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1. ## Water Heater Temp

I have a 50 gal electric water heater and my temp on my water heater is set to 130 deg and it seems that there is enough hot water for no more than 3 showers. Once the 4th person takes a shower, you have no hot water left. Should I increase the temp or it wont matter?

2. If you have a teenager, you might run out after one shower!

A new showerhead can't legally be sold that uses more than 2.5gpm. So, how long are those three showers and how old is the showerhead? You might want to run it into a bucket while timing it to see what you have. You can't get 50-gallons of 130-degree water out of the tank, as the incoming cold dilutes it. Figure anything over 70% a bonus.

Yes, you can effectively make the tank look bigger if you raise the temp, but for safety reasons, you should also install a tempering valve to limit the output. They're required where I live. Basically, it's an adjustable valve that mixes some cold with the hot let and 'tempers' it so it isn't quite as hot...it's like mixing the cold at the shower, but done at the outlet of the tank to help prevent excessively hot water from harming someone.

3. Both bathrooms have new showerheads that my wife bought at Bed Bath and Beyond within the past year.

What's the logic in making the tank look bigger if you raise the temp?

Is setting it to 140 degrees OK?

4. Originally Posted by Mikeyboy
What's the logic in making the tank look bigger if you raise the temp?

Is setting it to 140 degrees OK?
It's all about BTU's The higher the temp of the water stored in the tank the more heat you have stored.

You then will mix more cold and less hot so you will in effect be "Making the water heater look bigger."

The problem is that this hot water presents a very real danger of scalding someone. Especially young and elderly people! 3rd degree scald injuries occur in about 1 second at 160°F, 5 seconds at 140°F, 9 minutes at 120°F, 6.7 hours at 110°F. Scald Information click here

The water must be tempered to a safe temperature as it leaves the water heater when elevated temperatures are used. One of the valves pictured below would be required. Watts 70A & L70A Tempering Valve click here

5. There is the 70% principal in action here. A water heater will deliver 70% of its gallon capacity, at "shower" temperature, that is within about 20º f set point. SO, you 50 gallon tank will give you 35 gallons. ~2 gallons per minute, 10 minute shower....20 gallons. You are lucky to get 3 showers, and you can just forget 4!

There are remedies, and they have been described in the posts above mine.

6. My 50g electric indicates that it can provide 58 gallons of hot water in the 1st hour. At 20g a shower then the 3rd shower would start to go cold. I think this also depends upon how hot you like the shower

7. Originally Posted by Mikeyboy
I have a 50 gal electric water heater and my temp on my water heater is set to 130 deg and it seems that there is enough hot water for no more than 3 showers. Once the 4th person takes a shower, you have no hot water left. Should I increase the temp or it wont matter?
Turning up the temp of a water heater, you run the risk of scalding. Gamma and the water heater manufactures recommend you do not have the temp any higher than 120 degrees. A low flow shower head can help a lot and shorter showers is a huge help too.

8. So, what's the best way to allow more people to take showers with hot water?

9. Originally Posted by Mikeyboy
So, what's the best way to allow more people to take showers with hot water?
A larger heater, a lower flow shower head, shorter showers, or even add a second water heater. Two 50 in series would give you a lot of good hot water.

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