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Thread: Switching your geyser off, does it save money?



  1. #1
    Super Grandmaster Zewp's Avatar
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    Default Switching your geyser off, does it save money?

    Me and my flatmate are very conflicted on this. I believe it's actually using more electricity when you constantly switch it on and off, and he believes switching it off works.

    We've only got a 100l geyser, and once switched off it cools down rather fast, so it has to reheat from scratch when you want to switch it back on again. I've monitored it and when it's been turned off for the day it easily consumes between 3 and 5 units to heat back up again. Leaving it running during the day seems to have it only use about 1 - 2 units of electricity to keep itself heated.

    Our electricity consumption per day used to be about 15 units when we switched the geyser on and off, then last week I started leaving the geyser running and we only used about 10 units a day. My flatmate insists this is pure coincidence and he and his father fights with me because I want to 'waste money by leaving the geyser on'. This really sucks because their solution to 'save' money seems to be doing nothing more than costing us money.

    Even if it does actually save money, I wouldn't think it would be more than R50 a month, which is insignificant considering what an inconvenience it is to have your geyser off the whole day. If I want warm water, there should be warm water. I hate having to get up at 6 in the morning to switch the geyser on just so I can be sure there will be warm water for a shower so I can be at class at 8.

    Has anybody else tried both switching it off and leaving it on and have you noticed any 'significant' savings?

  2. #2

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    I agree with you.

    I also believe that switching it on/off shortens the lifespan of the heating element.

  3. #3

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    Search this forum, it was discussed in length already. IMHO the answer is NO! depending on usage schedule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyD View Post
    I agree with you.

    I also believe that switching it on/off shortens the lifespan of the heating element.
    Also the lifespan of the geyser. The cooling heating place stress on the welding joints creating premature failures. Cooling down also creates vacuum and if the vacuum breaker is ineffective the above stresses is even worse.

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    Super Grandmaster Zewp's Avatar
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    I also can't imagine that it can be good for the geyser. If left on throughout the day, the element never has to work very hard because it only has to heat the water up if it drops slightly. Now instead the geyser has to heat the water from icy cold every morning.

    I highly doubt a geyser can withstand doing that day after day for a very long time.

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    From what I hear Eskom wants you to switch it off so that it doesn't try to draw power at the peak times so that they have the capacity. They're not really worried about your bills.
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    Eskom can **** my ***** ****!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garyvdh View Post
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    Geyser elements are cheap and EASY to replace.
    Get a geyer wise timer to turn it off.

    And how exactly would turning a geyser off shorten its lifespan if that is the MAIN purpose of the thermostat?

    Rather get a timer because it sucks forgetting to turn it on and having a cold shower.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyD View Post
    I agree with you.

    I also believe that switching it on/off shortens the lifespan of the heating element.
    Well now that's just ridiculous. The thermostat will turn the element on and off many times during the day when the geyser is "on".

    @Op... it depends mostly on whether the geyser is well insulated or not. You say it cools down rather fast. In that case it is not well insulated (perhaps look at a geyser blanket), and there will definitely be savings when turning it off. Conservation of energy says this must be so. Also, as the water cools, the rate of cooling slows. When you keep it hot, the large difference in temperature means the heat loss is more rapid, meaning a greater energy use in keeping it that way.

    As far as what the difference may be in terms of cost? That you'll only tell by measuring, but I have a feeling that your flatmate may be correct if your geyser is not well insulated.

    The overall decider though... is do you really want to live like that? I've done it for a while... and you will end up with cold showers once in a while. If you are going to go that route, at least install a timer.

    First prize though would be to forget about the constant switching, and get better insulation around the geyser.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun View Post
    Well now that's just ridiculous. The thermostat will turn the element on and off many times during the day when the geyser is "on".

    @Op... it depends mostly on whether the geyser is well insulated or not. You say it cools down rather fast. In that case it is not well insulated (perhaps look at a geyser blanket), and there will definitely be savings when turning it off. Conservation of energy says this must be so. Also, as the water cools, the rate of cooling slows. When you keep it hot, the large difference in temperature means the heat loss is more rapid, meaning a greater energy use in keeping it that way.

    As far as what the difference may be in terms of cost? That you'll only tell by measuring, but I have a feeling that your flatmate may be correct if your geyser is not well insulated.

    The overall decider though... is do you really want to live like that? I've done it for a while... and you will end up with cold showers once in a while. If you are going to go that route, at least install a timer.

    First prize though would be to forget about the constant switching, and get better insulation around the geyser.


    Quote Originally Posted by StonerStuart View Post
    Geyser elements are cheap and EASY to replace.
    Get a geyer wise timer to turn it off.

    And how exactly would turning a geyser off shorten its lifespan if that is the MAIN purpose of the thermostat?

    Rather get a timer because it sucks forgetting to turn it on and having a cold shower.
    There is a huge freaking difference between switching a geyser element off/on and letting it cool down completely. Do some research before yanking chains.

    Geyser insulation is a must anyway as as such are recommended by eScum and Kwikot.
    Last edited by wily me; 13-03-2012 at 04:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wily me View Post
    Search this forum, it was discussed in length already. IMHO the answer is NO! depending on usage schedule.
    So is the answer no, or is it dependent on usage schedule?...
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun View Post
    The overall decider though... is do you really want to live like that? I've done it for a while... and you will end up with cold showers once in a while. If you are going to go that route, at least install a timer.

    First prize though would be to forget about the constant switching, and get better insulation around the geyser.
    Agreed, you're saving electricity by rationing the hot water.

    If your buddy is prepared to shower/bath after you tell him you're OK with his theory

  14. #14

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    To answer your question: YES
    Switching your geyser off does save money, a lot.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    Switching it back on is a different story

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    The reason that Eskom actually asks you to switch off your geyser is to lessen the load on the grid.
    It costs you as the resident a bit more (arguable as to how much), but overall it does more good than it does bad.

    I can switch our geyser off at 7pm in the evening and still have hot water in the morning, so we generally do this.... and we don't even have insulation on the geyser.
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