OT - Replace a "smart" water heater "power board" with a standard thermostat ? (pic)
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  1. #1
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    Default OT - Replace a "smart" water heater "power board" with a standard thermostat ? (pic)

    Sort of emergency situation...no hot water in house. Rheem 5500 watt water heater, elements are fine, "board" needs replacing and Rheem is out and doesn't know when they will get more ! (pesky pandemic supply chain issues) Occured to me maybe I can bypass the electronic stuff and hook up the old style. But first off is the "board" simply an electronic thermostat or is situation this more complex than that ?

    (And no Home Depot has none, no distributor in this area ever carries one much less has one now)

    Rheem part no. SP21049

    img_9745.jpg img_9747.jpg

    Replace this with this ? Rheem WH does have two elements but uses a thermocouple for the lower element.

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    I replaced mine (Oz Rheem) with old school mechanical thermostat/contactor salvaged from a 1990s water tank.....the smart setup is tied up to your contract with the power supplier,and its just possible the power co will know when you fiddle with it.....Anyway ,my object was to moderate the water temp...which now has to be above 160F,(scalding in my old plumbing)......with the earlier fully temp controlled down to just warm water ..(told the 160 F is to kill bacteria that may lurk....risk I was willing to take.

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    Go get a new water heater in the morning and have hot water by lunch. Its just not worth doing anything else.

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    The heating elements don't know what's telling them to do their job. Yes, you can replace the electronic junk with a normal old school thermostat.

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    My grandparents lived their whole lives with a big kettle on the woodstove and a tin bathtub that came out of the woodshed on bathday.

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    In my opinion a hot water heater should not be smart unless it is smart enough to withstand a lightning strike in the area. It should be as stupid simple as possible. When I have to replace an appliance, I always go for the dumbest unit I can find. I have had too many "smart" appliances crap out because of some expensive/unobtainable circuit board.

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    I had a long talk the other day with a young man who had just graduated from college with an engineering degree. He was quite sharp, seemed to have a good handle on many engineering related topics. But, I was dismayed to see that he had no awareness that 'smart' products are the dumbest ever produced. I set forth to educate him as best I could.....

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    no hot water isnt an emergency........ ive gone without for a week before. if really needed, boil it.
    and most dont just swap out due to different resistance etc on the probes. its a new heater time without all the smart crap that isnt so smart now.

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    Worked … even the brackets that hold each thermostat were the same.

    1b3f3adc-058a-42b0-83c7-e7a2eff860c3.jpg e0a7656c-7d18-4a3a-bd68-6209a154a0a2.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by BT Fabrication View Post
    no hot water isnt an emergency........ ive gone without for a week before. if really needed, boil it.
    and most dont just swap out due to different resistance etc on the probes. its a new heater time without all the smart crap that isnt so smart now.
    Note I said "sort of" emergency....i.e. the type where wife wants to take a shower really bad

    As to the Captain Obvious suggestion of "simply" replacing the WH.... it was replaced just 4 months ago (due to leak) and up three flights of stairs, draining and refilling 50 gallons, 40 mile trip to Home Depot, etc. not real appealing. So now the WH is dead Smart to dumb live... I prefer that !

    As an aside, one of those deals where an appliance is under full warranty (including labor) but it doesn't do a damn bit of good since the needed part is unobtanium.

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    Glad this worked, it is good info to file in the data bank, even if it is just a weekend fix, you can get it at home depot and wait in warm water comfort for the correct part to arrive. When it does you can install at your leisure

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Glad this worked, it is good info to file in the data bank, even if it is just a weekend fix, you can get it at home depot and wait in warm water comfort for the correct part to arrive. When it does you can install at your leisure
    Or, more likely, never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    wait in warm water comfort for the correct part to arrive. When it does you can install at your leisure
    Screw that. That stupid arfing electronic shit is always the first thing that fails. Rule for modern life : If it has an lcd ? Don't buy it.

    It's very cool that he could get a real thermostat for that thing. One that works.

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    As long as the pressure relief valve works properly you and your family should be safe. I saw a Myth Buster episode where they defeat the safety features of a water heater to see if it could shoot like a rocket through the roof when the pressure gets too high. It was not pretty.

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    On the topic of water heaters...when I've needed one, these guys know their heaters and do a great job of selling to the general public at good prices.

    They sell all sorts of heaters, but best of all sell 'old school' heaters built to higher standards than Home Depot junk. I bought a gas version in 2018 that still had a traditional pilot light (no electronic start) and dial type thermostat.

    Water Heater Installation | Tankless Water Heaters | Water Heater Replacement

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admin5 View Post
    So now the WH is dead Smart to dumb live... I prefer that !
    One might suspect an enterprising pragmatist could even craft a successful web site on that concept..?

    Call it "practical.." somethign-or-other?

    Oh.

    Wait....

    It's YOU?



    As an aside, one of those deals where an appliance is under full warranty (including labor) but it doesn't do a damn bit of good since the needed part is unobtanium.
    Go figure my Whirlpool "smart" 90 Gal is on its second set of elements in 25-odd years.

    But the fancy box atop it with the PCB and LED is still doing whatever TF it actually does.

    If anything?

    Might open it up one day and find the reason it has been dead-reliable is that there ain't a damned thing in it BUT an LED?

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    In the interests of safety and the environment - two darling topics which can be used with great success to flatten your ability to make choices for yourself - many water heaters sold now can only be turned up to around 160 degrees. Another good reason to buy an old school heater that will allow you to waste precious resources, scald the hair off your face, and actually have hot water at the tap.

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    Perhaps you should lean on HD and say that if the part is not available, then give me a new water heater.
    It would be interesting to know if they are selling new water heaters with the same part. If so, they apparently are not really unavailable.
    I suppose someone might be devious enough to buy a new one, swap parts, and return the defective new one. I am not one who would typically do that, but in this case ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjr6550 View Post
    Perhaps you should lean on HD and say that if the part is not available, then give me a new water heater.
    It would be interesting to know if they are selling new water heaters with the same part. If so, they apparently are not really unavailable.
    I suppose someone might be devious enough to buy a new one, swap parts, and return the defective new one. I am not one who would typically do that, but in this case ...
    OP prolly is not interested in the 40 mile trip to the orange store.

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    Yea, you are probably safe for the short term, but I would get the factory part and install it as soon as you can.



    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    As long as the pressure relief valve works properly you and your family should be safe. I saw a Myth Buster episode where they defeat the safety features of a water heater to see if it could shoot like a rocket through the roof when the pressure gets too high. It was not pretty.


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