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Thread: Running out of hot water???

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    St. John's, NL
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    1

    Default Running out of hot water???

    We've been running out of hot water in the shower. We can get a 10 minute shower but can only get a second shower 4 minutes long. I have replaced both elements in the 40 gallon electric water heater but there has been no change. It takes approximately 2 to 4 hours to be able to get another 10 minute shower. I had a plumber in to fix a leaking hot water tap in my bathtub and the problem seems to have started after they fixed the tap. Any advice??

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
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    7,463

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    It could be any number of things like bad elements, thermostats, power supply problem, bad dip tube , and hot cold cross connection just to name a few of the possibilities. Only on site troubleshooting can determine the problem....

  3. #3
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
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    Ontario, Canada
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    906

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    My money is on a bad dip tube. The bath tub repair was only coincidence

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
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    21,412

    Default

    This could be entirely normal. What temperature is your hot water? The higher it is, the less of it you use, and the longer you can run your shower. For safety, you could put a tempering valve on the output to lower it.

    If you put a bucket underneath the showerhead and measure it for one minute, how much water does it use? If it is an old head, it might use more than the 2.5gpm federal mandate for a single head. You can only get about 75-80% of the water in a WH before it cools off from the incoming water and can no longer keep up, so that's likely about right for a typical showerhead, if the WH temp isn't very high (i.e., you're using mostly hot). If you raise the WH temp, you would use less of it, since you'd need more cold to make it comfortable. A gas WH can usually recover faster and give you more hot water in the first hour, but with a stock electric, you may be close to maxing it out.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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