If you are the last member of your family to make it to the bathroom in the morning, you may be used to running out of hot water
. This can be frustrating, particularly if you have guests or a larger family. So, if you want to avoid a chilly shower every morning, or want to enjoy a hot bath, there are some simple steps to avoid the problem of running out of hot water.
Know and Respect Your Limits:
Water heaters for residential properties can have a capacity of between 30 and 80 gallons. The size will depend on the size of the home and other factors. Generally, a water heater is only able to dispense approximately 2/3 of the capacity before the cold water will begin to dilute the remaining hot water supply and require the tank to refill. Since the average shower uses approximately 2 gallons per minute, the average adult will use approximately 10 gallons during a shower. This means that if you have a tank with an 80 gallon capacity, you will have approximately 55 gallons before the tank starts to refill and you no longer have hot water. This equates to roughly 27 minutes of showering time before you run out of hot water. So, you may need to place a time limit on showers if you have a large household or consider a tankless water heater.
Establish Your Refilling Time:
Knowledge is certainly power, and if you know how long it will take before you run out of hot water and how long before your supply is replenished, you can schedule your shower so that you never need to have a chilly bathing experience again. Typically, a 50 gallon tank will take approximately 20 minutes to refill fully and a further 20 minutes to reheat the tank to the base temperature. A larger tank will require longer, so you may need a total of at least 60 minutes. So, if your sullen teenager spends twenty minutes using up the last of the hot water, you should plan for at least an hour of breakfast before you take your shower.
Create a Shower Schedule:
Now that you know the times involved for your hot water supply, you can create a shower schedule so that no one needs to endure a cold shower. If some members of your household have a tighter schedule in the morning, they should have priority for the shower in the morning, or they may prefer to shower in the evening. If you have a flexible schedule, why queue for the bathroom and increase your chances of a cold shower. Why not allow the rest of the family to shower, and you can have plenty of bathroom time when they have left, and the heater has had time to refill and reheat the tank. Just remember that if you have guests, you may need to plan showering ahead of time to ensure that everyone is happy and comfortable. So, if you are planning on having a house full of guests for the holidays or a special occasion, start thinking about your schedule.
Tankless Water Heater
Another solution would be to install
a tankless water heater. It uses a heat source to warm up your cool water on demand whenever you need it rather than storing hot water in a tank. On average, the tankless water heater provides two to three gallons of hot water per minute on demand.
By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solutions.