Saving money on electricity by turning off hot water heater

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ChickensAreSweet, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I just wanted to share that one month last year we experimented with our electric bill.

    We discovered that by turning off our hot water heater that we saved at least $40 for the month. (We don't have it off now.)

    Step 1: Turn off water heater at breaker switch (see note below).
    Step 2: Heat water in the teakettle on the stove or use your Instant Hot (which is another hot water heater).
    Step 3: Fill a solar shower bag with 1/2 cold and 1/2 hot or thereabouts to make it shower temperatures. Fill the cold water first.
    Step 4: Hang the solar shower bag in the shower over a rigid pole with no risk of it falling on someone.
    Step 5: Enjoy your shower (that was very cheap)!!!!

    Downsides: Your electric dishwasher won't heat the water hot enough I think so hand washing might be in order.
    No hot water for washing clothes. You have to plan for showers. The inside of the solar shower bag might get moldy so you have to sanitize it periodically with something, and make sure it airs out each time.

    Please use extreme caution in handling those electric boxes (breaker switches) as they can throw major shocks if you mess around and handle them I have heard. DON'T flip the switch on and off all the time- very dangerous I have heard. Unexpectedly they can shock and kill my DH says.
  2. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    we don't have hot water. our homestead has a water heater but it's broken and needs to be replaced. also I wash all the kitchen dishes by hand and I never use the hot water in my clothes washer, if it wasn't for needing hot showers during winter I wouldn't even care if we ever replace it. I don't mind cool showers.
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I live in Florida but prefer not to use much makes my head hurt but I refuse to cut my hot water heater off! LOL It works for us. Our electric bill is usually less than $150.
  4. Whispering Winds

    Whispering Winds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Some people, and I wish I was one of them, have an automatic switch that clicks off the HWH at night, and then kicks it back on in the AM. Saves quite abit, but ours is LP and its not bad. 250 gallons lasts us all year including the gas dryer, which I only use during bad weather or cold weather. Going to use the Eden Pure type heaters this year and see if that wil make a difference. Everyone around here who has them raves about them. . .so keeping my fingers crossed.

    And, also those insulated wraps you can buy for your heaters really help too.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  5. StupidBird

    StupidBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Half way to completely turning off - for years we had a timer hardwired into the electric line right above the water heater. Cycling the heater on an hour before we all got up in the am for showers, and cuts off by the time all went to work/school. On again for dinner dishes, the evening load of laundry, and showers or baths for those doing then; off at bedtime. It paid for itself within 6 months, avg'd $20 savings back then. but i did wire it in myself. Just make sure you match power capacities.

    When it'll be just DH and me, well, that's different.
  6. Royd

    Royd Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Middleburg, Fl.
    I have been shutting mine off for quite a while. I turn it on about three hours, in the evening. Take a bath and let it heat back up.

    I do heat it to about 160 degrees and my tank is well insulated, so it holds the temp for the most part of the day.
  7. swift4me

    swift4me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2010
    in the Pyrenees
    At my farm I turn off the hot water heater whenever I leave, and even if I'm there for a week, I turn it off after it gets to full temperature and I'll be good for three or four days.

    In California and here in France, my wife and I have not had a clothes dryer for almost 30 years. If you think about the weather and plan for it, a clothesline almost always gets it done. Also, we do alot of our laundry in small loads in a bucket. That saves alot too.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  8. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    We just got a tankless water heater, only heats what you use when you use it
  9. Frosty

    Frosty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2008
    Quote:That would give me about 5 months out of the year to wash my laundry. [​IMG]

    I wish I could say that 250 gallons of LP could last me a year... If there isn't any snow when it gets cold out (like the -20 range), we have had to have the tank filled 6 or 7 times in one winter. It's a 1000 gallon tank but they usually don't put more than 750 gallons in to allow for expansion. This means to me that the foundation needs insulated, and it's on my list... with a whole bunch of other stuff that I need to do.

    My mother has been shutting off her hot water tank for quite a while now. She turns it on for a bit when she is going to need it then turns it back off.
  10. MamiPollo

    MamiPollo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 6, 2011
    My Coop
    When I visited Peru, we stayed one night in a private room in a seminary in Lima. They had this set-up. The hot water tank was in the bathroom next to the bathtub. You would turn it on and wait 20 minutes or so for the water to heat up, and then turn off the heater and take your bath.

    I really only use hot water for bathing and for washing dishes. In the summer I take cool showers.

    When my water heater wore out last summer, I considered going to the Peruvian method. But, I chickened out at the last minute, considering the resale value of my house. I did purchase a smaller tank and turned the temperature down. I have never missed having more and hotter water. In fact, I think I will nudge it down a few more degrees and see what happens.

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