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Water Heater Too Far From Master Bath

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jeff in Florida is looking for some advice on water heating. What can we do for you?

    JEFF: How you guys doing? Man, I appreciate the show.

    LESLIE: Oh, thanks so much.

    TOM: Our pleasure, Jeff.

    JEFF: I’ve got a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home and at one end of the house downstairs is the water heater, which is a relatively new water heater. And at the opposite end of the house, upstairs, is the master bath.

    TOM: Right.

    JEFF: What’s happening is when I turn on the tub, getting ready to take a shower in the master bath at the other end of the house …

    TOM: Yep, takes forever.

    JEFF: … (inaudible at 0:02:43.8) to wait a minute – I have to wait a minute or two for some hot water, which is what I expect. But then after I shut off the water, after about a four-, five-minute shower, my wife will walk in there, turn it on and it’s still piping hot because it’s sitting there like Johnny-on-the-Spot, ready to go.

    TOM: Right.

    JEFF: It’ll run for about 30 seconds – hot water, like it was when I left it – and then it’ll go cold for like a minute and then get hot again. Now, my question is what upstream would cause the pipes to go cold so rapidly?

    TOM: I bet you one part of that pipe is going closer to an unheated space than another; so while the section of the pipe that is more surrounded by building structure stays warm, there may be a section of the pipe that goes against an exterior wall and chills off more quickly. The problem here is really that the water heater is so far away from the master bathroom – and not an uncommon problem – but the solution might be to think about zoning your domestic hot water and adding a second water heater nearer to the bathroom. You could do that with a tankless water heater, which is a pretty small appliance and could fit in a closet anywhere.

    JEFF: So, do they make a point-of-service water heater that I can just put in the master bath?

    TOM: Yeah, it’s not exactly a point-of-use water heater like you would see like on a kitchen sink, but you can put a …

    LESLIE: That would be strictly for like tea, right?

    TOM: Yeah. You could use a tankless water heater sized just for a single bath.

    JEFF: Right, right. Alright, man, well I appreciate it and you guys have a great show; I’m a big fan.

    TOM: Well, thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to talk to you.

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