Not Enough Hot Water for Jacuzzi Tub

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by alingerfelt, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. alingerfelt

    alingerfelt New Member

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    Sep 5, 2008
    Our home (living) is just over 3,000 sq ft. We have 3 baths (2 with shower/tubs, 1 master with separate shower and jacuzzi tub). We are on city water, we have 2 AO Smith 40 gallon electric water heaters with a Taco recirculation pump.

    Whenever we take showers we always have plenty of hot water. However, when we use our Jetta Jacuzzi tub there is never enough hot water. There is a single faucet, with two levers (one hot, one cold).

    Any suggestions to get more hot water?

    Also, when I run the hot side full blast we get some sediment in the tub whereas if I only turn the lever on 1/4 of the way we don't.

    My understanding is the tub has a mixing valve. But there is no aerator screen or anything in the faucet head.

    Thanks for any suggestions. The home is only 3 years old so I'd prefer not to have to replace the water heaters unless we have to.

    Also, both water heaters are simply set to their default temperatures.
     
  2. soccer123

    soccer123 New Member

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    Apr 7, 2009
    tankless for jaccuzzi?

    I am not a plumbing professional but have a 4 year old house with a jacuzzi. the takagi TK-2 tankless has provided hot water for the house including the jacuzzi. Does your jacuzzi have 3/4" inflow pipes?

    You might consider a tankless hot water heater just for the jacuzzi (unless someone has a better idea).

    Good Luck.
     
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  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The first thing to try is to set the temp of the WH up. Now, be careful, since you can hurt yourself with the extremely hot water. If that works, then consider having a tempering valve attached to the outlet of the WH. This essentially mixes in some cold water to limit the outlet temperature for safety. Where I live, they are required.

    Are the two WH tied together, or serving separate areas? You only get about 70% of the water from a WH before it drops off in temp fairly sharply, and many large tubs can hold MUCH more than that.
     
  5. alingerfelt

    alingerfelt New Member

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    Re

    We have a propane tank but it is just for our gas fireplace. That is why we have electric tank water heaters. So gas tankless would not work for us.

    I will try increasing the temperature during the upcoming week. If the water heaters are set to 120, what should I increase them to?

    We have two tanks and they are connected to each other. My assumption is then that they both serve the whole house.
     
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Anything higher than 120 and you should have a tempering valve to restrict the temperature for safety, but, for an experiment, I'd raise them to 140 or even 160. If you start with just setting the output one higher, see what happens. Now, if they are in parallel rather than in series, you'll need to raise both of them.

    When it comes time to replace the existing WH, I'd seriously consider using your propane to power them...should recover quicker and end up less expensive than electric unless you have really good rates.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2011
  7. alingerfelt

    alingerfelt New Member

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    Re

    Okay.

    And one other question--could there be anything having to do with the tub or the plumbing of the tub that could affect the temperature? Like in the plumbing is there something that can be adjusted that would affect the temperature?

    I've attached a photo from construction showing the plumbing of the tub.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks!
     
  8. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

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    How far from the tank is the tub?
    Are the hot water lines insulated?
    That will help a little
    Do they run thru a basement? Concrete slab?
    Where are you located?
    Did you just buy the house?
    Does this happen all year round?
     
  9. RioHyde

    RioHyde Plumber

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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Not sure what part of the country you're in, but you mentioned that the tub has a mixing valve. I didnt see one in the picture, but if you actually do have one, find it and try increasing the hot temp there. We're now required to install these on all whirlpool tubs and I for one think its a bit ridiculous. If I want to take a dip in my whirlpool tub I want to control how hot the water is....I dont need the nanny state telling me how hot I can have it. I can understand limiting the hot water temp on public lavs and such but a bath is SUPPOSED to be hot, right?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  10. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    Check the elements on both water heaters. One is probably bad.
     
  11. alingerfelt

    alingerfelt New Member

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    Re

    Water heaters are on opposite side of the house. Lines are insulated. They do run through the slab. I've checked the leak meter, no leaks.

    We built/bought the house three years ago. Only noticed this in about the last six months. However, in that same time we also switched from our well to city water. On the well, we didn't have nearly as much volume of water, but with the city water we have as much water as we want not sure if that will make a difference. Temperature outside has warmed up quite a bit and still same issue.

    I thought mixing valve was the right term, maybe not. All there is is what is pictured in that picture.

    I will call/schedule a plumber to check the water heater elements.

    Thanks for everyone's help!
     
  12. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Ohio
    I will bet you are running out because only 1 tank is trying to fill the tub...you can try increasing the temp in the heater or install a larger heater...if electric, have someone check the elements...
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  13. seaofnames

    seaofnames DIY Senior Member

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  14. seaofnames

    seaofnames DIY Senior Member

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    I've never seen a jacuzzi plumbed before, but those flexible lines sure are weird. It also looks like the pipes arent supported very well under there.
     
  15. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    I agree with nhmaster,
    Two 40 gallon tanks with recirc?

    It's more likely a bad element or two.

    This is the "first" thing I would check.
     
  16. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    how many gallons?

    "A small spa (like an outdoor hot tub, but seating only 2 adults) will take about 200 gallons. A big one ranges from 320 gallons (4 adults) to as much as 450 gallons (6 -7 adults)! An indoor Jacuzzi bathroom tub is much smaller, with a 5-to-6-foot long tub running anywhere from 55 to 75 gallons."

    Figure 108°F tub water, incoming at 50(?)°F.
    9kW power into each heater?
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009
  17. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    heaters

    Two 40 gallon heaters could be completely inadequate, or about right, depending on how they are connected, and assuming both are working correctly, which is not a given with electric heaters of that age.
     
  18. alingerfelt

    alingerfelt New Member

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    Re:

    Thank you for the suggestions. I will have the elements checked.
     
  19. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    MD
    If they're 4.5kW each they should measure 13 ohms each, with a current draw of 19A @240v. Borrow somebody's clamp-on ammeter to check the current.

    Or, put each element in series with a 25w incand. bulb and 120v. If the bulb lights the element is almost certainly good.

    Just for laughs, what's your tub capacity? Sumpin's just not right here. . .
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    heaters

    A picture of the heaters would help more than one of the bathtub.
     
  21. stevep111

    stevep111 New Member

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    Apr 13, 2009
    I have a similar situation. We have a new house and the Jaccuzzi tub is way at the other end of the house. We have a 50gal hot water heater and when the tub gets about 1/2 full the water turns cold. I bumped up the temp to 120 and it helped but did not resolve the issue. If and when we decide to move into the house perminantly I will get a bigger water heater or add an additional one. Lesson learned if you consider buying a home with one of these tubs check where the tub is in relation to the water heater and how big the water heater is. I am a first time home owner and am learning several of those lessons. It's part of the home experience.

    Also you described sediment when you run the tub? Any idea what is causing this? I have the exact same problem. I was thinking it was because we do not stay in the house and only visit every other weekend. We turn the water off at the main and turn off the water heater. When I turn both back on we get a bit of brown water for a few seconds both in the sinks and the tub. I am trying to find out if it is safe to leave the water heater turned on with the main water system turned off since someone mentioned the possibility of bacteria growth in the hot water heater. If anyone knows the answers please let me know. BTW is your house in Florida?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
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