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mmacleod

Geysers with two elements in South Africa?

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It seems to be quite common place in various other countries for "water  heaters" to contain two elements (each with own thermostat) instead of a single element. (It also seems more common for them to be vertical which may be related...)

e.g. as pictured here:
image.png.ce7c365e713b658b99bac5b2d88a1754.png


I have been trying to find similar in a za context, and either I'm searching for the wrong keywords, or they just don't exist here.
I was wondering if anyone knows.

1) Are there products that can be bought locally that can take two elements?
2) If so which? Or what do we call it here so that I can search for it?
3) Why is it not common here  if its common in other countries?


The best I could find so far was this forum thread, but as far as I can tell these are custom modifications and not actually supported by the product?
 

 

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1 hour ago, mmacleod said:

3) Why is it not common here  if its common in other countries?

Cost.  SA we are content with less features and lower cost.

Yes the vertical configuration and dual element is related. It only use one element at a time. When cold the top element will heat the top half of the water heater and you quickly have some hot water to use. Then it will switch over to the bottom element to heat the bottom half.  If you don't use a lot of hot water then only the bottom element is active.  Think these have only one electrical connection thus not suitable for eskom and solar dual supply without modification.

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5 hours ago, Pietpower said:

Think these have only one electrical connection thus not suitable for eskom and solar dual supply without modification.

hrm, not sure about that, I've run into a lot of material over the years on various solar forums etc., suggesting that they seem to take separate wiring for each element "out of the box" (seems especially common in Australia/USA) - I've never read of any difficulties wiring the two elements to take separate power sources.

e.g. This site as an example http://techluck.com/
 

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28 minutes ago, mmacleod said:

hrm, not sure about that, I've run into a lot of material over the years on various solar forums etc., suggesting that they seem to take separate wiring for each element "out of the box" (seems especially common in Australia/USA) - I've never read of any difficulties wiring the two elements to take separate power sources.

e.g. This site as an example http://techluck.com/
 

From that site:
"Only minor modifications are needed for most standard water heaters, simple wiring modifications. NO HEATING ELEMENT CHANGES NEEDED. The wiring modifications are easily reversible."

Units I came across in Europe only had a single power supply to the water heater.  Explanations, most likely based on USA heaters, explained that the elements are interconnected.  But then again the European market also had a vast range of different water heater types.  Pipe in tank systems, tank in tank systems, some connecting to the central heating system, some using gas or combined with electricity.

From the quote above I presume it is easy to rewire a system to work with solar.

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4 minutes ago, Pietpower said:

From that site:
"Only minor modifications are needed for most standard water heaters, simple wiring modifications. NO HEATING ELEMENT CHANGES NEEDED. The wiring modifications are easily reversible."

Units I came across in Europe only had a single power supply to the water heater.  Explanations, most likely based on USA heaters, explained that the elements are interconnected.  But then again the European market also had a vast range of different water heater types.  Pipe in tank systems, tank in tank systems, some connecting to the central heating system, some using gas or combined with electricity.

From the quote above I presume it is easy to rewire a system to work with solar.

hrm, okay, either way it doesn't really matter much if nobody sells them here.

They're clearly superior (ease of modification for off grid purposes aside) so its crazy to think that price alone is enough to keep them completely out of the local market. An extra element/thermostat barely even costs that much...

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I believe Voltex sells a dual-element replacement. So you buy the normal one, and then retrofit the dual element thinga-ma-bob later.

I believe some people have also bought the cover plate from a failed unit and took it to an engineering shop to add a spot for a second element, making their own.

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5 minutes ago, plonkster said:

I believe Voltex sells a dual-element replacement. So you buy the normal one, and then retrofit the dual element thinga-ma-bob later.

I believe some people have also bought the cover plate from a failed unit and took it to an engineering shop to add a spot for a second element, making their own.

Yeah, I've seen both of these, neither of them is really as good as an actual unit thats just designed for two elements though.
Also from both a safety and efficiency perspective I'd (personally) like some decent space between the two elements (wiring further apart and so on)

I guess the other option and probably closest I can get to a proper two element geyser,  is to go for two geysers that just connect to one another.

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1 hour ago, mmacleod said:

They're clearly superior (ease of modification for off grid purposes aside) so its crazy to think that price alone is enough to keep them completely out of the local market. An extra element/thermostat barely even costs that much...

You get similar stuff in the local market.  But your eyes are going to water when I give you a price.

Last one I did was a fair bit larger but without any elements (for heat pump) and it came in at R27,000. Smaller unit I would guess about R10k-R15k

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, mmacleod said:

I guess the other option and probably closest I can get to a proper two element geyser,  is to go for two geysers that just connect to one another.

Yes. Two geysers in series with the first one on solar and the second just doing top up temperature is what I am also looking to do.

Two 150 liter geysers is below R6k excluding electrical supply and installation.

Edited by Pietpower

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12 minutes ago, Pietpower said:

Yes. Two geysers in series with the first one on solar and the second just doing top up temperature is what I am also looking to do.

Two 150 liter geysers is below R6k excluding electrical supply and installation.

This is what I have done, only I have a 2KW electric geyser running from PV on sunny days feeding into my gas geyser that only ignites when the incoming water temperature is lower than required.

I chose the gas to diversify my energy sources.

More expensive to install than a second electric geyser but vastly superior in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, Pietpower said:

Yes. Two geysers in series with the first one on solar and the second just doing top up temperature is what I am also looking to do.

Two 150 liter geysers is below R6k excluding electrical supply and installation.

Does seem like the way to go, looks like two smaller geysers barely costs much more than a single large one, and its kind of neat in a way  having the two mostly separated from each other.

I'm convinced 😀 Now I just need to decide which of the dozens of potential options for feeding PV into the PV one is going to be the most sane.

Edited by mmacleod

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Why would you want 2 elements - for Solar ?

I have dual elements available on a single 1 1/4" boss. One for 220V AC 1000 Watt and the other for 525 Watt (+25% rated) 36VDC (Solar).  

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8 minutes ago, DaveSA said:

Why would you want 2 elements - for Solar ?

I have dual elements available on a single 1 1/4" boss. One for 220V AC 1000 Watt and the other for 525 Watt (+25% rated) 36VDC (Solar).  

Other than generally being considered more efficient for various other reasons (and thus more common overseas)

In the case of solar two elements makes it easier and cleaner to have one element powered by solar and one by mains, with different temperature settings while still being appropriately sized. This is how most people who dump excess solar as heat seem to do it overseas.

 

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5 minutes ago, Richard Mackay said:

If I may I think the term '2 elements' and 'dual elements' that is causing some confusion here is the same thing.  

Not at all, 2 seperate elements (quite common overseas; seemingly incredibly rare here):

image.png.0ee889cc62d861be9b502a59001e7100.png


'Dual' elements on a single 'boss' (some small market availability here in various shapes/forms):
image.thumb.png.fd896073db249a39f8de5676a56085ed.png

Edited by mmacleod

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