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Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 16th 06, 09:31 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 168
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat. The same way some air conditioner works. It also uses a manual
pilot light (you have to light the pilot light manually if the gas was
turned off and on).

Is it possible to add a timer to this kind of water heater?


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  #2  
Old July 16th 06, 10:22 PM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 114
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?


"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having

a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat. The same way some air conditioner works. It also uses a manual
pilot light (you have to light the pilot light manually if the gas was
turned off and on).

Is it possible to add a timer to this kind of water heater?


Yep.

I did it once and it cost (at that time) more money than you could have
possible saved over the life of the tank.


  #3  
Old July 16th 06, 11:50 PM posted to alt.home.repair
EXT
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Posts: 1,646
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?


"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having
a bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat.


That is NOT a bare copper wire, it is a capillary tube that conducts a
liquid that is heated in the pilot light and uses the pressure to operate
the valve.


  #4  
Old July 17th 06, 03:50 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 5,161
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 16:22:23 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,
"HeatMan" quickly quoth:


"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having

a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat. The same way some air conditioner works. It also uses a manual
pilot light (you have to light the pilot light manually if the gas was
turned off and on).

Is it possible to add a timer to this kind of water heater?


Yep.

I did it once and it cost (at that time) more money than you could have
possible saved over the life of the tank.


Nowadays you could do it with your computer and some X-10 gear. Run a
relay from the X-10 appliance module to interrupt the power-on line
from the tstat. Alternatively, you could use a standard lamp timer
with a relay for the same purpose. Piece of cake, but you're right,
it might not save a lot of money.

(What's your reason for doing this, Peter?)


--
I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life
which are the real ones after all. --Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957)
  #5  
Old July 17th 06, 04:12 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 57
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 18:50:47 -0700, Larry Jaques
wrote:

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 16:22:23 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,
"HeatMan" quickly quoth:


"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having

a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat. The same way some air conditioner works. It also uses a manual
pilot light (you have to light the pilot light manually if the gas was
turned off and on).

Is it possible to add a timer to this kind of water heater?


Yep.

I did it once and it cost (at that time) more money than you could have
possible saved over the life of the tank.


Nowadays you could do it with your computer and some X-10 gear. Run a
relay from the X-10 appliance module to interrupt the power-on line
from the tstat. Alternatively, you could use a standard lamp timer
with a relay for the same purpose. Piece of cake, but you're right,
it might not save a lot of money.

(What's your reason for doing this, Peter?)


If you want to do this, an appliance module is not the best choice.
Use a "universal module" which can be set to act as just a relay. No
external relay needed. Note that this module can be a power source as
well. Be sure to read the instructions.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what
to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb
contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin
  #6  
Old July 17th 06, 04:21 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 6,757
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

Mark Lloyd wrote:

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 18:50:47 -0700, Larry Jaques
wrote:

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 16:22:23 -0400, with neither quill nor qualm,
"HeatMan" quickly quoth:


"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having
a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat. The same way some air conditioner works. It also uses a manual
pilot light (you have to light the pilot light manually if the gas was
turned off and on).

Is it possible to add a timer to this kind of water heater?


Yep.

I did it once and it cost (at that time) more money than you could have
possible saved over the life of the tank.


Nowadays you could do it with your computer and some X-10 gear. Run a
relay from the X-10 appliance module to interrupt the power-on line
from the tstat. Alternatively, you could use a standard lamp timer
with a relay for the same purpose. Piece of cake, but you're right,
it might not save a lot of money.

(What's your reason for doing this, Peter?)


If you want to do this, an appliance module is not the best choice.
Use a "universal module" which can be set to act as just a relay. No
external relay needed. Note that this module can be a power source as
well. Be sure to read the instructions.
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what
to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb
contesting the vote." - Benjamin Franklin


Apparently you all don't read very well. The OP's question was regarding
a water heater, not a furnace / boiler, and worse yet it was a non
electric gas fired unit that used a capillary tube type thermostat
mechanism.

The only way to put a timer on this unit is basically to replace the
entire thermostat and gas valve unit with electrically controlled ones
i.e. buy a new water heater of the appropriate type.

Pete C.
  #7  
Old July 17th 06, 04:23 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 5,834
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?


"Mark Lloyd" wrote in message
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by
having
a
bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat.


Nowadays you could do it with your computer and some X-10 gear. Run a
relay from the X-10 appliance module to interrupt the power-on line
from the tstat. Alternatively, you could use a standard lamp timer
with a relay for the same purpose. Piece of cake, but you're right,
it might not save a lot of money.

(What's your reason for doing this, Peter?)


If you want to do this, an appliance module is not the best choice.
Use a "universal module" which can be set to act as just a relay. No
external relay needed. Note that this module can be a power source as
well. Be sure to read the instructions.


How do you do it on a unit that has no electricity going to it? I'd like to
see the wiring diagram.


  #8  
Old July 17th 06, 04:28 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,161
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 21:12:51 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm, Mark
Lloyd quickly quoth:

On Sun, 16 Jul 2006 18:50:47 -0700, Larry Jaques
wrote:


Nowadays you could do it with your computer and some X-10 gear. Run a
relay from the X-10 appliance module to interrupt the power-on line
from the tstat.


If you want to do this, an appliance module is not the best choice.
Use a "universal module" which can be set to act as just a relay. No
external relay needed. Note that this module can be a power source as
well. Be sure to read the instructions.


Excellent. Thanks for the tip. I'll look into those.


--
Simplicity doesn't mean to live in misery and poverty. You have what you
need and you don't want what you don't need. --Charan Singh (1916-1990)
  #9  
Old July 17th 06, 04:42 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 677
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?


"EXT" wrote in message
anews.com...

"peter" wrote in message
news:vuwug.5313$Ss2.4793@trnddc01...
I have a gas water heater that doesn't use electricity. It works by having
a bare copper wire conduct temperature out of the water tank into the
thermostat.


That is NOT a bare copper wire, it is a capillary tube that conducts a
liquid that is heated in the pilot light and uses the pressure to operate
the valve.

It could be either a tube for pressure operation or the outer conductor of a
coaxial wire pair. The wires are used for thermocouple type sensors and
electromagnet operation of the pilot section of the valve. Both types were
common at one time.

Don Young


  #10  
Old July 17th 06, 05:32 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 8
Default Can I put a timer on a basic gas water heater?

A "hack" method would be to get a heavy duty RC servo, couple that to
the thermostat such that when energized the servo would spin the
thermostat knob to pilot light only, then spin the knob back to the
appropriate heat setting when desired.

Obviously one would need a way to energize the servo, but that should
be a simple task. (via the parallel port of a PC comes to mind) AFA
energy savings, (if that is your intent) it may be minimal. A well
insulated hater heater in a conditioned space (basement) does not lose
much heat over a 24 hour period. Any heat that is lost helps maintain
temp in the area.

Anyway good luck with whatever you want to do.

 




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