Add another hot water heater?

I have a large electric water heater (85 gl. I think). I have a family of 5 with 2 baths. We always run out of hot water in the evenings when it's "bath time". What are my options?

Also: No Natural Gas Available

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your tank seems of sufficient size...I have the same size and have had 6 here for holidays. Lots of cooking and dish-washing along with continual baths ...plenty of hot water. Is the temp set high enough? Pipes insulated? All heating elements functioning? If you add another, then the one you have quits functioning entirely...you'll have to purchase yet another. Best establish the efficiency/condition of the existing one first, then go from there.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good points mentioned already. Check and make sure all the heating components are working: elements, thermostats, etc., also if the heater is over 10 years old you will probably be money ahead to replace it rather than repair it. It could be the diptube gone bad which would still give you short water even though all is working electrically. If I were to replace the heater I would install a Rheem Marathon water heater, it is life time warranty, plastic tank, and the most energy effecient heater you can buy. I have an 85 and a 50 gallon in my house for separate plumbing systems. It will cost you a little more upfront but well worth it. Instead of installing another water heater. I would replace it with an 85 gallon Rheem Marathon. We have a 120 gallon spa tub in our bathroom, we can run the washer, fill the tub, and wash dishes and have never run it out. If that is still not enough hot water, then install a storage tank instead of a water heater. If you pipe it with a bypass, then you can valve it out when you do not need that much hot water, storage tanks work best on ciruclating systems though. best of luck

    Source(s): 25 years as a licensed plumber
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  • 1 decade ago

    Alternate bath times.

    I don't know the recovery time for an 85 gal tank, but I'm guessing that it can't be more than an hour or two.

    "Hot-water heaters also have different recovery times, with better heaters boasting faster times. Most manufacturers, he said, have both standard and high-recovery heaters. "A standard heater will have a recovery rate of about 40 gallons an hour," he said. "A high-recovery unit will recover about 55 gallons in the same time." Mr. Bellini said that depending on the size and quality of heater, replacing an existing hot-water heater with a new one can cost anywhere from $800 to $1,200."

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  • Dean C
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    85 gal should be more than enough.

    If the heater is old, you may need to replace the elements.

    You might also check and make sure you have no leaks. Is there anyplace that hot water lines run in concrete? I have seen this where the water line is leaking in or under the slab and pouring hot water out in the ground. The cold water is continually pouring in and the tank can never get it to temp.

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  • 1 decade ago

    We to have an 85 gal. water heater, and never run out of hot water, some one must be wasting a lot of water, as more than likely not all five of you are running water at the same time, you just may have an element that is burnt out. Might check it.

    My wife can be running the washer at the same time that I am showering, and we don't run out of hot water.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You could go the route with two water heaters. You would need more electrical power lines run and plumb the two heaters in to separate areas. Perhaps you could isolate one of the bathrooms and have a heater just for it.

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  • 1 decade ago

    You could look into a "demand" heater. To keep up with a shower, you can put more than a couple in a series - these are efficient because they heat the water as it is needed and you won't run out!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    have you considered conserving water? Good grief...why run the tub full of hot water when you can take a shower for a fraction of the cost and water. Teach your kids to be smart.

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  • 1 decade ago

    have you tryed to turn up the limit on your tank there are two one on the top an one on the botom .are your hotwater pipes wraped you can also try to get a hot water blanket to wrap the tank to to save heat ?

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