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I've replaced electric water heaters where they had started leaking and the lower element was definitely buried in sediment but had not failed. I don't recall any of them being commercial elements though. (higher kw)
Regardless, I'm sure the expected life of the element would be reduced if it's buried.
The real value of the sand hog is that with it's ultra low watt density and Inconel construction it will not burn out heck you can even dry fire them without burn out. However, if a large portion or, all of the element is burried in sediment then heat transfer will be negatively affected.
The real value of the sand hog is that with it's ultra low watt density and Incloy construction it will not burn out heck you can even dry fire them without burn out. However, if a large portion or, all of the element is buried in sediment then heat transfer will be negatively affected.
correction for REDWOOD any element will burn out
if is overused enough i have seen even "HEAVY"
duty commercial 480 v. 3 ph. incloy elements
burn out in just 6mos. to one year of constant
running on some jobs in L.A.
CALIF. LIC. PLBG,HEAT,DRAINS,ELECTRIC,WATER HEATER, BOILER, POOL AND SPA HEATER
FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTOR,
SINCE JAN. 1989
The sandhog element will probably last for quite a while under sediment. But it will burn out eventually. While it's lasting, it's probably costing a lot more to heat water, since water can't circulate around it. I opted long ago for standard double-loop elements and get them out when the sediment gets that high. That way, you save money on the elements and the power usage. And you get to go back and do it again in a few years.
I read somewhere that there is a difference in electric water heater elements. There are "standard" ones and then there are some that are"low watt density". From what I read the "low watt density" are supposed to be more energy efficient? Is this true? Also, do you know anything about an element called a "sandhog" or something like that. It is a very curvy element that is supposed to last for years?
Also, do you think that you save energy by having the thermostat on 120 versus 140? I feel like at 120 we use more hot water showering than we would at 140 plus the dishwasher runs a long time at 120 heating the water.
The difference between so-called standard and low-watt density elements is the length, or watts per inch. So a shorter element has more watts per inch if it's the same total wattage and is more likely to burn out. I only use elements with the double loop for longer life.
Low-watt density is not more efficient. It uses the same wattage. It just costs less to buy.
The Sandhog element was first developed by State Industries and was originally guaranteed, if memory serves, for life even under lime. Then they shortened it to a five-year guarantee. Then State started making water heaters that were just plain defective. The only place you can find one in this part of Idaho is through Sears.
The biggest problem with the Sandhog element is that, when they do burn out, you'll have a heck of a time getting the old element out of the tank. And you need to get it out so that it doesn't create a hot spot against the new element later on. The stainless steel is very stiff and the long, curvy element is nearly impossible to get out without winding it in a knot or breaking it.
Years ago, they made them with a hand-hole cleanout. You could unbolt that and reach in and dig the lime out first, then help the element out through its hole. Then you could hope that the cleanout would seal back in place. But now that the efficiency has been increased, they dumped the cleanout because it was a heat loss.
You definitely save energy keeping the water at a lower temperature. It's not just when you use it, but when you store it as well. But you don't want to start growing things in the heater. I prefer about 140.