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Old 06-02-2007, 10:51 PM   #1
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Hot water runs out quickly


Im wondering why I cant take more than a 10 minute shower because the hot water runs out. We have a relatively new (~3 yrs old) 40gal hot water heater and I have the temperature set to almost max.

I figured I was simply using all the water in the tank until I went to visit my parents. They have the same volume water heater and Im able to take >30 min showers at their place wout any change in the water temperature. What gives???

The only difference between my tank and theirs is that I have one of the short stubby versions that will fit in a tight crawl space. Theirs is about 5ft high. But 40 gallons is 40 gallons. Maybe one version doesnt hold heat as well???
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:01 AM   #2
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Hot water runs out quickly


This a gas or electric?
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:45 AM   #3
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Hot water runs out quickly


How long are your runs and how cold is your cold water... I find that you adjust the water to the temp you want at the fixture's mixer. So if you have long hot water pipe runs or the pipes run through a cold crawl space, it's going to lose a lot of heat on it's way to the shower. What happens is that you mix in more hot water just to keep it warm, hence you'll use up the hot water quicker. One remedy to this scenario is to insulate the hot water pipes.

If you have really cold water supply, the same happens in that you tend to mix more hot water in to keep the temp up, and again, you use up the hot water faster. If you have a seperate hot and cold tap for the mixer, then just turn the cold down in this scenario.
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:15 AM   #4
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Hot water runs out quickly


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This a gas or electric?
its gas
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Old 06-03-2007, 02:17 AM   #5
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How long are your runs and how cold is your cold water... I find that you adjust the water to the temp you want at the fixture's mixer. So if you have long hot water pipe runs or the pipes run through a cold crawl space, it's going to lose a lot of heat on it's way to the shower. What happens is that you mix in more hot water just to keep it warm, hence you'll use up the hot water quicker. One remedy to this scenario is to insulate the hot water pipes.

If you have really cold water supply, the same happens in that you tend to mix more hot water in to keep the temp up, and again, you use up the hot water faster. If you have a seperate hot and cold tap for the mixer, then just turn the cold down in this scenario.
Interesting. Ill check into that. Insulation isnt very expensive so that would be something I should just do anyway. We do live in Colorado, so I imagine that our cold water supply is indeed a few degrees cooler than it is in Georgia where my folks live.
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Old 06-03-2007, 10:54 AM   #6
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Hot water runs out quickly


Has it always been like this?
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:50 AM   #7
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Hot water runs out quickly


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Has it always been like this?
It has as long as weve lived here. We just bought it in October.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:52 AM   #8
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Hot water runs out quickly


This may be a stretch, considering your tank is only three years old, but hot water tanks have a drop pipe in them that brings the cold water into the tank near the bottom. This way the hot water rises to the outlet at the top of the tank, and stays hot until almost all of the hot water is used up. Gas tanks usually have a faster recovery time than electric, and you should be able to take a fairly long shower with a fourty gallon tank.
There have been cases where the drop pipe has fallen off, or corroded off, which allows the cold water to enter the water body at the top of the tank, and mix with the hot water. The result is that your hot water goes to luke warm very quickly.

If you have a hot water tap quite close to the tank try running it for a while and see if the hot water peters out just as quickly there. If it does, it is possible your drop pipe is laying in the bottom of the tank.

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Old 06-03-2007, 11:58 AM   #9
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Hot water runs out quickly


Do this, at tub turn on hot water tap, once you feel the hot water reach the tap, close the stopper and let the tap run hot water only, run till it gets to a luke warm temp, then turn it off, now judge how much water is in the tub, 40 gals these days is not that much and it will tend to get used fast, 50 gals is the norm these days.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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Hot water runs out quickly


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I figured I was simply using all the water in the tank until I went to visit my parents. They have the same volume water heater and Im able to take >30 min showers at their place wout any change in the water temperature. What gives???
Here you go, using a shower head rated at 1.6 gal per min will yield 25 min where as using a shower head at 2.5 gal per min will yield 16 min.

Keep in mind you won't get those actual numbers do to water mix in tank as the tank recovers.
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