Saturday, March 4, 2023

Replacing a 30 gallon hot water heater with a 40 gallon one

About 10 years ago I replacde my hot water heater.  There is a old blog post on it.  For some reason the bottom element quit working so I thought i would fix it.  It turned out that there had been a water leak for a long time.  The area was completely rusted out so I did not dare touch it.  My wife wanted a 40 gallon heater but they are 21" in diameter and would not fit in the space available.  However I discovered that there is a narrow 18" diameter 40 gallon water heater that is available at Lowes.

The 12 year old water heater.  It had rust stripes below the lower element access cover.

The new narrow 40 gallon water heater.  The opening was not big enough for me to get my head in there to see the wiring so I did the wiring kind of blind.  The wire was just barely long enough.  I replaced one pipe and extended the other pipe.

Retrofitting Par 56 Light fixtures with LED lights

Someone donated some PAR56 Light fixtures.  They came equiped with 500 watt light bulbs.  That means that you can only have three of them on a typical 120 volt circuit.  So I thought I would retrofit them with some LED lights.  But a direct replacement LED light is $100 each!  Then I came up with a retrofit that can fit almost any light from a PAR38 sized bulb.  Now they are not as bright, typically 1000 to 2000 lumens.  The 500 watt lights are around 6000 lumens!  But the LED lights are still very bright, even blinding to look at.

All you need for the retrofit is a metal strap, it needs to be strong, I have doubled up some of the wimpy straps to get enough strength. Then you need a 1000 watt ceramic socket.  I bought several of them on ebay.

Here is an ad for the ceramic light sockets.  You have to reroute the wires so the mounting hole can be used.  A 10-32 screw and nut works well to mount the socket to the strap. 

Here is an ad for some 1650 lumen, 19.5 watt LED light bulbs.  Make sure they are dimmable and daylight 5000 kelvin lights.