There are a multitude of reasons why homeowners consider installing an electric water heater timer on their water heating systems.

First, if you have an ‘energy inefficient’ model of an electric water heater, you definitely should think about getting this type of timer to save on utility bills.

Second, using less energy to heat up your home’s water supply is a way for you to do your share in helping save the environment.

Third, there are plenty of DIY electric water heater timer kits that you can assemble, or you can even purchase a ready-to-go model.

How Water Heater Timers Work

As the name implies, an electric water heater timer is a device which provides automatic control over electric water heating systems.

No matter which model or brand you choose today, their general functionalities and the way that they work are mostly the same. This type of timer can be programmed to turn a water heater on or off, based on the times set by the homeowner.

For example, you can set the timer during the hours in the morning that you usually take a shower for work. The time that it will be turned off is when you finally leave the house.

As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why homeowners opt to install water heater timers in their homes is to save on electricity. This is done by reducing the energy used during the on/off cycling that a water heater without a timer normally does.

So who are the homeowners who will benefit from having an electric water heater timer?

If your water heating equipment is less than ten years old, you may not necessarily need this type of timer. On the other hand, newer models which come with a timer will be more eco-friendly because less heat is being lost to the atmosphere, and they will provide you with greater energy savings.

According to the Energy Program of the Washington State University, an electric water heater timer can save you up to 36 kilowatt-hours of power on a yearly basis.

DIY Installation of Electric Water Heater Timers

Now, take a look at the following steps if you wish to install a timer for your heater by yourself:

1. Turn off the breakers which supply power to the water heater.

2. Remove the timer from the casing and decide where you will mount the timer – it should be near the water heater.

3. Drill holes to secure the casing to the wall with the screws provided with the timer kit.

4. Using a tester, make sure that there is no power being supplied to the water heater. Then, remove the main power cable from the heater and make the wire go through the casing of the timer.

5. Run a new cable from the timer to the water heater and connect them.

6. After making sure that all wires are connected, set the timer and turn the power back on.

There are water heater timer kits which come complete with a circuit diagram and instructions which you should closely follow if you are installing the timer yourself.

Recommended Electric Water Heater Timers

If you’re looking to buy a timer online or in a retail store, try and find one of the following models:

Intermatic WH40
The Intermatic timer allows you to save up to 26% off of your utility bills. Also known as the “Little Grey Box”, this is an easy-to-use and install water heater timer which has a steel case and a convenient override switch.

You can set the timer in the mornings and evenings when you are at home to enjoy all the hot water that you need – without having to waste electricity.

GE 24-Hour Mechanical Time Switch, 48 Settings
The GET 24-hour mechanical time switch can also be used for spas, pools and fountains instead of simply your electric water heating system. It has a heavy-duty motor, a tamper-proof enclosure and a simple wiring diagram that you can follow for easy installation. It can also accommodate up to 48 on and off settings.

Whether you choose to install the electric water heater timer in a DIY fashion or if you prefer to buy one of the ready-made timers, what’s important is that you are getting the energy savings that this nifty little device provides – while enjoying all the hot water that you need at the same time.

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2 Responses to “Electric Water Heater Timer – Installation And Best Models”

  1. Apparently the new GE Hybrid water heater has a real service problem.
    I was told by the GE service center supervisor, that in order for the high efficiency portion of the heater to be serviced, the technician needs get behind the water heater. Almost impossible, when the heater is installed in a closet or even up against a wall. Note neither the marketing information or the installation instructions documented this. I was told that even though the heater is still under the GE warranty, I would have to pay a plumber to uninstall the heater and put it in the middle of the room in order for the technician to have full access to the rear of the unit, before they would honor the warranty. After the repair pay the plumber for another visit to reinstall the heater. Loosing 4-5 days of hot water in my house. I paid $1,730.92 for this “high efficiency” heater. When a normal heater would have cost around $450 and now the high efficiency portion will not work unless I pay an additional unknown hundreds of dollars for two plumber visits. What good is the GE warranty, plus I wasted $1,280.92.

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