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Old 11-30-2022, 09:56 AM
 
570 posts, read 516,826 times
Reputation: 949

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Thanks to all for you replies to my questions. The tally so far on responses to the two questions I asked:

(1) Is it bad to use the breaker to turn an electric water heater on for one hour every three days? Is there a risk of wear and tear on the breaker switch?

--Two people say yes, one says no. Harry Chickpea (the "No" voter) gives the example of movie theatre breakers, but seems to say those are larger than home breakers. So does the type of breaker make a difference? He also says, "What we have in this disagreement is very simply the difference between empirical and theoretical knowledge that is largely based upon hearsay." Good point, and I'm interested in empirical knowledge, like industry standards and manufacturers' specifications. The reason I asked this question is that it seems to take some force to turn off the breaker, leading me to wonder whether doing so repeatedly could damage it.

(2) Are there timers that can be set to come on for one hour every three days, or do they have to come on at least once a day?

--I researched this further and found a GE timer with 7-day rather than just 24-hour settings.

Last edited by Last1Standing; 11-30-2022 at 10:13 AM..
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Old 11-30-2022, 10:23 AM
 
3,981 posts, read 6,394,688 times
Reputation: 6594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Last1Standing View Post
Thanks to all for you replies to my questions. The tally so far on responses to the two questions I asked:

(1) Is it bad to use the breaker to turn an electric water heater on for one hour every three days? Is there a risk of wear and tear on the breaker switch?

--Two people say yes, one says no. Harry Chickpea (the "No" voter) gives the example of movie theatre breakers, but seems to say those are larger than home breakers. So does the type of breaker make a difference? He also says, "What we have in this disagreement is very simply the difference between empirical and theoretical knowledge that is largely based upon hearsay." Good point, and I'm interested in empirical knowledge, like industry standards and manufacturers' specifications. The reason I asked this question is that it seems to take some force to turn off the breaker, leading me to wonder whether doing so repeatedly could damage it.

(2) Are there timers that can be set to come on for one hour every three days, or do they have to come on at least once a day?

--I researched this further and found a GE timer with 7-day rather than just 24-hour settings.
Yet you have failed to answer the most important question that would actually help us provide you the most useful feedback:

What is your primary goal/ for this effort?
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:35 PM
 
570 posts, read 516,826 times
Reputation: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunbather View Post
Yet you have failed to answer the most important question that would actually help us provide you the most useful feedback:

What is your primary goal/ for this effort?

To understand the expected longevity of a household breaker.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:40 PM
 
4,272 posts, read 2,221,815 times
Reputation: 12867
Quote:
Originally Posted by Last1Standing View Post
Thanks to all for you replies to my questions. The tally so far on responses to the two questions I asked:

(1) Is it bad to use the breaker to turn an electric water heater on for one hour every three days? Is there a risk of wear and tear on the breaker switch?

--Two people say yes, one says no. Harry Chickpea (the "No" voter) gives the example of movie theatre breakers, but seems to say those are larger than home breakers. So does the type of breaker make a difference? He also says, "What we have in this disagreement is very simply the difference between empirical and theoretical knowledge that is largely based upon hearsay." Good point, and I'm interested in empirical knowledge, like industry standards and manufacturers' specifications. The reason I asked this question is that it seems to take some force to turn off the breaker, leading me to wonder whether doing so repeatedly could damage it.

(2) Are there timers that can be set to come on for one hour every three days, or do they have to come on at least once a day?

--I researched this further and found a GE timer with 7-day rather than just 24-hour settings.
Tell me one thing: Where are you going to plug in or connect a "timer" to a water heater that is direct wired into your circuit breaker box?

Why not just use the temperature setting dial on the front of your heater? You can turn it up or down with just a twist of the dial... kind of like turning up or down a small space heater that you would use to heat a room.
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Old 11-30-2022, 02:42 PM
 
570 posts, read 516,826 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WRM20 View Post
If you really need a switch, put a wall switch in, rather than using the breaker, especially the AFCI breakers that are required these days that cost $40 each.

Does this look right? (From https://www.electricaltechnology.org...-switches.html)


Electric water heater breaker and timer-screenshot-308-.png



So the switch is wired to the water heater and to the breaker, correct?



The water heater is in the basement. Would it be possible to install a switch at the top of the basement stairs, similar to the switch for the furnace? Total distance to run the wires to the heater would be about 20 feet, and another 20 feet to the breaker. (I would not be doing this work myself.)
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Old 11-30-2022, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
41,223 posts, read 71,523,332 times
Reputation: 42835
Quote:
Originally Posted by Last1Standing View Post
Does this look right? (From https://www.electricaltechnology.org...-switches.html)


Attachment 240683



So the switch is wired to the water heater and to the breaker, correct?



The water heater is in the basement. Would it be possible to install a switch at the top of the basement stairs, similar to the switch for the furnace? Total distance to run the wires to the heater would be about 20 feet, and another 20 feet to the breaker. (I would not be doing this work myself.)


Your last line is the most important line in the thread, if it indicates you are hiring a licensed electrician to do the work.

I really dislike the photo and link and the SPST method.
A proper disconnect, let into the WH circuit near the water heater should be an easy task.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:24 PM
 
25,869 posts, read 16,919,007 times
Reputation: 9411
I turn mine off for 3 days a week.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:40 PM
 
570 posts, read 516,826 times
Reputation: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Your last line is the most important line in the thread, if it indicates you are hiring a licensed electrician to do the work.

I really dislike the photo and link and the SPST method.
A proper disconnect, let into the WH circuit near the water heater should be an easy task.

That's what I was thinking. I was wondering why a switch would need to be wired to the breaker. Wouldn't it just go to the water heater? I'm not an electrician. Just trying to understand my options before hiring an electrician. Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:41 PM
 
570 posts, read 516,826 times
Reputation: 949
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKJ1988 View Post
I turn mine off for 3 days a week.

How do you turn it off?
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Old 11-30-2022, 06:47 PM
 
10,164 posts, read 4,564,999 times
Reputation: 7350
I grew up in a home without water heater,just boil a large pot of water and mix it with cold water to take a bath.
For drinking,we use thermo flasks for hot water and empty Johnny Walker bottles for cold water.
To wash dishes,we boil a large pot of water
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