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View Full Version : Using a timer to conserve heated water trough energy?



Romany
Dec. 11, 2010, 10:28 AM
I tried this last year, using a standard 24-hour household timer - the kind with the little buttons on a dial that you push in/out to turn the power off/on.

I set it to be on for an hour, off for an hour, over 24 hours. Worked really well for about a month, until the poor little thing burned out from the overload. No surprises there!

I'd figured that for $10 it was worth a try, because in theory it would half the hydro costs for running the tank heater.

Electricity isn't my strong point, so this year I went and chatted to the nice electrical man at the local hardware store, who did some research for me.

Timer needs to handle the 1500 watts from the water trough heater. He found one that he was told will do the trick - around $45 Cdn.

Anyone else tried using a timer, or anything similar?

Any ideas where to buy a powerful enough timer?

clanter
Dec. 11, 2010, 11:44 AM
use the cheap time to drive a relay that would cost about $4... the relay would need to be of the voltage of your primary power used for the timer to avoid the addition of transformer.

Most of the relays have points that are rated to 5amps...that would get you back to $14...

ReSomething
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:17 PM
Our electric is so cheap here that buying something like a timer wouldn't pay for itself very quickly. I've also had a very hard time finding items that are made well enough to last. Everything I see is "Made in China" on the back and the quality is inconsistent even within the brand so I'm afraid I'm not much help.

luvmytbs
Dec. 11, 2010, 12:33 PM
Water trough heaters have a sensor to detect the temp in the water. It only heats when the water gets below a certain temperature.
So I don't see a need for a timer.
If your heater stays on contineously it's time for a new one.

clanter
Dec. 11, 2010, 01:07 PM
If your heater stays on contineously it's time for a new one.

actually it would time to move south, that what we did after the two back-to-back bad winters in Kentucky in the late 70s....

draftdriver
Dec. 11, 2010, 02:02 PM
Yes, I use a timer on my tank heater. I got the more expensive kind rated for hot tubs, etc. So far, so good, and I've had it for 3+ years now. I have a spare just in case. Watch the Canadian Tire flyer for specials -- you might be able to get one for half price. I did. :)

luvmytbs
Dec. 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
actually it would time to move south, that what we did after the two back-to-back bad winters in Kentucky in the late 70s....

After last winter and what's coming in tonight I would just love to pack it all up and move to Africa. :(

Bells
Dec. 11, 2010, 10:10 PM
Would a Thermo Cube - Thermostatically Controlled Outlet work?
Like this: http://cozywinters.com/shop/thermocube-3.html

Romany
Dec. 12, 2010, 05:55 PM
Would a Thermo Cube - Thermostatically Controlled Outlet work?
Like this: http://cozywinters.com/shop/thermocube-3.html

I love that website! I like the idea of the Thermo Cube; I'll see if it can take the load.

Romany
Dec. 12, 2010, 06:01 PM
Yes, I use a timer on my tank heater. I got the more expensive kind rated for hot tubs, etc. So far, so good, and I've had it for 3+ years now. I have a spare just in case. Watch the Canadian Tire flyer for specials -- you might be able to get one for half price. I did. :)

Would that be this one?

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/3/HouseHome/Lighting/ElectricalTimers/PRDOVR~0528845P/Heavy-Duty%252BOutdoor%252BTimer.jsp?locale=en

The handydandy man from Home Hardware gave me the info he'd got, from www.intermatic.com - seems like there's quite a selection, upwards of $60 for something like this:

http://store.nexternal.com/intermatic/hb800rcl-p7053.aspx

Romany
Dec. 12, 2010, 06:02 PM
use the cheap time to drive a relay that would cost about $4... the relay would need to be of the voltage of your primary power used for the timer to avoid the addition of transformer.

Most of the relays have points that are rated to 5amps...that would get you back to $14...

I was hoping you'd chime in, Clanter! I haven't a clue what you're talking about, but I think you're saying it wouldn't be cost effective to buy anything other than a very cheap timer, which will die a slow and painful death shortly anyway - ?

clanter
Dec. 12, 2010, 06:38 PM
The relay is commonly known as an "Ice Cube Relay" the coil voltage can be nearly any voltage...12VDC, 24VDC or AC, 120 VAC or 240VAC... the points of the relay are rated 15 amps

here is just a link to some, but these are common industrial parts available everywhere
http://www.factorymation.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.107/.f


The timer would just turn the relay on or off by powering the relay coil or removing power.... a dual point relay is actually only about $4... use one set of points until it burns out then switch to the second set as a back up. Most all of these relays are rated for 1,000,000 cycles... what kills them is low amps which cause the points to overheat which cause the points to melt or pit

The timers can be of nearly any type... the shorter the cycle time i.e. 1 second or less the greater the cost... the sloppier the range 1 minute or higher in time, the cheaper... what this means if the time duration between cycles requires accuracy you should spring for the bucks and buy a good timer... in this case you just need something that can be very sloppy in its accuracy