There's nothing like a hot bath to soothe sore muscles and help you unwind, but a bathtub that's too cool is anything but relaxing. Depending on your hot water heater, you may find yourself settling for a luke-warm bath, even on days when you've used very little hot water throughout the home. Fortunately, these four easy fixes can help keep the hot water flowing to ensure you get that hot bath you've been craving.
Upgrade your Water Heater
To properly fill your tub, a hot water heater should have a capacity that's about two-third the capacity of your bathtub. That means a standard 40 gallon water heater can effectively fill a 60 gallon tub. Remember, however that some larger tubs could be rated at 100 gallons or more, leaving a smaller hot water heating struggling to keep up. If you think your hot water heater is too small for your tub, consider having a larger unit installed so you'll always have enough hot water to meet your needs.
Replace your Dip Tube
If the dip tube in your hot water heater is defective, cold water will mix with the hot water as it leaves the tank, leaving the water lukewarm as it reaches your tub. Many water heaters sold between 1993 and 1997 contain a tube later found to be defective. You may be able to replace the tube yourself, or contact a plumber such as DiRosato Plumbing and Heating for help in fixing this problem.
Add a Pump
The water that reaches your tub may seem too cold if your tub is located far from the hot water heater. Remember, before the hot water from your tank can reach your tub, the cold water already in the pipes has to empty into your tub to make room, which could result in a cold bath. One of the best ways to fix this is to add a recirculation system, which will ensure you have hot water available whenever you need it. To save energy, consider using an on-demand pump to recirculate water rather than one that stays at the ready all the time.
Add an On-Demand Heater
Traditional water heaters use energy constantly as they work to keep water warm at all times. Tankless, or on-demand units heat water only as it's needed. Consider installing an on-demand heater near your tub so you'll always have enough hot water for a nice bath. One thing to keep in mind is that tankless electric units can heat 2 to 8 gallons of water per minute, while gas-fired units have greater heating capacity, allowing you to fill the tub more quickly.