29 July 2015

Hot Water is over rated!

The SandCastle has been without hot water for a few days now.

Now if there is a "good" time to lose hot water, it's in the desert in the middle of summer.  The water sitting in the heater absorbs heat from the surrounding air.  My morning shower wasn't exactly "cold", but just "cool", probably about 95F.

Fortunately the problem wasn't the heater itself, but rather the timer that controls the heater.  One of these:
Lifted from the Intermatic website, but I don't think they'll mind
We only need hot water a couple times a day:  Morning showers & evening cleaning.  Most of the rest of the time it sits there and wastes energy keeping water hot that won't be needed for hours.  It turns on our water heater for only a couple hours a day, presumably saving us tons of money.  And of something special comes up,  Hit the square button to manually activate.

This little guy works like a sprinkler or pool pump timer.  It even allows different programming for the weekends.

We are fortunate it was only the timer and not the heater for a couple reasons.  First the timer is a lot cheaper than the heater and it's also very easy to bypass.

So we have a new timer on order and this one is bypassed in the meantime until the new one arrives.

The Amazon reviews have lots of reports of not lasting very long.  Our results are mixed.  This will be our third unit.  The first lasted 2 months and was returned under warranty.  The 2nd, the one that just failed lasted 13 years.   I know this because of the note I added at the time "Installed 10 July 2002".

#include [std.disclaimer]:  No compensation has been provided or promised for this post.  We bought all three units at retail with our own money.  I am all for investing in technology that will save me money in the long run.  YMMV.

Update 8/10/2015 (Head hung low) I have the following prominently displayed on my toolbox "Check the fuse FIRST, dummy!".  It's there because of a circuit failure in a first car that led to a lengthy debugging sessions which ended up with... a blown fuse. :-(  I felt so stupid... obviously this is the first thing I should have checked.

Well now I need to add a 2nd line: "Hit the Reset!"

We replaced the battery, but the clock wouldn't reset and the relays wouldn't operate manually,  so we ordered a replacement.

Rereading the installation instructions getting ready for the replacement I noticed the reset button.  So I went out to the installed unit and viola'  It worked!  Clock and programs are reset and manual works too.

So this brandy new unit is going on the shelf for as soon as we try to return or otherwise dispose of it, the old one will go Tango Uniform.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

I never did get one that lasted more than a couple of months. I gave up on them... sigh