Home > Uncategorized > Why don’t water heaters have Wifi?

Why don’t water heaters have Wifi?

For the last few weeks Amanda and I have been having issues with our hot water heater. About once every four days the water would get really, really hot. The next day it would be cold. I would check and the internal circuit breaker of the water heater and it would have tripped. I’d set it back, we’d got hot water, and the cycle would repeat. Basically the thermostat would work for a few days, but then it would not shut off the heater. So eventually something figured out the heater was going crazy and the system would trip and turn the power off. On Friday the repair man came out and replaced the thermostat.

Saturday morning there was water in our entry way. The hot water heater has an emergency pressure release valve which empties out onto our entry way and the water ends up finding it’s way to a nearby drain. The water from the hot water heater was very hot, and the internal breaker had tripped. Sunday morning it looked like it had happened again, but this time there was lots of water. Sunday afternoon Amanda and I were home I heard water running and looked and water was gushing out of the emergency valve. The entry way was full of steam from all of the hot water. Sunday was an abnormally cold day and 150° water in 37° weather makes for lots of steam. I went to the condo circuit breaker and turned off the hot water heater manually.

Today (Monday) the repair man came out again and couldn’t believe that there was another bad thermostat. He replaced it and this time cycled it multiple times, making sure that everything was good.

One of the frustrating things to me is that the hot water heater gives no indication if it’s on or not. All I can do is guess when there’s no hot water that the breaker has tripped and press the red button. There are no lights saying if it’s on or off, no thermometer reporting the internal temperature. The way the repair checked that everything was working was by using a volt meter, and testing the current at different points to see that everything was working.

Now of course most people don’t care, because the hot water heater works the vast majority of the time, but I’m someone who likes to know what’s going on. I’ve read articles about houses of the future and how everything is going to be networked, but I don’t really need a blender networked. I could use the hot water heater though.

What I’m thinking is a little Windows gadget (Or Yahoo/Mac widget) that I configure to listen to a certain device on my network. When installing the hot water heater I interface with it through a USB cord, or something like that, and configure the hot water heater for my wireless network. Then I’d have a little gadget running in my sidebar (or on my desktop for Win7) that would report to me if the heater was working, what the internal temp is, etc. Now most of the time I could ignore it, but at least I would know what’s going on what I cared to.

Why hasn’t anyone made that yet?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 29, 2013 at 11:23 am

    This is as close as it gets right now. Only wifi enabled water heater I can find. Its pretty easy to monitor data and figure out that heating has stopped and trigger an event.


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