Country Lore: How We Cut Our Water Heater Cost

This family lowered their water heater cost by installing an on/off switch and timer on their electric water heater.

| June/July 2010

  • water heater cost
    Adding a simple on/off switch to their electric water heater saved water heater costs.
    PHOTO: EUTOCH/FOTOLIA

  • water heater cost

We significantly reduced our water heater cost with our electric water heater by installing a simple on-off switch on the water heater’s electric circuit, so we can turn off our water heater during the middle of the day and when we go to bed, saving the energy that would be used to heat water we’re not using.

If you install a timer on the switch, you can have it turn on 30 to 45 minutes before your morning showers. Otherwise, plan to wait about a half hour for the water to heat up, especially if more than one person will need a shower.

Camille Landry
Edmond, Oklahoma


Click to learn more about water-heater energy savings from the U.S. Department of Energy website. And watch for the Ask Our Experts article on water heaters and peak usage times in the August/September 2010 issue. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS



John_183
5/21/2010 12:05:07 PM

I would advise anyone considering this tip to make certain that the switch they are considering be rated at a greater amperage capacity than the water heater it is going to control. Most water heaters require at minimum a 30A 220VAC circuit which is far more power than an ordinary light switch can handle. A regular switch used in this capacity would be both a building code violation and a fire hazard.







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