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Automating Gas Water Heater--How To

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    Automating Gas Water Heater--How To

    I'm not sure how many people are interested in doing this or already have this capability via some of the newer heaters like Rheem that have this as optional functionality, but if you're like and have a gas water heater without this capability, I've found a solution!

    There is a company called American Pacific that sells a device which clamps on the temperature control of your water heater. You can use a basic timer (which it comes with) or a zwave lamp module to control when the device turns on/off. When the device is on, it turns your gas dial to the setting which corresponds to 130 degrees. They include directions on how to modify the switch position if you don't like the default setting of 130 degrees. When the device is off, it turns the dial to the low/vacation position. Here's a picture of mine installed on my water heater with a z-wave lamp module plugged in.

    Click image for larger version

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    It takes about 30 seconds to clamp it in place. I've programmed a bunch of events to turn it on/off at certain times of the day and to turn it off when the house is set to away mode. Looking forward to seeing how much money I can save by not heating my water during the day when no one is home to use it and when I'm away on vacation.

    If anyone else is interested you can read up on it here:

    BTW, it's basically a big plastic box with a motor and a specialized assembly designed to work with various styles of water heater t-stat dials. Think of it like a little robot attached to your water heater whose sole job is to turn a dial. But it does exactly what it's supposed to do which is the most important part!!!

    I've looked into this, but decided to wait. I wonder how many cycles the dials on water heaters are capable of? I would hate to use this only to blow $80+ on needing to buy a new dial assembly...

    Did you see anything related to this aspect?

    Tasker, to a person who does like walking up to a Crack Treatment facility with a truck full of 3lb bags of crack. Then for each person that walks in and out smack them in the face with an open bag.


      There's another thread on these timers here:

      I added the same model in May. Still a bit early to compare results but I do like the concept and ours is now off more than on and not at all when we are away. In 2 months I had one occasion where it didn't come on and we ran low on HW. Seems to have been a failed Z-Wave command rather than a timer malfunction though and no issues since.