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Thread: Dual water heater in mountain cabin

  1. #1

    Default Dual water heater in mountain cabin

    I have a 3700sf cabin in Big Bear, CA that is a vacation rental. I currently have a 50gal gas water heater and a few guests have run out of hot water mainly due to the use of bathtubs. There are 3 bathrooms consisting on 2 showers, 1 shower/tub combo, and 1 jetted tub.

    The problem is the cabin normally has 12-14 guests. My plan was to add another 50gal gas water heater in series. I checked into tankless and it is still not cost effective.

    Is this the best solution for my problem?

    Thanks, David

  2. #2
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Penticton, BC


    Quote Originally Posted by pchiker View Post
    Is this the best solution for my problem?

    Thanks, David
    You your best solution is a tankless :P

    Adding another gas tank might prove costly as well because you need gas work done and you might need to increase the size of the flue from 4" to 5" depending on your local codes. This could be costly.

    But none the less having two 50gal tanks will probably still cause you to run out of hot water at peak demand when you have people taking showers simultaneously just after someone fills a bath (or w/e scenario you can imagine that takes a large volume of hot water).

    However adding a second tank in series will DEFINITELY help your situation out.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    A 75 gallon would be a better choice even though it is considerably more costly than a 50 gallon one. You get 50% more storage, but more important, you get double the BTU input, which is what helps to maintain the temperature of the outgoing water.

  4. #4


    My current BTU is 38. If I were to go to a single 75 gallon tank what should the BTU be? I was quoted $1200 to add another 50gal tank.


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