Sissy Shower

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Fein, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. Fein

    Fein New Member

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    Jan 24, 2009
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    New Jersey
    I can't stand shower heads that don't put out enough water. So when the flow from my new shower head was weak, I drilled out the plastic flow restrictor. Now my shower rocks, but the water heater can't keep up. It's 10years old so I figure it's time to replace it anyway.

    Question 1- If I replace the old 40 Gal gas water heater with a new 50 Gal(with better recovery), am I likely to still have the same problem?

    Question 2- Should I consider a tankless heater to resolve this problem?

    I know I should probably put the restrictor back in and live with a sissy shower just to save energy and water...
     
  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    A bounty hunter like in "Raising Arizona"
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    Only 19% of gas WHs get replaced this early.

    Run the shower into a large bucket. Multiply the gallons collected by the length of time you take a shower.
    If you collected 2 gallons in 30 seconds in the bucket and you take a 10 minute shower [600 seconds] you need 2(600/30) = 40 gallons of water, probably half of which is cold water.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
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  4. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    Not really enough info (how many people in the house, ect.)

    1. Maybe, maybe not. A single person shouldn't run a full 40 gallon gas heater "dry" with one shower.
    2. I wouldn't unless there were space issues.
     
  5. Fein

    Fein New Member

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    We are a family of three with two full baths. It would be great if we could all shower one after another. Now we stagger showers at least 20 minutes apart to let the water heater "catch up".

    If I do the math for the shower- even with a 2.5 gpm shower head I would be out of hot water after 2 ten minute showers (or one average teenager shower). How much can the WH "replenish" it's hot water reserve while it's working? So wouldn't this be a reason to go tankless? I would prefer a good old fashioned tank since I don't want to incurr the expense for installation of tankless, but running out of hot water is irritating.
     
  6. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

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    Location:
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    Rather than bore out the orifice, try to find a new showerhead with a spray pattern that actually does a good job at its rated flow. I paid something like $12 for a standard 2.5 gpm Peerless that I really liked. It was one with 5 settings. Many of the older 2.5 gpm showerheads were awful.

    In a house that had a 5 gpm showerhead and an electric water heater we tended to pause some between showers because the water was beginning to cool after my wife's typical 15 minute shower. :rolleyes:

    An inspector acquaintance likes his old WaterPik but is well aware of how quickly it runs out of water. He bucket tested it at 9 gpm!!! :eek:
     
  7. FloridaOrange

    FloridaOrange Plumbing Designer

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    If you're thinking of tankless, take a look at some of the threads in that section. Cost is a big deal - sometimes involving upsizing gas service and the exhaust. Why not look at a tank type with a storage tank with a recirc line? Or a larger (80 maybe) gallon tank.
     
  8. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

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    9 kw will raise 1.2 GPM by 50F; this is what a 9kw tankless could deliver forever.

    30 minutes @ 2.5 GPM @ 97F ideal shower temp = 75 gals, 2 gals out of 3 [50 gals] being 120F water and 1 out of 3 [25] being 50F water.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    The spec sheets of any WH show first hour delivery in gallons. This is the number you want to compare.
     
  10. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Location:
    Ohio
    Try turning up the heat (temp) on the heater...hotter water will give you longer under the shower time...
     
  11. Fein

    Fein New Member

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    Thanks all. I'm leaning towards a new 50 gallon and will check the spec sheets and I'll add a washer to see if adjusting the flow a little helps.
     
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    heater

    Domestic water heaters, unless you are prepared to spend a LOT of money, ALL have similar BTU inputs therefore the recoveries will be comparable, which means you will NOT get any more hot water of a new one than you get now. To get more water you need a LARGER water heater. Once you reach a certain size then the btu inputs become somewhat greater also.
     
  13. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    Location:
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    You may gain a quicker recovery with a new heater if you are in a hard water area and don't have a softner...the bottom of the heater will have a blanket of build up slowing the heat transfer...A new heater won't...for a while...but it will slowly build back up unless you get a softner...
     
  14. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

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    Location:
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    Agreed.

    And rather than try to maximize flow at the showerhead by boring the thing out or enlarging the system to commercial sizes, it makes far more sense to spend some money experiementing with showerheads until you find one that works well at a reasonable flow. The OP might want to find some reviews to find out which type of showerheads work best for the type of showers he prefers. Some folks like wide gentle spray, some like a forceful needle like spray that feels like acupuncture. Others want massaging shower heads or all of the above.

    For locally purchased showerheads, don't be bashful about taking one back if you don't like it.
     
  15. STyler

    STyler Member

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Location:
    Rock Hill, SC
    Sounds like he found one that rocks.

    I've been through dozens of low flow showerheads and have yet to find one rated for 2.5 gallons that provided an adequate shower for my tastes. A simple drilling is a heck of a lot more convenient than replacing the showerhead multiple times and returning them.
     
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