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Thread: Hot water issues

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Cygarbuff's Avatar
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    Default Hot water issues

    I hope someone can help me out. I live outside Boston and I just bought a new home. New construction. In the kitchen and half bath on the first floor the hot water is good to the faucets. It's hot and within a few seconds. The master bathroom and full bathroom on the second floor don't get hot water to the faucets right away. It usually takes close to 1 minute before they get warm/hot. If an hour goes by and I use the faucets again it will take another minute to get the water where it should be. If I have to run the water for a minute everytime I want a few seconds of hot water it is going to kill me in water bills. The shower in the master will get warm water at best. The full bath shower on the other side of the wall of the masterbath will get hot water. Everything is so incosistent. The plumber said it's normal and to live with it. We are giving our contractor a hard time cuz it's not right. My last house that was just built 2 years ago one town over never had this problem. It's just the wrong time of year not to be getting hot water when you need it. I have the tempature to the max on the water heater. So when the water finally gets hot in the sinks it becomes scolding but the shower in the same bathroom will be just warm. The kind of warm that still gives you the chills when your showering. I never had to have my tempature gauge that high in my last house. I kept it on "A" and it was plenty. Now the plumber has been pissed at us since we took his allowance and bought our own fixtures. For what he wanted to buy for the money that was allowed didn't add up. He was looking to pocket a lot of money so we ask for the allowance so we could give ourselves better faucets, sinks toilets etc.. We were paying for it why not but the plumber has been giving us an attitude since that very day. So he is putting in no effort to resolve this issue. Can anyone give me an idea as to what this might be. I'm at the point where I want to hire a outside plumber and send the contractor the bill. This is a warranty issue and I don't know if the plumber is getting paid everytime he needs to come back he so he doesn't want to be turning down paying jobs to fix this problem or what. Is there a way of getting the hopt water to my bathrooms quicker? Any type of pressure valves that I could adjust? But why would the master bath shower be warm and the faucets scolding(after 1 minute). All I want is to turn on the hot water to wash my hands and get it within a few seconds. Will I ever get that? Thanks for any help
    Jay

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default ?

    You apparently do not have a circulation system in the house, probably because you did not pay for one. Therefore you have to evacuater the cooled water from the pipe before you can get hot water, and once you turn the faucet off, the water starts to cool down again and then the next time you have to do it over. Like the plumber says, it is proabably normal for the way your house is arranged. Your previous house may have had a circulator or been arranged so that the faucets were closer to the water heater. As for the allowance. If you contract specified an allowance and you signed it, then you do not have the right to subtract it and buy your own. He could sue you for breach of contract for doing so. His allowance price, and there should have been something to specify how the prices would be computed, (possibly the manufacturer's list price or that price less a discount would be the most common way), included his profit/markup which you apparently think he is not entitled to. That markup is to cover his assuming liability for the integrity of the fixtures he would supply, and since you are supplying your own, he does not have to warranty, service, or have any responsibility for them. In fact if he were I you would also have to install all the sinks before I would put the faucets on them. You are apparently buying them from Home Depot or a similar store and as such they have a high probability of being defective and if they should be he will be justified in charging you extra for removing the defective part and then installing the replacement. As for a different plumber, once I found out the facts why he did not finish it, or was not allowed to finish it, I would assume you would not be a customer I would be comfortable working with, since you could do the same thing to the next guy.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Default

    Previous post summed up the recirculation issue to the distant 2nd floor.


    Regarding the showers, it depends on what model you put in. Many modern showers have limit stops under the handle so that the maximum hot temp. can be limited to protect children, elderly,or disabled. These stops are adjustable, so check that out.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Cygarbuff's Avatar
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    Default

    So what it sounds like is a circulating system needs to be added? I spend $450,000 on this house and all I want is hot water. How much is that and how do I go about putting one in? Is it common to have one put in situations like mine? As for the allowance I did sign off with the contractor about that. It was the contractors idea as our tastes might not be the same as the plumbers. The plumber bought bad toilets for my last house and I wanted better toilets for this one as I did not want to be double flushing for the rest of my life. That's where it all started. All I did was what the contractor asked and having us pick out our own styles was nice. They were all bought from plumbing supply houses and no home depot or lowes brands went into my house. As for the second opinion from a different plumber I just want to see if there is something they can adjust or do that the original plumber won't. It's been a month now and he won't come back. Sounds like it's personnal. If he was to come back and explain it or try something else to make it a little better that would be nice but it doesn't look good having him dusting us off like having hot water isn't important. So on the days where my bathroom faucets never turn warm or hot what is that from?

  5. #5
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default hot water

    Installing a circulation line could range from very expensive to impossible now that the house is completed. Your contractor is the one who should have specified the circulation line so the plumber could have included it in the contract price or added it at extra cost after the job was started. The contractor really did not have the right to advise you to cut the plumber out of the process, unless he created a change order that the plumber agreed to exempting the fixtures from the contract price. I am sure at this point the plumber is "gun shy" and thinks, or possibly knows, that any solution he comes up with will cost money and he is not sure if he will be paid for it, and he is not getting paid for any calls he has made so far either. As far as what fixtures he would have installed, that is the reason for an allowance rather than a fixed price. With a fixed price he installs the fixtures he included in the price. With an allowance, you were supposed to select the fixtures then he would supply and install them, in the process also assuming responsibility for their proper operation and defects for the one or two year warranty period. By furnishing them yourself, you assumed that liability.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default Retro fit recirculation system

    There are solutions to the problem. There are devices that will recirculate the hot water so that you have instant hot water at ever outlet without a separate water heater. Laing makes a retro fit pump that is installed under the counter at the last fiixture on your system. It uses the existing cold water line to as a return. It appears easy to install and should do the job. I was able to install a separate return line in my home and used a different model pump. This works great, but you do have to have to be able to run that return line to use this model.

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