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How long in the shower?

Hi- Well I have a friend who has a new tenant in his rental. The tenant complains of only getting 15 minutes of hot water. Is there a golden rule out there that says how long a landlord must keep his tenants shower hot?. I'll just leave it at that.


  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Hot water source?

    What is the hot water source? HW Boiler with indirect storage tank? Oil boiler with tank-less coil? Electric water heater? Instantaneous gas wall heater?

    More information needed.
  • HDE_2
    HDE_2 Member Posts: 140
    edited January 2014
    It depends Bill

    If it's a regulated housing unit such as in NY, department of housing states:

    "Building owners are required to provide hot water 365 days per year at a constant minimum temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit."

    That really means endless hot water.

    Private rentals don't need to meet this requirement and it tends to be written in the lease as "adequate hot water"

    For info, men tend to be 10 minutes or less, adult females 12-15 minutes and teenagers? Sometimes only after it goes cold.

    Have your friend check the flow rate, maybe a shower head change can extend the time
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    Hi and thanks for the response

    I know, it's a dumb question. I just don't know what to say to the tenant. She describes how her hair is so complex at washing? I just don't know what to say. I feel silly even asking you. I believe everything is okay with the 40 gal. gas WH. Thanks again.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,361
    Just to be certain...

    ... measure flow from the showerhead.  Run it till it just begins to cool.  Calculate the gallons.  It should be about 70-75% of the volume of the tank.  If not, check the dip tube.  With colder groundwater this time of year, there just will be less hot water unless you turn up the temperature.

    Also, it's not hard to find decent 1.5 gpm showerheads.  At 30 gallons and a 60/40 (hot/cold) mix, that would be about 33 minutes of shower. (if my math works) :~p

    Yours,  Larry
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2014
    Hot water in shower:

    Add this as part of your hot water flow in the equation.

    The water coming from a shower head shouldn't be more than 106 degrees and is limited in nursing homes to that because of scalding. If you think that you can stand in a shower with 112 degree water coming out of it, try it. You can't.

    If you get into a filled bath tub with 106 degree water, you can die from overheating.

    If you have a 40 gallon gas water heater that is set and running at 125 degrees, there is far more hot water available at a 1.5 GPM shower head than you realize because you have to temper the hot water with the cold to get it safe and usable.

    The woman sounds like she has very long hair and she does things to wash it. Perhaps she spends far too long in the shower washing her hair.

    If the shower has a single lever shower valve? Was the hot water limit stop ever set properly when the valve was installed and inspected? Massachusetts has been a leader in shower safety and the country now follows. To get a final inspection, the inspector is supposed to check the water temperature at the shower head with the water flowing. If the limit stop is not set properly, someone will turn the valve to full hot and walk away. During that time, you can easily run 25% of the hot water in the tank out.

    Gas water heaters are supposed to have a recovery rate of 36 Gallons Per Hour. The lower you set the tank temperature, the smaller you make the tank size, theoretically. If the hot water hasn't been running and the water heater is off, turn on the hot water and measure the temperature of the hot water, If it's below 120 degrees, the tank temperature needs to be turned up.

    Perhaps the landlord has alligator hands and his fingers won't reach to his pockets.

  • HDE_2
    HDE_2 Member Posts: 140
    Up to him

    Your welcome

    Its his decision, install a different water saving head and then she complains about the time it takes to rinse right?

    It comes down to is she a great tenant?

    The cost of adding a second water heater to appease her is often easier than painting, cleaning carpets, updating items and looking for another good tenant.

    Question is, who pays the gas? If I did I'd say get by girl, tenant pays, who cares right? It can be installed to isolate and drain for next tenant that doesn't want/need.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    If she's paying the gas bill

    And the water heater is in good shape, I'd probably install a tempering valve and raise the tank temp to 140º-150ºF.

    The Honeywell AMX300 Series DirectConnect is usually a 10 minute install.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    edited January 2014

    It has worked for me every time I have used them. To the point that if I replaced a 80 gallon electric with a 50 gallon electric, I installed a mixer and ran the tank hotter. Never once had a complaint.

    I even put them on big (80 gallon) SuperStor's because they would over ride so much and run the water too hot in the house.

    Check out this one, Direct connect with unions and checks. It has a Re-Circ port. Connect directly to the hot water outlet on a water heater. They beat the pants off the 101's especially if you don't buy them with the check stops. Most suppliers don't stock the proper mixers for potable water heaters and installers use 80* to 180* valves which won't work on domestic water heaters.

    Check out page two.


    Califfi also makes a nice and similar one with a gauge port and gauge. Less money as I remember