Remotely controlled water heater?

I have 2 water heaters, plumbed in series.
1 is turned off, as 1 is normally adequate.
Would like to be able to turn heater "ON", remotely via internet/wifi,
when I will need more that the usual amount.
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Google will get you many options. Looks like the whole shebang can cost you $300. Plus permit fees and inspections should you decide to be compliant with local building codes.
But... Have you done the math?
When I looked at water heater setback, I concluded that the thermal time constant of the heater was so long that I would save almost zip by turning it off. Takes only slightly more energy to heat it back up than I saved by turning it off. The better the tank insulation, the less you save.
In your case, you're gonna heat up 50 gallons of water then let it all cool back down when you're done. Might be more cost effective to raise the main heater temperature a few degrees to get that extra capacity most of the time. The devil is in the details of usage. You have to do the math.
If you need this functionality frequently and are unable to plan ahead, you might find that the payback is less than never...maybe.
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I'm guessing electric?
Rheem has a nice app for that. It goes with their $2k WH.
X-10, Insteon, Leviton, or Lutron could be used with software and a heavy duty relay. Automation module plugs into the wall, relay splices into the 240v power into the WH. Set the WH to normal heat and ON, then control power via the module/relay. Software on the PC controls the module.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
What you want, is an on-demand water heater; one that sees the flow in the hot water outlet and instantly responds. No internet or wifi required, the hot water tap is the only control required. They're available, and will save you money by not having a full-tank leak of heat to ambient air during OFF phase.
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