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Thread: Electric Water Heater Timer

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    Default Electric Water Heater Timer

    I have a timer that the electric water heater wiring runs through. It is so that I can take advantage of off-peak rates. I am a bit confused because if I use hot water the tank still turns on, when it is supposed to be off. It is a gray-box timer. Why is the heater turning on? I have adjusted the knobs so that it comes on between 1AM and 7AM

    TIA,
    Molo
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  2. #2

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    It's just a mechanical timer so you should be able to rotate the dial and clearly see/feel the it switching on/off.

    Is the time of day set correctly? Is is wired correctly? Are the time pins tight? Have you been drinking?

    The contacts COULD be welded shut due to a previous fault. You should be able to see them. Turn the poewr off and take off the plastic cover and have a look.

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member BrianJohn's Avatar
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    Default

    just a mechanical timer
    NOT NECESSARILY

    1. Did it ever work?
    2. Could be wired improperly.
    3. Broken

  4. #4
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    Default

    There is a by pass switch on the bottom of some of them that will leave it on all the time or have the timer work.

    Or like BrianJohn said it may be broken the chaance of it being wired wrong is slight but possible.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Some of those lower-rate timer systems allow the upper element to heat at any time but allow the lower unit to operate only during the off-peak hours.

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member molo's Avatar
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    I'll call Intermatic, and get back with info.
    "Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
    Gore Vidal.

  7. #7

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    How do you know that the WH is turning on? Are you testing for current at the terminals? I assume you know that there will be some residual hot water in the tank when the power is shut off. I have an Intermatic timer and it turns off all power to top and bottom elements. In our area, off peak power is 1/3 the cost of peak power.

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member Patti Slane's Avatar
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    Default MOLO -are you still there? U have same hot water heater timer i do, same issue, help?

    Did you ever get your answer? I have same timer and it does things i don't want (turns fans on in rooms i don't use, run out of hot water when i don't want to, etc.) think it's a great thing but don't know how to set it for my needs. thanks Molo

  9. #9
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the instruction sheet for the wh40;

    http://www.intermatic.com/~/media/fi...20english.ashx

    Have a Great day.

    DonL
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  10. #10
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    Here is a link for a German made timer that will do EVERYTHING better than the others on the market. Those old, good Intermatic steel dial jobs are now Chinese junk.

    http://www.1000bulbs.com/product/3380/ELEC-GM40.html

    You can find these for about 55$ if you try harder.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member Patti Slane's Avatar
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    Default DonL you're my hero!

    Oh thank U, thank U, thank U!

    Quote: Forgiveness is giving up the hope that anything in the past could have been any different.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Here is a link to the instruction sheet for the wh40;

    http://www.intermatic.com/~/media/fi...20english.ashx

    Have a Great day.

    DonL

  12. #12
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That timer is like a Model T, there is NOTHING complicated about it and if it is wired correctly it is almost impossible for it to NOT work properly. Your diagnosis may be incorrect, especially since we do NOT know how you are determining that the heater is "still working". IF the lower element only operates during off peak hours, then that is a function of the power company, and they have a separate meter for the lower elements. The heater should also be special ordered so it can be wired for "simultaneous" operation, since the lower element is a completely separate system.
    Last edited by hj; 05-18-2011 at 08:05 AM.

  13. #13
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Seems to me that unless you are truly knowledgeable and have the proper test equipment (and know how to use it) you would be very foolish to mess with electrical devices of any kind. Screw up plumbing and you may have a leak, backed up drain, or other non fatal problems, but screw up electricity, and you and your family can end up dead.

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member Patti Slane's Avatar
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    Default Model T or 1913 Maxwell?

    The only complicated thing is the instructions written inside the timer are too small for this young lady to read. I am having no other problems with anything other than how the previous owner set the timer to save energy. Thank you for the information that the power company has control over off peak use. My father has a 1913 Maxwell, much better and rarer than the Model T - he took it apart to the frame and reassembled to original! We're pretty savvy.

    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    That timer is like a Model T, there is NOTHING complicated about it and if it is wired correctly it is almost impossible for it to NOT work properly. Your diagnosis may be incorrect, especially since we do NOT know how you are determining that the heater is "still working". IF the lower element only operates during off peak hours, then that is a function of the power company, and they have a separate meter for the lower elements. The heater should also be special ordered so it can be wired for "simultaneous" operation, since the lower element is a completely separate system.
    Last edited by Patti Slane; 05-19-2011 at 10:51 AM. Reason: title - Maxwell reference explanation

  15. #15
    DIY Junior Member Patti Slane's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the warning Gary - I highly respect electricity! All's well - just need to set the timer and contact my power company for off peak usage.

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