Re: Hot Water Heater Power Consumption

Stephen Davis

Hi Gary,

I tackled the hot water heater project yesterday, and replaced the heating element. The last time I did this job was mid 2014, and that time, the breaker would trip when turned on. I’ll attach a picture of what’s left of the element I removed yesterday. The copper tubing had split and expanded, and it was difficult to remove once it was unscrewed, as it didn’t want to fit through the hole. I ended up breaking off the the threaded end, and then using vise grips on the remaining part to eventually work it out. I was worried it would fall into the tank, but got lucky on that count. FYI...I still have the original hot Isotemp hot water heater with the orange insulation on it. It my be a worlds record for longevity. I suspect the new ones are not as well made as my old dinosaur. Also, I still had my 1 5/8” socket which fits fine on the element. 

I installed my Blue Sea AC multimeter over 5 years ago, and find it to be an invaluable way to find little glitches like this. The heater had a continuous .75 amp draw, and that has gone away with installation of the new element. In the future, I will plan to replace the element at 4 year intervals, which should avoid the mess I had this time. Of course, I’m assuming my original heater will survive that long. I must have confidence in it, as I already ordered a spare element!

Aloha SM 72
Hawaii, and preparing for Alaska in June

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