I have a 20 liter electric storage water heater which has a 230V AC, 2KW electric heating element. The heating element is failing frequently primarily due to bad quality of water inducing faster corrosion of heating element. I decided to experiment with the current to increase the life of heating element. I want to limit the heating to about 80% of normal so that heating element runs at slightly cooler temperatures.
I have BTA41-600B 41Amp Triac available to me. This triac has sufficiently high current rating for a 2KW coil. Two options come to my mind.
Buy a electric fan speed regulator. These are available cheap and in plenty. Open the enclosure, identify the triac in the circuit and just replace the triac with BTA41-600B. The question is will this work? I am an electrical Engineer and I do build small electronic circuits on my own, but I have never built a circuit involving Triac.
The other option is to build a simple circuit with a preset resistance connected to the gate. But what should be the rating of this preset resistance?
There is one more question. Should I need to use a heat sink for this application?