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 Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

Our family of 4 has a 40gal GAS Hot Water Heater, but we like hot showers and baths, and even though it's a Bradford-White, and we have it turned up all the way, we often run out of hot water. I don't want to get rid of the tank because we have several power outages every year. However, I was wondering if there was any practical way to add a "small" tankless unit as an extra boost during the "shower hour".

PS - When we bought the house, we had a 1960 30gal unit and no problems. That was replaced in 1995 with a 40gal and we were also ok (though we did run out occasionally), the newest one was installed in 2006, and I guess that with improved "energy efficiency" every year they just don't put out as hot a flow?

Thanks
/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: redwood (CT)

How about adding a properly sized water heater?

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

I don't think another 10g is going to make a difference, aren't the bigger ones quite expensive, and, well, big?

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: dlh (TX)

actually a 50 gallon is not but maybe a few dollars more because there is more demand for them.

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PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

A 40 gas WH may be okay for two people who take real quick showers.

I'd suggest twinning another 40 with the one you have. I always pipe them in parallel, with isolation valves on the gas and the hot & cold lines.



e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: redwood (CT)

Actually at my local supply house the 50 gal water heater is $10 less than a 40 gal.:think2:

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

Energy efficiency has nothing to do with the output. That is controlled by the burner's btu input and the thermostat setting. It is unlikely that the new one has a smaller burner than either of the previous ones, so the likeliest culprit is that the thermostat is set at a lower temperature. The former heaters had a "normal" setting of 140 degrees, the new one's normal is probably 120.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

Good suggestion assuming he has room to add another chimney, a large enough gas line, and space for two heaters, and the two safety valve discharge lines cannot be connected together so that is another consideration.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

thanks guys - any thoughts about Tankless? Maybe I should just rip it out and convert to GAS Tankless? (I have a generator so I can give it a small amount of power)

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Tankless is an option but...
You would need a high output model which will cost plenty with the necessary upgrades.
Call your regular Plumber, (or a couple of local licensed Plumbers) for an accurate price quote.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

Can i add something to my current system to just raise it 20DegF (it can even be electric) - that would probably give me all I need.
/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: waukeshaplumbing (WI)

its rare anyone installs a 40 gallon....from my experience its only the very frugel....50 is a starting point...

read up on AO Smith Vertex....it will be less than a tankless and probably be perfect for you.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: packy (MA)

have a read here.
[www.bradfordwhite.com]
a 50 gallon XR would give you plenty of hot water.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Yeah but his WH is only 2 years old and his last one lasted 12+ years.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: joint-runner (MA)

I install Ruud 50 Gallon/50,000 btu's all the time for large familys and never have a problem.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

Guys - we're finding the 40g so insufficient that I doubt the 50g would be a panacea, and if temperature is high-limited on all HWHs due to energystar I don't see how a change of brand is going to help me. This is not about recovery time. I'm glad some people are happy with 40g or 50g, we're big fans of the hot soak and we're not. I suppose I could go to like a 60g or 80g tank, but I'd rather find a temperature booster if such a thing exists.

Thanks
/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I'll usually recommend a replacement high recovery 50 G./65K BTU or a 75 G. model for a typical size house.
I'd rather play it safe, too much HW is better than not enough.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: joint-runner (MA)

What kind of heating plant do you have...FHW? I hope...if so a 60 gallon super-stor will meet your needs.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: joint-runner (MA)

Jeff's a family of 4....I've twined 2-50Gallon,50mbtu's for a 4 family unit and never got a call back...just how must hot water does one need?.40's and 50's are cheap....75's are very expensive jeff.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

we have Forced hot-air
Ok - sounds like I should consider a 2nd 40.

Geez - will this really cause me to 'save energy' compared to one older-style 40 that would go 10 or 20 degrees higher? (sigh)

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: joint-runner (MA)

Jeff...heating hot water runs is cheap...about $5.00 per for domestic.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: redwood (CT)

You could increase the water temperature to 140 degrees F and install a tempering valve to mix it down to a safe 120 degrees F. This may give you enough... Maybe! [www.plumbingsupply.com]

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: lefty75 (ID)

i think you'd be fine with a 50.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

Just adjust the thermostat 20 degrees hotter. If you are all adults with no infants or senile elderly, you should do just fine.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: redwood (CT)

Hope the shower is pressure balanced!

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: CraigV (PA)

I used a 70gal Bradford-White in a 2-1/2 bath home with a family of four....3 of them females of the long-shower (half hour+) variety. The master also has a huge jacuzzi tub. It's never run this thing out of hot water, even if someone fills the jacuzzi all-hot and someone else takes a shower while doing laundry. And that's with the thermostat set to 120F.

The unit is obviously bigger than a 40, it's only about 5 inches wider and taller...about 5'5". Runs about $900 installed. In the long run it would be a lot more energy efficient than using two 40's in parallel, and save the hassle of adding a second vent and plumbing for another gas line, let alone having at least double the orginal space.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I know we don't discuss prices BUT $900. installed for a 75 G. gas WH? Something doesn't sound right...

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

guys - the thermostat is already maxed out. I know that using more water at 120F is the same as using less at 140F. What I didn't realize on the last replacement was that with the temp (even the MAX accessible temp) dropping, I needed to add to the volume...

/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Sounds like you know what needs to be done at this point.
Cranking up the temperature to the max could be dangerous...

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

is it really dangerous to set it at max? i mean - i assume they expect 'dumb' homeowners will do just that...
/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: dlh (TX)

well if your not careful it doesnt take long to give a 3rd degree burn

- - - - - - -

PLUMBERS "Protecting The Health Of The Nation"

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

What I didn't realize on the last replacement was that with the temp (even the MAX accessible temp) dropping, I needed to add to the volume...

What does that sentence mean? What do you mean by "the temperature dropping"? The new heater does not operate any diffently than the old one did.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

Max with a gas heater is between 150 and 160 degrees which IS MUCH TOO HOT. 140 should be the maximum setting without a mixing/tempering valve at the heater.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

I bet he means running out of HW, when the temp starts to drop that means hurry up, the water is getting cold fast!

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

What I mean is that I'm quite sure that "normal" and "max" on my current water heater correspond to lower temperatures than what was on my old one. Since it's a good name "Bradford-white" unit I assume it's not shoddy design, but someone had mentioned that due to energystar the "normal" temp from a water heater has been reduced in the last decade. With my 'hot' water not as hot I use more of it, so I need more in the tank.

Or maybe I just have a bad stat?

/j

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: CraigV (PA)

e-plumber wrote:"I know we don't discuss prices BUT $900. installed for a 75 G. gas WH? Something doesn't sound right..."

Too low or too high? It was about 6 years ago.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Low, even back then - based on prices around here.

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

Normal is an arbitrary value that the manufacturer assigns to a specific position on the thermostat dial. It will still adjust up to the maximum termperture the old one did.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: AlmstAJrnyman (HI)

I dont know where you live but you might want to consider a solar unit with a storage tank. Just another option depending on where you live. Solar water heating is a thing of the future so you might consider gitting in the game early.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: e-plumber (NY)

Even more so in beautiful Hawaii and other tropical destinations B)

e-plumber
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"The society which scorns excellence in Plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an
exalted activity will have neither good Plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water." -
John William Gardner 10/8/1912 - 2/16/2002

Repair your leaking Plumbing fixtures ASAP [www.theplumber.com]
This slow drip will waste 7+ gallons of water per day.

Reply To This Message

 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: CraigV (PA)

e-plumber wrote;"Low, even back then - based on prices around here.

"

That's interesting. I was pretty annoyed when I saw that I could have had it done for about 2 bills less. I didn't have time to wait, or help to do it myself at the time. FWIW the location is Philly suburbs.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: birddoggiest (ID)

Jeff, With the heater thermostat maxed out and after it is fully recovered check the temp. at a faucet with a thermomater and get your max temp. reading. Then call the Bradford and White and talk to a tech support person and see if there is a problem with the unit. It should be under waranty. It sound like something may be wrong with it.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: birddoggiest (ID)

The Cost of a 75g heater is $600+ at best and the cost to retrofit is probably more than that in most applications, (even in No. Id.).

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: hj (AZ)

In AZ people "got into the game early" 20 years ago, and by now most of their systems have frozen, split, and been disconnected or the water heater tanks have failed. In either case, once one half fails the decision is whether to replace it for about $1,200.00 and possibly have the other half fail next week, or go back to conventional systems.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: birddoggiest (ID)

Solar was the hot thing too in cali in the 80's. I would say that 90+% don't work anymore and they are still on the roof. They must of had huge tax credits back then to do them. What does a unit cost?

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: AlmstAJrnyman (HI)

Well im sure they have made a few minor advancements in 20years i would think. If their systems are freezing then it was installed wrong. Im sure they paid for themselves and the new unit by the time it broke. That being said will a conventional WH pay for itself when it breaks? I dont think so. Tax credits are viewed as the major inscentive for going solar when really the solar itself is what should be pushing the market. Also im sure prices have dropped alot since the 80s but what do i know i was just a baby. Go solar im a believer.

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 Re: Need more Hot Water, add Tankless to Tank?
Author: jeffw_00

good idea birddogger - will do

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