked into a suitable electrical enclosure. The contactor would be a two pole device with a 120 VAC coil.

Yep, that is what I did, and it worked very well.  ;)

The only difference, is that I ran a 120v power cord out of the metal enclosure which contained the contactor (what many people would call a relay).  I plugged that power cord into a regular ol' appliance module, and plugged the appliance module into a regular wall outlet.

When I was shopping for a contactor, I found many of them have an optional metal enclosure available, and that's what I got.
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lance96816

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2008, 06:27:50 PM »

Okay...
 I'm Visualising this in my head...
 I see like a metal panel box with a standard AC Cord running out plugging int a standard Appliance Module.
 I may be able to locate the relays from Potter & Bloomfield (unless you got better ones.)
 But I still can't see the coding required so that all my Bathroom lights turn on when I turn on one bathroom light.

So I'm still seeing the need to get multiple Controllers in parallel.
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Knightrider

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2008, 06:50:51 PM »

Not quite sure why you'd want to turn on the old water tank when you turn on the lights. Most storage tanks take an hour or so to heat up the water.  Hate to have to wait that long for a hot shower when i walk into the bathroom and turn on the lights.

If you are looking to save energy, you might want to look at tankless water heaters as an option. The elements kick on when a drop in pressure is detected on the hot water side.  The only drawback of such a setup is that they require more amperage (mine is 54 amps) and the temperature increase of the water is limited (the instructions that came with mine suggest 2 heaters in series).  In our home, we don't mind that the water isn't scalding hot compared to the fact that the old water tank isn't running 24/7.

Just my $.02
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lance96816

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2008, 07:58:15 PM »

Yeah you're right on that warm up time.
 As far we have a Water heater timer hooked up to the water heater with the trips set to turn off every 2 hours.
 Being a dual element heater it really doesn't take that long to get hot water, the water temp useally has residual heat from the last time it was used.
 I just saw something else on the board...  (Light bulb lighting up)

 Could I use a motion sensor in each bathroom, and kitchen. to activate an appliance module, that would inturn activate those relays?
 2nd question... Where can I get those relays and for how much? Home Depot and Lowes don't have them. And neither do the Electrical supply houses around here.
 
 Aloha!
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lance96816

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Re: Water heater control
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 01:46:05 PM »

 ???
Help?
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