Geyser myths debunked
HOMEOWNERS have been encouraged to switch off their geysers to save electricity, but does this make any difference to the overall demand? Get the facts…
Craig Berman from Saving energy debunks some common myths….
1. Switching off the geyser doesn’t have a substantial impact on overall electricity demand Craig says in an average household, the geyser accounts for around 40 percent to 60 percent of the total electricity used in a month.
So when you have thousands of geysers all running during the day and night, this places tremendous strain on the supply grid.
2. Switching the geyser on and off consumes more energy According to Craig, a geyser operates by using electricity to heat water to the set temperature of the thermostat.
he says once the heat from the water dissipates due to natural thermodynamics, the thermostat then switches the element back on to reheat the water. this cycle can happen 15 to 30 times per day.
Most people don’t need hot water throughout the day and so a lot of electricity is wasted when the geyser is heating water when not required in the home.
A 150 litre geyser needs about an hour to heat water to the set temperature from cold. So switching the geyser off when hot water is not required and switching it on an hour or so before hot water is needed will cut the amount of electricity used.
Alternatively, the geyser will simply run for 24 hours, resulting in high electricity wastage, especially in winter, and more so if the geyser does not have a geyser blanket to prevent the additional heat loss, he says.
3. Switching a geyser on and off damages the thermostat Absolutely not, says Craig. the thermostat switches on and off during the normal operational cycle anyway.
he says the only damage will occur to the geyser breaker switch as it is designed to trip only when there is a problem with the geyser. he says it is not designed to be frequently switched on and off.
4. Switching a geyser on and off will cause it to crack No, definitely not. Craig says the geyser switches on and off during normal operation and is designed to withstand the temperature and pressure created as the water heats up.
5. If you use a geyser blanket, the geyser doesn’t need to be switched off No. According to Craig, while the blanket assists with reducing heat loss, keeping the water hotter for longer, which in turn results in less electricity being used — when the geyser does switch on, the average saving achieved with a geyser blanket alone is only about 8 percent.
he says controlling the operational times of the geyser using a timer would add between 15 percent and 18 percent savings over and above the blanket.
Controlling the geyser’s consumption offers greater energy saving than just the blanket, he says. In short, a geyser timer alone is about twice as effective in reducing energy usage than using a geyser blanket alone.
6. Geyser blankets can overheat, explode or catch fire No. Craig says geyser blankets that are made from recycled Pet (2L Coke bottles) don’t burn, overheat or explode. he says if there was a fire in the roof, the blanket would simply melt in the heat.
7. Using a timer on your geyser is a more efficient way of managing electricity demand
Most definitely. As a company that has installed more than 1 000 geyser timers, Craig says they know that switching the geyser off during peak demand, and operating based on the water usage patterns of the household, makes a significant difference in both cost and demand to both the consumer and the grid. — Property24