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How electric water heater works Troubleshoot electric water heater Troubleshoot gas water heater How to wire subpanel Do-it-yourself

How to maintain water heater
2015

Water use chart

water consumption bathtub
Take showers instead of bath.

Energy cost of 1 bath: assumes 60x30x14 insulated bathtub

Cost to raise 20 gallons of cold water from 60 degrees to 120 degrees inside a water heater tank:

Typical electric water heater at 96% energy efficiency pre April 2015= 3.05 Kwh
Typical gas water heater at 62% efficiency pre April 2015 =

Typical electric water heater at 99% efficiency post April 2015= 2.95 Kwh
Typical gas water heater post April 2015

None of these costs factor maintenance, installation, purchase, repair, replacement of water heater... which can substantially add cost to final energy numbers.
All costs and decisions are energy.

Regular bath uses 13- 15 gallons hot water (20+ gal water total)

Princeton 60" x 30" x 14" insulated bathtub:
Filled to overflow, the tub holds 42 gallons according to American Standard.
Note: 60" x 30" x 14" is rough-in dimension of bathtub... and not interior space filled by water. Also note that many bathtubs are larger, such as 60" x 32' x 16" and these tubs hold proportionally more water.

Body displaces water, so bathtub is not filled to overflow when taking bath.
Moderately large person sitting in tub displaces about 20 gallons, so if tub holds 42 gallons, then amount of water used for bath is roughly 20+ gallons of water.
Summary: 20 to fill tub + 20 for displacement = 40 gallons which rises almost to overflow when person sits in 60" x 30" x 14" bathtub. Water level where person sits is 7-1/2" deep; measured next to hip of person sitting in tub when water level starts to drain into overflow. Water level at drain is minimum 1" deeper.

Resources:
Compare gas and electric water heater timers
Off peak water heater options
Set timer chart for electric water heater
9 ways to save with water heater
How to increase amount of hot water


Buy:
Bathtubs and shower stalls at Amazon

Prior to April 2015 energy standards: Set electric water heater timer for 45-60 minutes for hot bath depending on start-temperature of cold water inside tank. Electric water heater rated 240 Volt 4500 watt will heat 21 gallons of water per hour based on 60 degree rise in temperature/ 240 Volt 3500 watt will heat 16 gallons per hour.

Gas water heater will typically heat 41 gallons per hour based on 60 degree rise in temperature. For example if water inside tank is 60 degrees F at start time, and you want 120 degree water, this would be a rise in temperature of 60 degrees.
The 20 gallon shown above was measured after a normal bath. Measuring technique: using small bucket to fill 5 gallon buckets to within 3/4" from top rim (same amount when you open 5 gallon paint).

Measurement shows 20 gallons of water is used for each bath....
.... estimate 15 gallons of hot and 5 gallons of cold.
The hot-cold estimate based on position of handle when filling tub.
Temperature of incoming cold water is colder in winter and warmer in summer. Amount of cold water added to hot also varies winter-summer. Plus water heater energy-consumption varies winter-summer as more energy is needed to heat colder water. To average the variables, we are forced to estimate an 'average' year-round cold water temperature of 60 degrees. See groundwater temperature map

Hot water consumption of 15 gallons for each bath is estimated based on 120 degree thermostat setting. If water is hotter than 120 degree, then less hot and more cold would be used... but the energy and cost to heat water would be comparable when baths are same temperature, with slight energy savings per bath if thermostat is set lower. Also using mixing valve located at water heater can reduce energy consumption.
A water heater holds 20/ 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 80 gallons of hot water depending on size of tank.
Fully heated 40 gallon tank gives you 2 baths and a shower at one time.

Safety grab bar
Use safety grab bar on bathtub
Buy:
Safety grab bar at Amazon
Bathtub safety grab bars
Shower rods Amazon

Energy cost of 1 bath using 45 gallon hot water: (10 gallons cold)

Cost to raise 45 gallons of cold water from 60 degrees to 120 degrees inside a water heater tank:
Typical electric water heater 96% efficiency pre April 2015= 6.88 Kwh per bath
Typical gas water heater pre April 2015

Typical electric water heater 99% efficiency post April 2015= 6.66 Kwh per bath
Typical gas water heater post April 2015

None of these costs factor maintenance, installation, purchase, repair, replacement of water heater... which can substantially add cost to final energy numbers.
All costs and decisions are energy.

Typical walk in tub uses up to 55 gallon

There are different size walk-in bathtubs
Example American Standard fill height of water is 4" lower than deck of tub
Seat height from floor 17"
From seat to fill height is 12.5" (you sit in 12.5" water vrs 7.5" in regular tub).
From textured floor to fill height is 29"
My estimate is 80+% Hot to Cold ratio/ higher ratio for tubs that take longer to fill.
Filled to overflow:
60 L x 37 W = 80 gallons...25 displacement for person = 55 gal final fill/ 45 gal Hot
60 L x 32 W = 70 gallons...
25 displacement for person = 45 gal final fill/ 35 gal Hot
50 L x 30 W = 60 gallons...25 displacement for person = 35 gal final fill/ 28 gal Hot
48 L x 28 W = 45 gallons...25 displacement for person = 20 gal final fill/ 16 gal Hot
Displacement for regular bathtub is 20 gallon for moderately large person.
Displacement for walk-in tub is 25 gallons, or 5 gallons more than regular tub, because about 5" more of person's torso sits inside the water.


You might need larger water heater, or 2 water heaters to supply enough hot water
Resources:
New DOE standards April 2015
Maintain your water heater
9 ways to save
Two water heaters

Typical faucet delivers 2 gallons per minute.
Test your water flow using 1 gallon or 5 gallon bucket, and stop watch on cell phone.
In regular tub, person can lean back at 26 degree angle -or- displace more water by sliding torso deeper into water by lifting knees, and the water level can rise above overflow.
Walk-in tub the person can lean back at 26 degree angle -or- displace more water by leaning forward to immerse torso into water which can raise water level above overflow.
It is important to calculate heat loss when filling large tub. Cup of coffee cools fast.
If faucet flow is 3-4 gallons per minute, then fill time takes 4-18 minutes depending on tub.
Anticipate using more hot water vrs cold water when filling walk-in tub because it takes longer to fill tub, so more heat is lost while waiting for tub to fill.
Offsetting heat loss during fill, is insulation value of walk-in tub vrs inexpensive steel tub, and deeper water in walk-in will hold temperature longer, and less overall surface area of walk-in will lose heat more slowly.
Bubbler will cool water more quickly. Energy cost of running 1 Hp blower motor, and heat loss when using blower are not calculated, nor energy cost of any blower heater.
Floor loading 725 lbs for smallest size to 877 lbs for largest size. Subfloor reinforcement recommended and not included in energy calculations. All costs are energy.
water consumption shower Shower uses 6 - 8 gallons of hot water (10 gal water total)

To check amount of hot water used during a shower taken in bathtub, stop the drain and then take shower.
After shower, measure the amount of water in tub, or roughly compare with the 20 gallon depth of water needed to take bath.

To check hot water usage when shower is taken in a shower stall, put stopper over drain, seal with duct tape. Tape will hold stopper in place when pouring water into shower. Add water to shower. Use measured amount of water to fill bottom of shower. Do not flood water over the top. This will give a baseline amount of water.
Then remove taped stopper.
Use stopper again during regular shower. No need to tape the stopper when taking a shower since water will be dropping from above and will not move the stopper. When water reaches same point as the measured test, remove stopper and release water. Estimate if you are half-way through shower, and then estimate how much water the total shower would use.

If temperature of water heater is set at 120 degrees, you can probably estimate 75% how and 25% cold. But more accurate way is to look at position of shower valve and see what percentage of cold water is being added to hot to temper the shower.

Set water heater timer for 20-30 minutes for hot shower

Resource:
Family chart for setting timer

Buy:
Shower stalls at Amazon
Home energy savings books at Amazon

hot water consumption Clean shower and doors with White vinegar
or CLR calcium and rust remover
Buy:
CLR shower cleaner Amazon
Shower stalls at Amazon
Price of water

What is water worth?

If you had to carry each gallon from the river up to your 2nd floor bathtub, when would you start to conserve?
Average home uses 1/2 acre-foot water per year.
135,000 gallons = 27,000 5-gallon buckets
Read about growth and electric consumption
Pour bath water into rain barrel Pour bath water into rain barrel

Use 5 gallon bucket to empty tub and pour into rain barrel
Cut off top of 55 gallon drum and leave lip around edge for screen
Cover top with hardware cloth and then window screen to keep out mosquitoes
Add 2 pints Hydrogen peroxide occasionally to disinfect/ deodorize

Buy:
Order 1" bulkhead fitting, and drill 2" hole, uses 1" IP
Bulkhead fitting at Amazon
55 gallon barrel Amazon
Rain barrels Amazon
Rain barrel
Larger image
Set rain barrel higher than 550 gallon tank
Use bulkhead fitting to tap into rain barrel
Use 1-1/4" PVC water line to connect rain barrel to tank
Tank must be on flat concrete pad.
Cover top of rain barrel with hardware cloth to protect animals from falling into tank.

Use gutter to channel water to rain barrel.
Pour bath water into 55 gallon barrel using 5-gallon buckets
Low pressure water timer



For large bathtub, use 80 gallon first hour

What size water heater?

Size chart shows First Hour delivery rating
First hour is capacity of tank at peak-usage times.
For example at night when everybody is taking a shower or bath

Increase amount of hot water with changes and maintenance
How to adjust temperature
How to increase amount of hot water
How to maintain water heater

Homes with garden tub, whirlpool bath, or oversized tub = first hour 80 gallon
Select size of water heater

Household usage

Storage water heater holds 30 / 40 / 50 / 60 / 80 gallons of hot water. Check label on side of tank

How to install gas water heater
safety chart How to adjust temperature on water heaters

oversized bathtub

What size water heater for oversize bathtub?

Large bathtub / whirlpool tub

Recommend 80 gallon first hour delivery
Electric: minimum 60-to-80 gallon size just for that one tub
Gas: minimum 50 gallon size just for that one tub

Electric heat pump water heaters generally cannot produce enough hot water.

Tankless promise unlimited hot water, but temperature of water is 120 F and water in tub may be cool by time tub fills. Cost of maintenance and repairs never pay back. All costs are energy.
Troubleshoot Rheem tankless
dripping faucet Fix drips and leaks
When hot side faucet drips, then cold water is entering tank at same rate water is dripping out of faucet.
Water-loss-with-one-drip
Government drip calculator

Save 1/2 gallon per day:
Save $1-8 per month.
9-ways to save with water heater
Fuse on power pole No water = No Electricity

Much ot today's electricity is made using steam turbine.
Coal-fired power plants use steam to rotate turbine. Steam comes from boiling water.
Oil and gas fired power plants can also use steam to rotate turbine.
Hydroelectric dams use water to rotate turbine

Solar and wind powered electricity use fewer water resources.
What is 3-phase electricity
Rain barrel
Larger image
Set rain barrel higher than 550 gallon tank
Use bulkhead fitting to tap into rain barrel
Use 1-1/4" PVC water line to connect rain barrel to tank
Tank must be on flat concrete pad.
Cover top of rain barrel with hardware cloth to protect animals from falling into tank.

Use gutter to channel water to rain barrel.
Pour bath water into 55 gallon barrel using 5-gallon buckets
Low pressure water timer
Pour bath water into rain barrel Pour bath water into rain barrel

Use 5 gallon bucket to empty tub and pour into rain barrel
Cut off top of 55 gallon drum and leave lip around edge for screen
Cover top with hardware cloth and then window screen to keep out mosquitoes
Add 2 pints Hydrogen peroxide occasionally to disinfect/ de-odorize

Buy:
Order 1" bulkhead fitting, and drill 2" hole, uses 1" IP
Bulhead fitting at Amazon
55 gallon barrel Amazon
Rain barrels Amazon

Additional links

Electricity from pole to breaker box

See basic 120V and 240V water heater circuits

Compare all water heater timers
Do it yourself
Do it yourself water heater

How to twist wire

How to wire off-peak water heater
Cutler Hammer C25BUB230A
Contactors
Recirculation system
Hot water circulation system
Solar water heater
9+ ways to save with water heater

Motorized shut off valve

Anode rods

Clean sediment from tank

New water heater ideas

Dayton off-delay timer

Troubleshoot tankless heater
Intermatic parts
Intermatic trippers and parts
Paragon timers and manuals
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Wire EH40 and WH40 timers
  
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Tork TU universal timer
Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
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Resources:
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