Did you know that an average home with an electric water heater uses approximately $60 a month just to power the heater alone? Not only do you pay for the water which sometimes can be expensive, but to heat the water is costing you $720 a year in power! I'm writing this article for people who are interested in cutting costs and want to save money on their power bill. You are also "being green" and conserving power. You will fatten your wallet. I have other articles for saving money on electricity such as using energy star appliances, but this article focuses on people with electric water heaters.
1. First you'll need to buy a water on demand heater. On eBay, there are vendors that sell these. I bought a smaller less powerful one, but installed water saving shower heads so the water flow in the shower is less so the water gets hotter. Not only does this save water, but the water flows at less gallons per minute thus letting the heater work better. The heater was around $180 and has worked now for 3 years saving me $50 a month!
2. For the heater install, you will need a larger electric wire than what was installed on your big "tank" water heater. Most of the smaller water on demand systems will need around a 60 amp wire. However, the specifications for the electricity will be provided by the heater instructions. You will also need a new breaker on your electric box.
If you are not familiar with electricity, an electrician can help you do this. Electricity is a very dangerous thing, and installing a new 60 amp breaker at 220v and wire is simple, but you have to know if your electric breaker box can handle it. An electrician can tell you if it can. Most boxes of 200 amps plus can handle this just fine. You must make sure to follow all codes for your area for grounding your heater.
3. You may also have to adjust a couple fittings for your plumbing lines. It's not always necessary, but more than likely an adjustment will have to be made. Plumbing is pretty simple and usually not very dangerous so you can save money if you are handy with tools. Be sure to ground your plumbing. If you are unfamiliar, call a plumber, it will be worth the savings in the long run.
4. Install the water on demand heater. Adjust the temperature of the temperature knob to your liking. Usually in the winter when the ambient temperature of water coming off the utility pipe is cold, I have to turn it up - and down in the summer because the water is warmer.
5. A hot water tank keeps water hot all day long thus always running a big heating element. Water on demand when used, uses far more power than a water heater however, once you shut off the hot water from the faucet, the power is cut to the water on demand system. This will cost you around $10 a month to have hot water (of course this varies. My home has 7 people and we take "semi-shorter" showers). 6. After a few months, the water heater will pay for itself. You'll wish you had done it sooner. Now enjoy the extra cash saved from your much lower electric bill! You will be amazed at how much lower your bill is. Hot water heaters & tanks often use 7000KWH a year!!! That's $60-70 a month on average! Your water on demand should use $10 or under..
Be careful with the power!
My disclaimer is that I am not responsible for any injuries. If you are not experienced or don't know what you are doing, my advice is get an electrician. Also be careful because a bad pipe can flood your home.
Here is a good video on how you can save money with water on demand heaters. It's from DADDY MORE BUCKS TV.