You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

I have it thought out. Notice I did not say figured out. I think I have a solution to my hot water needs. I was my first idea, but with a very large heating element. 4500 Watts to be exact. This element will heat only 20 gallons of water. In the winter I will have the large tank set at 110 degrees. And in the summer I will have it set at 100. This mainly has to do with the mixing of hot water with cold at the shower.

As I have thought out. The heating element will heat the pre-heated water from the large tank. The deferential is always going to be 20 degrees. Maybe less if I can tweak it over time. So currently I am using 6kW hours with my tank set at 125 degrees. I take long showers. It helps me to relax. so after 20 or so minutes in the shower I have used about 30 gallons of hot water. Now the wife wants to shower. She likes her showers hot. (Think 2 GPM of just hot water.) SO hot she has to get out or she will get burned after 20 minutes. She uses 40 gallons. So If you have just used 70 gallons of hot water from an 80 gallon tank the last 10 gallons is not going to be as hot as the first 10 gallons because of the mixing in the tank. (These hot water gallonages go down in the summer because of mixing with warmer water.) Enter the mini-tank.

For right now I will have the tank set at 110 degrees. The mini-tank is set at 130 degrees. The mini-tank will use about 3kW hours to heat 60 gallons of water 20 degrees above initial temperature. (notice the 10 less gallons because of the slight hot water temperature increase.) The large tank will use almost half as much energy as before. This would be about 3.5kW hours. It does not make sense but I know that before the incoming water temperature started to decrease I had the tank set at 115 degrees. The incoming water temperature was 68 degrees. Now the incoming water temperature is about 60 degrees and I have to set the tank up to 125 degrees. (double-edged sword, mixing at shower and in the tank.)

Worst case, I have to set both tanks at 120 degrees. Then the mini-tank is just boost the water from the big tank when it gets cooled by the incoming cold water. In the end this may be the route to take for best electricity savings. Time will tell.


Here is what I am thinking of doing. I want to add a small electric tank water heater to the outlet of my large hot water heat pump. This would allow me to turn the heat pump down to, say, 100 degrees and then the small tank would only have to heat the water up a small amount. This would cut down on tank losses and then the heat pump would not have to heat 80 gallons up to 125 degrees, it would run more efficient. I am looking at a 12 gallon little guy to attach to the 80 gallon big daddy.

Right now my 80 gallon tank is set at 125+ degrees. My usage is way up to 6 kW hours a day. If I reduced it to 100 degrees the saving would be about 40%. I will have to guess tank losses would be maybe 5% reduced. Maybe more, I don’t know for sure. For easy of numbers I will assume 3kW hours are saved. But how much will the little guy use?

With a 1500 Watt heating element I can heat 30 gallons of water up by 20 degrees in one hour. My shower head flows about 2 GPM. Of that 1.5 GPM is hot water. If I use 10 gallons from the little water heater that only gives me a 7 minute shower before I start to reduce my shower temp. (Mixing 125 degree water with 60 degree cold, darn anti-scald valve!) But, I could turn the little tank up to 145 degrees. Then I am up to… only 10 minutes.

Maybe I just need to look at the problem. The shower, I bet I could get one of those tankless under the sink models. Since the wife is the one complaining, not liking that word but that is what it is, I have to do something. I wonder if they make a 120V tankless for under the sink? Yes, set the heat pump at 110 degrees and the shower at 120. Then I could get rid of that useless hot water circulator pump. I will have to investigate further.

I can’t remember how I came across this brand of milk. I think it was one of those coupon mailers. The kind I hate because it is such a waste of paper.  The thing that caught my eye was the fact they ship the milk in reusable glass containers. If we all remember the three R’s.

Reduce – Yes, I have reduced my milk consumption. But I like milk! So not that much.

Reuse – This is why I like the glass bottles. They have a $1.50 deposit per half gallon jug.

Recycle – That was what I did when I purchased the plastic gallons.

So as we can see Reuse is better than Recycle. But what makes it a win-win is the fact that the milk taste gooood!

This is an added bonus. rBGH free milk!

Why their milk tastes so good!

No the milk is not organic but after reading the page linked above, maybe I don’t want organic milk either. For now, hormone free milk is just fine. Sure Oberweis milk costs a little more. But I think it is worth the small increase for what you get.

Two years ago I gave up Caffeine. Many of you may find that hard to do but it was easy for me. I only drank one coke a day. Still I had Caffeine withdraw for 4 days. All four days I had a headache and on the third day I had somewhat shaky hands.

I still would have a coke but I just drank the caffeine free kind. This past new years resolution was to not drink any sugary sodas. No coke or sprite. Interesting enough I think I had sugar withdraw. Reminds me of the headaches one gets when they have not had time to eat breakfast or lunch and now it is dinner time. That lasted on and off for about two weeks while my body adjusted to not having the quick rush of sugar into the blood stream.

I don’t fell like I have more or less energy. But I don’t have the ups and downs in energy like before. This is a good thing for me. I like a nice even energy level. I find I can get more done that way.

So If the government wants to tax sugary sodas, go ahead I won’t care at all.