Blame me for the upcoming hot stretch in New England. I figured if I hooked up my backup element to my solar hot water tank that the weather would warm up. In the winter I run a Amtrol zoned "hot water maker" manually by heating it up when my storage tank is up to temp and my boiler is at full temp. Unlike a typical hot water tank, I have it heavily insulated and run it up to 180 degrees. The tank is fed preheated water from my flat plate solar hot water system (which doesn't get warm enough in the winter) for makeup so I can run a couple of days with one charge of heat in the Amtrol.( Note I have Honeywell integrated mixing and anti scald valve downstream before it goes in the house). It also can run off my oil boiler but about the only time the oil boiler runs is when I am gone for a few days during very cold weather. By timing my major hot water use to line up with times when the storage tank is fully charged and the boiler is hot, my actual normal hot water usage is low. I am single so I put up with it, not sure how a spouse would deal with it. During a normal spring summer and fall, I valve out the Amtrol and run directly off my solar hot water system. The SHW has a Rheem electric hot water heater tank that was factory modified for solar by the addition of a multiwrap copper coil around the tank before it was insulated. It looks like a normal hot water heater except for a few extra ports and a missing bottom element. It does have a top element which I never hooked up until recently. Prior to running a minisplit for shoulder season heating, it worked out pretty well but one of the down sides of mini split is no capacity for heating water. This spring has had several colder than normal stretches and the net result is that the minisplit has been running hard. This takes care of the household heat but hot water has been lacking. Rather than fire up the wood boiler I have on occasion resorted to running the oil boiler. I still have oil in the tanks so its effectively "free" but out of general principle I resist it. One minor annoyance is without a source of heat in my basement, its decidedly cool to work down there. After a stretch of no hot water this past weekend, I finally ran the wires and installed the breaker I bought long ago. Having never owned a electric hot water heater I was surprised that they actually made noise. When I turned it on I could hear a faint sizzling from the coil. After 30 minutes or so, I think the tank hit setpoint and I had plenty of hot water. Unlike the Amtrol I am just going to set the element at 130 F and cycle it manually when I need it. I have net surplus power for my PV system so running the electric element is "free" until I run out of my surplus. I do have fairly non aggressive water and keep an eye on the anode in the SHW tank so expect the element was in good shape despite not being used for 15 years. Given the forecast for the next week I expect I will have more than enough SHW without the element but I finally have an alternative for shoulder season.