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Old 12-20-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


So my husband and I just bought our first house, this is our first real winter in the house.

Issue:
- have to wait about 10 minutes to get hot water in the shower, especially in the morning. Furnace guy came out last week to fix a heat issue we were having, had to turn the hot water off and never turned it back on so my uncle came out and turned it back on which I thought would have fixed our issue but we still have to wait a while before we get hot water to the shower.
- We jack up the hot water in our shower all the way and its just still not hot enough, not sure if it is something wrong with the lever on the our shower itself or what.

Some facts about the house:
- Furnace is only about 13 years old
- No Hot water Heater in the house
- Oil Heat

I guess this is all trial and error with going through the first winter in a new house but we are not sure what the problem is.

Any thoughts anyone???

Thanks! J

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Old 12-20-2010, 12:09 PM   #2
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Is the shower the only place you notice it?

How far away is the shower from the water heater?

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Old 12-20-2010, 12:28 PM   #3
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


The shower seems to be the only place we notice it, the water gets really hot in the kitchen faucet, like really hot and it doesn't take very long to get it hot.

We dont have a water heater.......just the furnace. It ran by oil.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Is your house heated with forced hot air (ducts) or water (baseboard or radiator). I am thinking you have an oil-fired boiler (not a furnace) with a domestic hot water coil running through it.

If so, your boiler's high/low setpoints may need to be raised. Maybe the shower is pulling the water from the boiler faster than it can heat it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Quote:
We dont have a water heater.......just the furnace. It ran by oil.
Guess I misunderstood. In that case, I don't know much about those type of systems. I'm sure someone else here will know better.
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Old 12-20-2010, 01:56 PM   #6
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Is this a single handle faucet? The faucet or an anti-scald mechanism inside could be letting too much cold water in to commingle with the hot water even on the hottest setting.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Can you take a picture of the furnace/boiler and the shower handle?
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
Is your house heated with forced hot air (ducts) or water (baseboard or radiator). I am thinking you have an oil-fired boiler (not a furnace) with a domestic hot water coil running through it.

If so, your boiler's high/low setpoints may need to be raised. Maybe the shower is pulling the water from the boiler faster than it can heat it.
Our house is heated by baseboards......hmmmm oil-fired boiler, that would sound about right to me because for about a week, we were hearing rushing water and gurgling through out the baseboards and so we proceeded to have our oil/furnace comapny come out and it turns out that the regulators for each zone was completely DRY and if we would have waited to get it fixed, it would have cracked the boiler and the furnace guy was surprised that our boiler didn't crack so oil-fired boiler might be right.

Would you know if there are setpoints on the boiler that we can access and maybe turn up??
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:16 PM   #9
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Is this a single handle faucet? The faucet or an anti-scald mechanism inside could be letting too much cold water in to commingle with the hot water even on the hottest setting.
Yes it is a single handle faucet. Hmmm ok, we would have to take it apart to find out the anti-scald mechanism right?

My husband and I are not handy, we are getting there with owning a home but no where near skilled enough to be taking things apart if you know what I mean.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


You should be able to look at the control panel on the boiler and see two little knobs on which you can set the low/high. Turn off the breaker before doing so, because there may be live electrical wires in there. The control panel probably has a removable metal cover and likely says Honeywell on it.

I don't know too much about this stuff (I am a DIYer, not a pro), but I just this week got rid of my oil boiler (which had a domestic hot water loop) removed and replaced with a gas boiler. Can you take a picture of the boiler and/or post the manufacturer and model number?

If you do, in fact, have a DHW (domestic hot water) coil in your boiler, you may want to post in the HVAC section of this site to obtain proper setpoints, if you don't get an answer here. I also have an electric water heater in my house, so the DHW coil in my boiler was not my only heat source. For what it's worth, my low/high were set to 140/180 when i moved into the house.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:29 PM   #11
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Sounds like you definitely have an integrated tankless coil tied into your oil burner.

Unfortunately, (aside from installing a tank water heater after it), there's nothing really you can do to speed up getting hot water to the faucet. You can however probably get hotter water by decreasing the volume (you're probably running too much, too fast for the heater to keep up) and insulating the hot water lines.

Or you may have both, and the tank may not be functioning.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:52 PM   #12
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick DIY View Post
...You can however probably get hotter water by decreasing the volume (you're probably running too much, too fast for the heater to keep up) ...
A water saving shower head may help with this part. They're designed to give a nice spray with less water volume.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


From what it sounds like, it seems that hot water heater is the solution and maybe not the shower handle itself. I think we will be calling a plumber sometime soon to get this all straighten out.

Thank you for all that reponded! Much appreciated!

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Old 12-20-2010, 04:36 PM   #14
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


... gurgling in the baseboards ... regulator dry ... could crack the boiler ...

Is the water level in the boiler too low? This will also reduce the performance of a tankless water heater built into the boiler. You may need an expert to set the water level and pressure correctly.

The high and low temperature settings may be on a small box that looks like a thermostat, and attached to the boiler. You might have to remove a panel (usually slides or lifts off) from the boiler unit to access these settings. While the high temperature limit could be set as high as 180 degrees, without a master anti-scald unit at the boiler, 140 degrees is about as high as you can go without making the domestic hot water very dangerous.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-20-2010 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 06:19 PM   #15
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First time home owner – furnace/hot water issue


Couple Ideas

1- What you have is referred to as a summer Winter Hook up. If it was my house I would consider installing an Electric Water heater for your hot water portion. I know I am going to hear people say I am just trying to get you to spend money but, I believe that it will cost you less to run an Electric water Heater than it will to use the boiler to heat up the water in the Summertime. I guess it also will depend where you live but something to consider. Almost forgot easy way to remember Furnace is Forced Air... Boiler= Boiling water

2- Insulate your pipes.

3- Check the faucet... it could be as easy as removing a cartridge and spinning it to get hot water.

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