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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I own a 1220 square foot home with copper piping. I currently have a Rheem 38 gallon water heater that I purchased from Home Depot and installed myself. I notice after my wife takes a 15-20 minute shower, I attempt to take a shower and the water gets really cold. I end of having to crank the shower valve almost all the way to the hot side. There are three of us total living in the house. The water pressure also drops in the shower when other fixtures are being used. Any advice would be helpful, Thanks
 

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Could be a couple things going on. Have to investigate a little more. From your statement, sounds like a possible cracked or broken dip tube. But just a guess as more information is needed.

How old is wh. ?
 

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Sounds like she’s taking a hot shower and using up the hot water in the tank. How much time is going by between showers? Is this an electric water heater?
Either way, it doesn’t have the capacity to heat water as it’s being used. It needs recovery time between uses.
 

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More info as requested above, plus maybe a picture of the install.
Does your shower have a low flow shower head?
How long are these showers?
Did this WH work fine for some period of time and now has a problem?

Bud
 

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It's possible it just may not be big enough and can't recover from back to back showers, dishwasher, washer machine going etc.

A 38 gallon tank is not that big. Your wife taking a 20 minute shower then you taken a shower right after that and washing machine, dishwasher going, etc, it may not be recovering quickly enough. Idk.

We have a 40 gallon wh and it supplies enough hot water for two people, washing machine, dishwasher. But we don't take back to back 20 minute showers and have everything running at the same time.
 

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Crank up the temperature setting on the water heater a bit and see if that solves the "running out of hot water" problem. If the water is hotter to begin with, it takes less volume from the heater to achieve the desired temperature in the tub/shower.
 

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Also depends on the person. My wife will take showers that I consider luke warm. My daughter or I will demolish a 50 gallon tank of hot water in 20 minutes.

As others have said.. electric vs gas makes a difference. Also depends on how hot your water tank is set for.

15 minutes recovery time is normal in my experience

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Is the heater coming on before you enter the chill of death shower? :smile:Take the hot water only water temperature at the shower and other fixtures and compare to rule out mixer valve etc. problems if applicable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SO my wife takes a 20 minute shower then I will get right in after her. We both work early so we need to shower fairly quickly. This is a natural gas 38 gallon water heater. The thermostat is a honeywell and its labeled A,B,C. I have it set to B. during the shower time, there are usually no other fixtures running. laundry and dishes are done later in the day when were not showering.I also drilled out the low flow restrictor in the shower head since I like hard spray and to rinse of quickly.
 

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It’s probably using most of the tanks supply during her shower. Need a longer recovery time between showers, hotter setpoint for the tank or a bigger water heater.
When you installed it did you verify correct gas pressure?
 

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If you have a 1.6 GPM shower head then 20 minutes about uses all the hot in the tank. If it just a direct vent and not a power vent it needs time to recover. A larger tank will help.
 

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If you have a 1.6 GPM shower head then 20 minutes about uses all the hot in the tank. If it just a direct vent and not a power vent it needs time to recover. A larger tank will help.
That assumes that the wife takes showers with only hot water, no cold water mixed in. If the thermostat is set high enough, she would find that... uncomfortable.

But someone already mentioned raising the thermostat. My 2 cents: see if the shower head is wasteful. I've found that using a water-saving shower head makes a HUGE difference. In fact, I've lugged the same shower head I bought 20 years ago to 3 different houses because it has a low flow rate while still providing a nice powerful shower.

When my daughter discovered how much she liked showers, and stayed in there for 30+ minutes, I installed a flow limiter on the shower head in her bathroom. She was fine with it, and my gas bill went down by quite a bit. And there were no more problems with the next person running out of hot water.
 

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One word.....Tankless. You won't run out of hot water, and your gas bill will come down because you aren't heating water while you are at work, out to eat, sleeping, etc. Only when you use it.
 
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