Will this heat faster - Water Heater Element

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-28-06, 11:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 180
Will this heat faster - Water Heater Element

I have a problem running low on hot water after 3 people shower in a row at our house. I set the element thermostats to about 135 and it helped (though hot) but it dosent seem like the water heater "reheats" very quickly. It is only 1 1/2 years old (A.D. Smith dual 4500 watt elements 50 gallon).....

Any way, I guy working at Lowes told me to check my elements and see if they are the "single U shaped element" and if so install this new style "double U shaped element" (See my pic 8 on page 2 in link below)

I'd hate to drain the tank and pull the element if this is bulls%#t

Any input as always is appreciated.
Thanks,FF

http://mysite.verizon.net/rmacfarland/index.html
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-28-06, 11:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,219
If the two elements are of the same wattage, then they will heat the water at essentially the same rate.

If the new element has a higher wattage, then it would heat the water faster, however it is unlikely that you can safely install a higher wattage heating element.

-Jon
 
  #3  
Old 01-29-06, 12:25 AM
bolide's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 1,909
Your water heater almost certainly is not rated for the higher wattage.
For one thing, it probably has #14 wire and the 5500W elements need #12 (and really ought to have #10!).

I think the 5500W are no longer sold. I haven't seen them in a long time.
They had a wavy shape to get the extra length into the same insertion distance.


That new style could heat a little faster or more efficiently.
But same wattage (4500) will be about the same speed.


Next point: you could drain down just far enough to swap the top element.
It's the one that is used while the water is running.
The bottom one doesn't turn on until the top one is hot enough and shuts off.

If that makes some improvement, you could consider changing the bottom element.
Save any that you remove to be used as emergency spares.

If they have a lot of scale buildup, you might want to clean them every few years anyway.


Did you set the temperature the same on both elements?


Install a lower flow shower head.
A 50G tank lasts maybe 22 minutes at 2.8 GPM, but more like 44 minutes at 1.8 GPM.



link to page 2
 
  #4  
Old 01-29-06, 06:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Virginia
Posts: 180
The "new" element is also 4500 watt. I guess I bought into the idea as there would be more heated contact area in the water with this style element.

Good point about the wire gauge and element wattage.

Yes. I set both thermostats to the same setting.

I am going to drain down and take a look at the upper element.

I will also take a look at the 1.8 GPM shower heads. Any recommendations?
I travel a lot for work and have noticed that some hotels have these shower heads that almost seem to output a sort of very heavy water mist but I have never seen these in stores.... they were usually pretty small as shower heads go... ever seen those?

Thanks for the advice.
FF
 
  #5  
Old 01-29-06, 07:23 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
If you have ever had a "drain down" in your water heater for any reason, the top element is quite often exposed to air and burns out. Before you pull the element, turn off the power, remove the conductors from the screws on both the elements and test to see if there is resistance. A blown element will reflect an open circuit. It just sounds to me like one of your elements is burned out. Turning the thermostats up to 135 degrees is dangerous as it can scald, especially if your shower valves don't have anti scald capabilities.
 
  #6  
Old 01-29-06, 10:17 AM
bolide's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 1,909
Originally Posted by FairwayFatty
The "new" element is also 4500 watt. I guess I bought into the idea as there would be more heated contact area in the water with this style element.
I'm sure that is the idea. It will help even more as scale builds up.



> I will also take a look at the 1.8 GPM shower heads. Any recommendations?
Sorry, I don't.
I like the big heads a little better than than the tiny heads.
I went through quite a few before finding one about 7 years ago that I liked.
I think it is largely a matter of personal preference.


> ever seen those?
I don't know whether I've seen exactly that.
My Teledyne WaterPik can make a heavy mist.
Hot water feels almost too cool on that setting.
 
  #7  
Old 01-29-06, 10:29 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: CA
Posts: 2,041
The elements with double tubes are called "low watt density". They will have a longer life expectancy since each square inch of surface area is much less hot than each square inch of surface area in a "high watt density" element. They will NOT heat water any faster since there is still only 4500 watts of power available total.

Electric water heaters do not have fast recovery. Any water heater has a delivery available of 70% of gallon capacity. A 50 gallon tank can deliver 35 gallons of water hot enough for a shower. Obvioulsy raising the temp setting can affect this, but you can only safely go so hot. At 2 GPM, you get about 14 minutes of shower. If you all are used to hollywood showers, this is not going to work.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes