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Mario
Mario, Master Plumber
Category: Plumbing
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Experience:  Master Plumber, Fire Sprinkler, and Jobbing Spec.
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I have a Dual Element Electric Water Heater. Is there any disadvantage

Customer Question

I have a Dual Element Electric Water Heater. Is there any disadvantage to setting the lower element temperature to the lowest setting? I do not use much water, so I wonder if I need the bottom half heated.
I understand that the top element heats the top 1/3 to 1/2 & the bottom heats the rest. Can I set the top element temperature higher & set the bottom to the lowest setting to save energy?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mario replied 5 years ago.
hi i need more info what size water heater do you have
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Dual Element Electric water heater - there any disadvantage to setting the lower element temperature to the lowest setting?

 

I emailed to Rheem.com (Richmond Brand)

I have a 58 gallon Dual Element Electric water heater that I bought at the end of 2005. It was made by Richmond and I have a question about it. I do not use much water and I want to save energy without installing a smaller water heater. I adjusted the upper element to provide water at the temperature that suits my needs. I have the bottom element at the lowest setting so that the water on the bottom of the tank is not being heated.

 

Is there any disadvantage to setting the lower element temperature to the lowest setting? I do not use much water, so I wonder if I need the bottom half heated.

 

I understand that the top element heats the top 1/3 to 1/2 & the bottom heats the rest. Can I set the top element temperature higher & set the bottom to the lowest setting to save energy?

Expert:  Mario replied 5 years ago.

ok lets cover the basics

 

heat rises ( i am not trying to be funny just my way of explaining )

with the lower element lower then the top you would lose a larg amount of recovery

 

a water heater has a tube that goes to the bottem of the heatet ( dip tube) when you turn on the hot water faucet you are forcing cold water to the bottem pushing the hot water out with the bottom element lower then the top you will push out the hot water first sending the warm water out next and then it will switch to cold while electric is not cheep and we are all doing our part to go ( green ) and save energy lowering the stats will causs you more discomfert then you may want

 

another alternitive would be to wrap the heater is a heater blanket

get a enegery star rated water heater

install flow ristrictors at the faucets

take shorter showers

use a dish washer ( i personely think hand wash is mor hygenic )

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

Thanks for the answer Mario but I'm still looking for any disadvantage to setting the lower element temperature to the lowest setting. As I wrote in my 2nd post, "I have already adjusted the upper element to provide water at the temperature that suits my needs. I have the bottom element at the lowest setting possible, so that the water on the bottom of the tank is not being heated." this temperature and quantity of hot water IS perfect for my modest needs.

 

My open question is still, "Is there any disadvantage to setting the lower element temperature to the lowest setting?"

 

I saw a manufacturer's service manual for a different brand of water heater that said, "Both elements must be set to the same temperature". Is this true for all Dual Element Electric water heaters? And if so, why must they be set to the same temperature?

Thanks, Mic

Expert:  Mario replied 5 years ago.

i am sorry

 

no

in fact it is cheeper to opperate providing you are getting the amount of hot water you desier all you did was cut your hot water supply in half

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

My favorate answer is this one,

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/?qid=20090106231313AA5TApW

Tertia from the UK suggested that I put a timer on the water heater and use the power in the off peak (cheapest) time of day.

Expert:  Mario replied 5 years ago.

you can do that but whay dont you just get a smaller water heater i say 6 gal point of use will do fine and save a bundel. just kidding

 

 

if you are looking for big savings rather then put in a timer ( it will cause you trouble)

just put in a electric tankless water heater and save even more

 

http://www.e-tankless.com/

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Why will a timer cause me trouble? Also, it looks like a timer will cost under $35.

 

Thanks.

Expert:  Mario replied 5 years ago.
in my opinion its just another electric component you have to worry about you can put on it wont hurt but you wont have hot water when it is off ( just saying say its off and you need/want a shower you have to wait i dont know your need for hot water or hygene needs )

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