Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Water heating for bed & breakfast
13 posts / 0 new
Last post
pdxinnkpr
Water heating for bed & breakfast

Hello,

I have a b & b with 5 guest rooms and a manager's apartment, each with it's own claw-foot tub/shower combo. So theoretically 6 people could be bathing or showering at once, and occasionally we get complaints that the hot water has gone cold, we currently have a single 50 gallon electric residential water heater. I am searching for the best option to either add to or replace so that guests do not run out of hot water. The plumbing was replaced a year ago and is set up so that 3 bathrooms are on 2 separate water lines after coming into the house, with shower heads all 2.5 gpm. Thus we have the option of either having 2 separate heating systems for 3 bathrooms each, or keeping them together and having 1 or more heaters working together somehow for all 6 bathrooms.

Your thought are appreciated,
Chris

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

A tankless water heater to provide unlimited hot water would probably be your best choice if your gas or electric supply can handle it.

Jack

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

Separate systems are better in case one goes down you have a backup. If possible put a bridge between the two that can be closed when not needed.

dj1
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

At peak times, you have huge demand for hot water and the tankless will not be able to supply that much hot water at once, therefore two 50 gal standard units will be better. You can pipe them as Houston suggests or separately. Gas line upgrade to 3/4" pipe may be required for both units.

canuk
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast
pdxinnkpr wrote:

Hello,

I have a b & b with 5 guest rooms and a manager's apartment, each with it's own claw-foot tub/shower combo. So theoretically 6 people could be bathing or showering at once, and occasionally we get complaints that the hot water has gone cold, we currently have a single 50 gallon electric residential water heater. I am searching for the best option to either add to or replace so that guests do not run out of hot water. The plumbing was replaced a year ago and is set up so that 3 bathrooms are on 2 separate water lines after coming into the house, with shower heads all 2.5 gpm. Thus we have the option of either having 2 separate heating systems for 3 bathrooms each, or keeping them together and having 1 or more heaters working together somehow for all 6 bathrooms.

Your thought are appreciated,
Chris

Add doing dishes , laundry and cleaning and no doubt that single 50 gallon tank is too small..
Perhaps another 50 gallon tank or an on demand sytem might be the answer. You're pretty much looking at a commercial setup than just a residential type setup.

Pelton
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

I agree with canuk, especially his comments that a Bed & Breakfast of the size noted requires a commercial installation for the domestic hot water (DHW), and perhaps installed in combination with a hydronic heating system for space heating, depending on the location of the B&B; you didn't mention the type of heating system you have now or the other routine water-use activities that the guests can expect to use on demand during a normal day's activities, and when the "peak hour" of highest DHW usage will occur each day (usually sometime in the A.M.).

You will have to bring in a heating contractor (Yellow Pages, "Heating contractors") to make some of these calculatiions in order to plan on an adequate DHW system; using the "Peak Usage" chart on the 2nd site below, you should be able to calculate fairly closely how many gallons of DHW will be required for the various uses during "Peak" to assure that none of the guests runs out of hot water; you must also consider "recovery rate" of the DHW heating equipment as another important factor; a typical value for your B&B might be 150 gal/peak hour, with sufficient HWH size to assure a rapid recovery rate so that the DHW heater can recover quickly enough to have DHW beyond the "morning rush" hot water usage; assuming you also have to heat the building in cold weather, this would seem to point to a hot water boiler system of adequate size in combination with an indirect hot water heater (heat exchanger) of adequate size to provide both space heating and DHW in the same package.

http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/waterheating.htm
http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/disaster/replace/waterhtr.html
http://hotwaterheatersguide.blogspot.com/

pdxinnkpr
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

We just put in a new furnace 2 years ago so am hoping to figure out the water heating as a separate system. Do commercial hot water heaters heat faster or are they just built to last longer with higher use? It may seem like a lot of use with that many bathrooms but almost the whole day they don't get used, there is just a peak in the morning. We generally hold off on laundry until after the morning, though the kitchen sink could be on for a few seconds while showers are going. If I can solve the problem with a residential heating system than that would be preferable due to costs, and since the house is zoned residential we are able to use those city codes to work with. If commercial heaters give significantly more hot water during a peak use, though, it would be worth spending for it.

canuk
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

It may not be necessary to use comercial grade equipment but rather a commercial type setup.
Generally speaking you probably only need to add a second water heater in a series arrangement with the existing tank. This an economical way of adding to the demands of your hoter supply needs.

dj1
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast
pdxinnkpr wrote:

Thanks for all of the suggestions.

We just put in a new furnace 2 years ago so am hoping to figure out the water heating as a separate system. Do commercial hot water heaters heat faster or are they just built to last longer with higher use? It may seem like a lot of use with that many bathrooms but almost the whole day they don't get used, there is just a peak in the morning. We generally hold off on laundry until after the morning, though the kitchen sink could be on for a few seconds while showers are going. If I can solve the problem with a residential heating system than that would be preferable due to costs, and since the house is zoned residential we are able to use those city codes to work with. If commercial heaters give significantly more hot water during a peak use, though, it would be worth spending for it.

From what you are describing here, two 50 gal residential gas water heaters are all you need, because they will be able to handle your hot water need.

They come with different tank warranties, from 6 years to 12 years, so you can pick the one right for you.

johnjh2o
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast
dj1 wrote:

From what you are describing here, two 50 gal residential gas water heaters are all you need, because they will be able to handle your hot water need.

They come with different tank warranties, from 6 years to 12 years, so you can pick the one right for you.

The problem with the warranties on there residential heaters is they are void if there used for commercial.

John

dj1
Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

John you're right. Water heater makers are not that quick to honor tank warranties and always look for provisions not to pay.

Pages

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.