Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long
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zoozoo
Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

Hi, apolgoies if this same topic is already posted somewhere- I couldn't locate it.

We just bought a 1913 house in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our water heater is newish (not bought yesterday, but within the last year or so)and is outside, insulated and in a little enclosure.

When turning on hot water inside the house it takes a long time - anywhere from 3-6 minutes - for it to warm up, which is a complete waste of water and annoying as you can imagine. Also, the hot water doesn't last long if showering for more than 12 minutes. We can't take two showers in the morning one after the other. We are replacing the showeheads with water conserving heads, but we don't think that is the only culprit.

Any advice on this? Anything we can check for on the water heater or pipes? Should we turn up the temperature on the heater? We are planning to get a tankless by next year, most likely this summer. Any thoughts for the interim?

Thanks!

NEC
Re: Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

Temp sets? what kind of heater.....Gas? Electric? What kind of amperage if electric. How many gallons?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

You talk about wasting water waiting for the hot to get to the shower and then talk about 12 min. showers. In 12 minutes you can empty a 50 gal hot water heater of all hot water. In 12 minutes I can take a shower, get dried, get dressed, comb my hair and brush my teeth. I would suggest you shower faster until you can install a tank-less water heater.
Jack

mrgadget01
Re: Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

Didn't really answer the question, did it?

zoozoo
Re: Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

So, it turns out it is the dipstick in the waterheater. It is not pulling the water up, so it is becoming striated in the tank. We've been told its easy to replace, so we're going to start with that. Thanks for your responses!

Re: Water Heater help -Hot water takes a long time & doesn't last long

That is one heck of a high flow shower head to empty a hot water heater in 12 minutes, 4.1gpm. At 2.5gpm it is 20 minutes to empty one and most of the time you don't have the water all the way hot. Even with my water heater thermostat set at 120F I rarely take showers fully hot, so my 2.5gpm shower head (which I operate partly on, maybe more like 2gpm) maybe uses 1.5-2gpm of hot water. That is two back to back 15 minute showers to empty my 50 gallon hot water heater with no recovery in between.

Zoozoo, what you mentioned sounds like it is the problem. Also, since it is an exterior hot water heater, take a peak at how the pipes are run. Any piping that is in anyway bare of insulation should be covered with pipe insulation (its cheap!). San Francisco is fairly mild compared to a lot of places, but 40F outside can make a huge difference in water temperatures on even just a couple of feet of copper pipping run.

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