At my residence I am on a program that the utility controls my water heater in return they would take care of any elements that need replaced. OK I have an outside wood furnace that was used to heat the water with coils around the water heater. I have not used the system since we moved in ( 5 years)because of a problem with the wood furnace. But when we called the utility for service they said there rules said they would not work on it because we COULD preheat the water. And if they controled the water heater they had to have total control. I'm going to remove the pipes because I don't use them any how. Finally my question is why do they care if the water is preheated? if the water is preheated it would take less current to bring it up to temp. Less current on they lines? whats the problem? And I ask them specifically if they were worried about damage to the heater and they said no that they wanted the elements cold when power was put back to the heater from them? Just wondered? thanks