What is the Best Water Heater Timer? (2021 Review)

Last Updated On October 19, 2021
water heater timer

You don’t need your water heater to receive power at all times, as that uses unnecessary energy. Turning the water heater off while at work or on vacation can reduce your utility bills. Water heater timers automatically control power to your water heater so that you don’t need to worry about forgetting to shut off your water heater yourself.

In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:

  • What are water heater timers?
  • What are the different types of water heater timers?
  • How do water heater timers work?
  • What do you look for in the best water heater timer?
  • Top 5 best water heater timers reviewed

ImageProduct
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DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart 277V Timer Box
  • Connects up to 12 devices
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy control through app, voice control
  • Connects up to 12 devices
  • Weatherproof
  • Easy control through app, voice control
View on Amazon
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GE Indoor 240V Water Heater Timer Box
  • Tamper-resistant box
  • Manual override switch
  • Heavy duty material
  • Tamper-resistant box
  • Manual override switch
  • Heavy duty material
View on Amazon
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Aquanta Digital Smart Water Heater Timer
  • WiFi compatible 
  • Leak detection 
  • Phone reports and notifications
  • WiFi compatible 
  • Leak detection 
  • Phone reports and notifications
View on Amazon
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INTERMATIC 240V Electric Water Heater Timer
  • Battery backup (batteries included!)
  • 42 max on/off cycles over 7 day
  • Easy installation
  • Battery backup (batteries included!)
  • 42 max on/off cycles over 7 day
  • Easy installation
View on Amazon
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Tork NSI WH2B 204V/250V Mechanical Water Heater Timer Switch
  • Supports 40A
  • Different voltage setting options
  • ON/OFF switch
  • Supports 40A
  • Different voltage setting options
  • ON/OFF switch
View on Amazon

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Updated On May 21, 2021

DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart 277V Timer Box

Connect up to 12 devices to this WiFi timer box and control them separately with 12 different settings using an app on your smartphone. This device has a max load of 40A and up to 277V, and it comes in a weatherproof casing so that you can install it both inside or outside. 

DEWENWILS provides a one year warranty and customer support to answer all questions.

Our Top 5 Water Heater Timers

  1. DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart 277V Timer Box (Our Top Pick)
  2. GE Indoor 240V Water Heater Timer Box (Best Budget)
  3. Aquanta Digital Smart Water Heater Timer (Best High End)
  4. INTERMATIC 240V Electric Water Heater Timer
  5. Tork NSI WH2B 204V/250V Mechanical Water Heater Timer Switch

What's In This Guide?

      What Are Water Heater Timers?

      Water heater timers are electronic devices that turn the power on and off to your water heater automatically at specific times, so that the water heater doesn’t use energy unnecessarily. 

      Without a timer, homeowners must manually turn off the water heater every day. Not only does this take up a significant portion of time and effort, especially if the water heater has awkward controls, but we all forget things from time to time, leaving room for human error. 

      Water heater timers make the process simple. 

      Savings of Using Water Heater Timers

      Water heater timers claim to save money on utility bills. However, do the savings make up for the initial investment of the timer? 

      The amount of savings depends on several factors, including the placement of the water heater and timer settings. However, generally speaking, homeowners see a return on investment.

      You will need to set your water heater timer properly to get the best usage out of it. In most cases, people turn the power to the water heater off during the middle of the workday and in the middle of the night. The more time you can cut power to the water heater, the more savings you will notice. 

      Savings increase when using a timer on outdoor water heaters, especially tank-type water heaters in cold weather. If you leave the power on, the water heater will need to work constantly to keep water in the tank warm throughout the day. 

      Savings also occur since the water heater won’t deteriorate as quickly since it won’t experience as much wear and tear. This means you won’t need to replace your water heater early, costing you the price of a brand new water heater before you expected it. 

      What Are The Different Types Of Water Heater Timers?

      There are different types of water heater timers available for you to choose from. In particular, you can choose between on/off switches, mechanical water heater timers, and smart water heater timers. 

      On/Off Switch

      Many homeowners simply install an on/off switch to provide an easy way to turn the water heater off when going on vacation. These water heater timers install quickly, but they don’t qualify as a timer. They also don’t work well if you need to switch the power on and off multiple times a day or week. 

      Some on/off switches include a countdown timer to give the people in the home time before the power to the water heater gets cut off. 

      Intermatic Water Heater Timers

      Intermatic box water heater timers give you the chance to set your water heater on and off within a 24-hour period that repeats itself every day unless you change the settings. Some models allow you to set the timer for seven days as opposed to 24 hours.

      Smart Water Heater Timers

      Smart water heater timers allow you to connect your water heater timer to the internet and then control it from an app on your smartphone. In many cases, you can even connect the water heater timer to your whole home virtual assistant, such as Alexa.

      How Do Water Heater Timers Work?

      To install a box water heater timer, you connect the water heater timer to the main power supply and then use a second cable to connect the water heater and the timer. 

      Once installed, you need to program the timer. For intermatic water heaters, you will use the dial to set the time and set the trippers to the time you want the power to turn on and off. Don’t forget to use the on/off lever!

      When you set the timer to power the water heater, the device will provide power to the unit. At this time, the water heater will run like normal. When the timer indicates to shut the power off, the device will stop power from going to the water heater. During this time, the home will not have hot water. 

      did you know water heater timer

      What Do You Look For In The Best Water Heater Timer?

      When shopping, you need to look for specific features and characteristics so that you get the best water heater timer for your needs. 

      Correct Voltage/Amperage

      Your water heater requires a certain amount of voltage and amperage to power it properly. If you plug a product that requires more power into a water heater timer that only supports less power, it can cause damage or dangerous situations.

      Always check that your water heater timer can support both the voltage and the amperage of your water heater, as both voltage and amperage work together to determine the total wattage the product requires. 

      Indoor/Outdoor Rating

      Outdoor water heater timers stand up to the elements, such as heat, cold, rain, ice, and hail, by using heavy-duty materials. Products that don’t have an outdoor rating should only be used indoors. 

      Compatibility With Your Water Heater

      Most water heater timers work with both tankless and tank-type electric water heaters and gas water heaters with electronic ignitions.
      Most complex timers do not work with gas water heaters with pilot light ignition as these devices do not use electricity of any kind, and water heater timers are electronic devices.

      Top 5 Best Water Heater Timers Reviewed

      Now let’s explore our favorite units so you can decide on the perfect choice for your situation.

      Our #1 Rated Pick: DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart 277V Timer Box

      DEWENWILS Outdoor Smart 277V Timer Box

      Our Top Pick

      Connect up to 12 devices to this WiFi timer box and control them separately with 12 different settings using an app on your smartphone. This device has a max load of 40A and up to 277V, and it comes in a weatherproof casing so that you can install it both inside or outside. 

      DEWENWILS provides a one year warranty and customer support to answer all questions.

      Pros

      • Connects up to 12 devices
      • Weatherproof
      • Easy control through app, voice control

      Cons

      • Difficult to connect devices
      • Not for use in other countries
      • Requires installation within 100 ft. of WiFi

      Our #2 Rated Pick: GE Indoor 240V Water Heater Timer Box

      GE Indoor 240V Water Heater Timer Box

      Best Budget

      Put your water heater (or other home appliance) on a regular 24-hour cycle with this heavy-duty metal intermatic water heater timer box with a tamper-resistant feature that ensures your settings stay as you want them. It also comes with a simple manual override switch for when you need to use the water heater outside of the programmed settings.

      Pros

      • Tamper-resistant box
      • Manual override switch
      • Heavy duty material

      Cons

      • Indoor use only
      • Only 24 cycle
      • Only works with one device at a time

      Our #3 Rated Pick: Aquanta Digital Smart Water Heater Timer

      Aquanta Digital Smart Water Heater Timer

      Best High End 

      Keep up to date on all details regarding your water heater from an app on your phone with this smart water heater timer that includes reports regarding available hot water, usage, and leak detection. It even comes with technology that tracks when your family needs hot water the most, cutting off power at low usage times automatically while still making hot water available.

      Pros

      • WiFi compatible 
      • Leak detection 
      • Reports and notifications sent directly to your phone

      Cons

      • Not compatible with tankless water heater 
      • Does not connect to 5 GHz networks
      • Only connects to one device at a time

      Our #4 Rated Pick: INTERMATIC 240V Electric Water Heater Timer

      INTERMATIC 240V Electric Water Heater Timer

      You can program your water heater to turn on and off at your desired times with this 240V 30A electronic water heater timer throughout a seven-day week. If power runs out, you can still use the battery backup to keep things on track.

      Pros

      • Battery backup (batteries included!)
      • 42 max on/off cycles over 7 days
      • Easy installation

      Cons

      • One channel
      • Only supports 30A
      • Terminals close together

      Our #5 Rated Pick: Tork NSI WH2B 204V/250V Mechanical Water Heater Timer Switch

      Tork NSI WH2B 204V/250V Mechanical Water Heater Timer Switch

      This water heater timer allows you to set a timer to turn off the power in a 24-hour cycle while also providing an on/off switch. Choose between 204V or 250V depending on your water heater’s requirements and also support up to 40A of power.

      Pros

      • Supports 40A
      • Different voltage setting options
      • ON/OFF switch

      Cons

      • Gets hot
      • Awkward connection placements
      • Plastic on/off switch

      Final Thoughts On Hot Water Heater Timers

      If you can turn the water off throughout the day, take advantage of the opportunity by programming a water heater timer. Most people shut off power to the water heater while at work and late at night. 

      You have several water heater timer options. Smart water heater timers cost the most, but they have the most features that make them worth the extra cost.  

      FAQs for Water Heater Timers

      Does putting a timer on a hot water heater save money?

      Yes. Water heater timers can save significant money for homeowners. 

      How much will a hot water heater timer save me?

      That depends on your schedule and water heater placement. The savings increase for people who have outdoor water heaters in cold climates. Also, the more you reduce power to the device, the more you will save. 

      Do you need a water heater timer?

      You do not necessarily need a water heater timer. People with high usage and in cold climates benefit the most. 

      Can I put a timer on my hot water heater?

      You should be able to put a timer on any electric hot water heater or gas water heater with an electronic ignition, including tankless water heaters. 

      How do you set a hot water heater timer?

      You will need to program the intermatic water heater timer at the box. You can program a smart water heater timer from an app on your smartphone or with voice controls. 

      When should I set my water heater timer?

      The best times to set your water heater are when people won’t need hot water. In particular, most people don’t need power to the water heater during the middle of the day and the middle of the night. 

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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      I'm passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, "how-to", and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

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