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Question for Geyser owners about run time, etc...

Post in 'The Green Room' started by hemlock, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    Hello,
    I've just installed my Geyser, and it's running. How long do others with a Geyser find that it runs for? So far, mine runs for well over an hour after using a larger amount of hot water. It also seems that I may have to turn up the thermostat on the tank a little - has anyone else had to do similar?
    The unit is producing hot water. I imagine I'll have to do some fine tuning to get it all figured out with this, because it is a bit different than a conventional tank. Thanks.

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  2. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    SE PA
    I've played around with our Geyser settings over the last 18 months.
    The best way is to use a timer and then use the thermostatt to trim it.
    We have an 80 gallon tank and the bigger the tank, the better.

    I set the 20 amp timer to run between 2 am - 4.30 am and 2pm - 4.30 pm. The night run heats the hot water for the morning showers and the afternoon run dehumidifies/air-conditions the ground floor during the summer. I ran it with instrumentation attached and found that 2.5 hours was the run time. So I just directed when those 2.5 hours runs occoured.
    The tank temperature probed shows that water starts typically at circa 88 deg F and the Thermostatt shuts off the Geyser when the water reaches 120 deg F. The timer stops the Geyser running again until the next cycle in 9.5 hours.
    If we have guests, the oil water heater is turned on at 100 degF thermostatt reading.

    Long runs are how they work. It is so cheap to run that the long run times are not a problem.
    Just make sure you feed it with the hottest air available.
  3. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, Redbarn - thats good to know. After it's first full day, it ran for almost three hours in the evening after shower, dishes, kids bath, etc... Our incoming water is about 50 - 55*, so it's quite cold. My initial concern was the long run time might make the unit less efficient than I had anticipated, but I'm getting the feeling that the long runs are normal. Tom in Maine had said similar. Thanks for your reply, Redbarn.
  4. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    Don't worry about the long runs. The efficiency is a mainly a function of inlet air temperature. High = better.

    Unscrew and lift off the blue outer cover, look inside. The thing is built like a "brick built sh*thouse". I have no fear of it breaking.

    I must admit I was in dread of the very first electric bill after installation. When it arrived, it was barely different from the pre Geyser bill, despite the long runs. Our average over the year was about $15 per month.

    With the timer, if we are away for a weekend and with no water use, our tank is insulated enough that the Geyser often does not run at all for 36 hours.
    Do be sure to well insulate the water feed pipes to and from the Geyser.
  5. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    You have not noticed any significant drop in your electrical use with the Geyser?
  6. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    We switched from oil DHW heat (1 gall oil /day) to the Geyser. Big cost saving, from circa $110/ month in oil to $15/month in electricity.
    Our electric bill is lower in the summer because we use the Geyser to air condition most of the Ground floor. Saves on the A/C.
    We have a basement that is fully underground in Limestone bedrock and the temperature does not go below 55 deg. So we ran the Geyser for DHW all winter. It runs longer but still heats the water OK. The winter electric bill is higher but its difficult to split the Geyser out from the pellet stove, more lighting etc. etc. Our overall electric bill has not changed enough to warrant an investigation with a kilowatt meter. Just love saving $1350 per annum on oil.
    I suggest running a kilowatt meter on the Geyser to settle your concerns.
  7. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    I think I misunderstood your post. If I understand correctly this time, you are saying your power bill went up by $15?
    Last year, we switched from oil to a Marathon heater, and our cost was $135 per month with oil to an increase of around $60 with the Marathon. This almost halved our hot water heating cost. If the Geyser cuts the $60 down to $15 - $20 in electricity for hot water, I'll be pleased with the savings. Even if it halves our hot water heating cost to $30, I would say it is a success.
  8. Redbarn

    Redbarn Member

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    Yes, electric power bill went up by $15 / month on average over the year. Winter went up more, summer actually went down (using Geyser to replace/ supplement A/C).
    Tom in Maine quotes similar numbers.

    Beware that I did insulate my hot water tank and the Geyser feed + return pipes well.
  9. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    That makes me feel a lot better. With the amount of time it runs, I was beginning to get a bit nervous of what the power consumption was going to be. I'm actually looking forward to our next power bill to see the difference. Thanks again for sharing your experiences.
  10. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi Hemlock, overall, the Geyser should halve your hot water costs compared to pure electric heat. Just make sure to well-insulate your hot water lines and keep the unit at 120 degrees F for best efficiency. The unit uses about 500 Watts/hour, so even if it runs a while, the power consumption is pretty low.
  11. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    I've been monitoring it for the past few days since installation, and it seems to run between 6 - 8 hours per day, depending upon hot water usage. Would that be considered "normal"? I had to turn up the heat to around 125* to keep others a bit happier, so this would account for a longer run, as well as fairly cold incoming water temps. Thanks.
  12. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    6-8 hours a day isn't out of the realm of possibility - it all depends on how much hot water you are using. My wife and I (no kids) use very little. In the summer, our Geyser only runs about 4 hours a day. Given that your incoming water temperature is 55 degrees F (well water?) and that you have 1 or more kids, I could see 6-8 hours/day being normal for you in the summer. Our incoming water is from a village supply with an above ground tank - it is more than 55 degrees F in the summer (likely).
  13. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    Given an average run time of 7 hours a day, the Geyser draws about 700 watts while making hot water.
    That would be about 4.9 kwhrs/day. Here in Maine, that would equate to about $26 a month. I can tell you that the unit is not operating
    at 700 watts the entire time it is running.
    Everything sounds decent.
    The acid test is when the electric bill comes.
    That takes a month or two to properly digest.

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