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View Full Version : 30 Gallon Water Tank - How Many Showers (approx)



SWLONDON56
Nov 12, 2007, 01:40 PM
I have a 30 gallon gas water tank which is about 7 years old. I rent, pay my own utilities but have to use the plumber the landlord contracts with who is onery, a "know-it-all" and a misogynist! His employees have agreed there is a problem but he overrides them, so I'm stuck between a rock and hard place.

The dial is one notch below boiling; water is hot but I never have to add cold to cool the water, which at nearly boiling I should; the tank prodcues enough hot water for one short shower; when it heats up, it sounds like a rocket about to blast off. There is never enough hot water for a bath. If I turn the dial to where it's supposed to be, the water is lukewarm.

The plumber insists: one shower is normal/adequate (as I live alone which is none of his business, my guests have to wait for the tank to heat up); he states that draining the tank, which has never been done, is fruitless, and it won't provide me more hot water; he states the [loud] noise is normal, but surely not so loud as to make me jump!

How many showers should a 30 gallon tank produce, approximately? Should a 30 gallon tank produce ONE bath? Will draining 7 years of build-up help? And the noise of heating up the hot water, shouldn't that be relatively quiet? It's frustrating having to deal with a plumber who tells the tenant he/she is wrong and he, the plumber is always right.

plumberjames83
Nov 12, 2007, 05:14 PM
Maybe drainng might help one shower is about right on 30 gal as for how loud it is depends on model and where it is placed... yeah sometimes they are loud... m also I work for reestate renters and to tell you the truth if it ain't broke they are not going to fix it . So to tell you

And reminber 30- galis about the size of a small trashcan

ballengerb1
Nov 12, 2007, 06:05 PM
I think there are problems with your water heater, possibly the dip tube is broken or corroded off. However, your landlord may not be obligated to do further repairs because he has provided you with hot water, just not much of it. I hope you are not paying the plumber yourself! You pay utilities but the plumbing bills belong to the landlord. Keep complaining and maybe you will get a new tank, maybe.

jlisenbe
Nov 12, 2007, 06:15 PM
I have a 40 gallon electric and we can take several consecutive showers with no problems. Draining it is not a bad idea. Ours is also fairly noisy.

You might want to check the lower heater element. If its not working, then you will have a few gallons of hot water at the top of the tank but none at the bottom.

Tankless Tom
Nov 12, 2007, 09:18 PM
Your tank is no good, period! Usually tanks will do fairly well for longer than 7 years, but when a tank is turned up to "one notch below boiling" for part or most of its life, and if you have hard water, you can expect a rapid build-up of mineral deposits to occur. Where do you live?

Minerals: This is what causes all of the noise you are hearing. The minerals are preventing the efficient transfer of heat from the elements or flame, (you haven't said whether it is gas or electric). When the heat can't get to the whole body of water, it boils the water that is closest to it, and makes noise and guess what?? More Minerals! It is a rapid deteriorating process.

I have yet to see a worthwhile draining of the tank, the minerals are like rocks in there, they don't come dancing merrily out of a water tap! Your plumber is correct.

Your original question: How many showers from a 30 gallon tank?
Answer? "Depends"!!
New 30 gallon tank, set to about 140,, a low flow (2 GPM) showerhead,, a five minute 105 shower,, About one or maybe two if you are lucky, with a relatively short time, 15 ~ 20 minutes or so for recovery after those for another, if you are using gas. Longer for electricity.

How many showers form the tank you have?? Apparently hardly any!
You need a new one!! I would tell you to get a tankless for endless showers all day long, but somehow I don't think your landlord would hand out even a down payment for one of those baby's.

Keep smelling pretty! :rolleyes:

speedball1
Nov 13, 2007, 05:50 AM
I have a 30 gallon, one element water heater that furnishes enough hot water for morning showers for my companion and myself. We have never run out of hot water. Here's the unbelievable part. The water heater is the original heater that was installed 53 years ago when the house was built in 1954. I flush my heater out each month and have only had to replace the element once in all that time. I too, wonder about the dip tube. Regards, tom

SWLONDON56
Nov 13, 2007, 08:21 AM
Addressed all my questions comprehensively.

jlisenbe
Nov 14, 2007, 05:50 PM
Speedball, your water heater is only one year younger than me! I hope I hold up as well as it has.

I would think that if you have a thirty gallon tank, and if your shower is putting out 2 gallons a minute of hot water, then that should equate to about 15 minutes or so of shower. If the hot water is really just a few notches below boiling, then you would use even less volume.

ballengerb1
Nov 14, 2007, 06:30 PM
The hot water is not close to boiling and as you start to use it cold water starts rushing into the tank. Tank recovery time can very but the general temp from the tank starts to drop the moment you open the faucet. Remember that showers are a mix of hot and cold and your shower head may be 1.6 gals /minute, that's a mix of hot and cold not just pure hot. I am older than you and younger than Speedball but never saw a tank last so long. How often do you shower Tom? Just jerking your chain bud.

speedball1
Nov 16, 2007, 05:16 AM
The dial is one notch below boiling; water is hot but I never have to add cold to cool the water, which at nearly boiling I should; the tank prodcues enough hot water for one short shower; when it heats up, it sounds like a rocket about to blast off. There is never enough hot water for a bath. If I turn the dial to where it's supposed to be, the water is lukewarm.
Your problem's mineral build up on the floor of the tank. The noise you hear is escaping steam and the minerals are acting as a insulator preventing the flame from heating your water. Minerals have built up on the floor of the tank water trapped under the minerals turns to steam and the steam escaping is the sound you hear. If you do not flush,(not drain) your heater on a regular basis it will build up mineral on the bottom of the tank. When the flame comes on it turns the water trapped under the mineral to steam and the steam escaping is what you hear. Let me show you how to flush your heater. Attach a hose to the boiler drain at the bottom of the tank. With the pressure on, open the boiler drain and let it run until the water runs clear. You will see a spurt of red,(rust) and some white grains,(lime or calcium carbonate). The whole thing shouldn't take more then a few minutes. Don't forget to flush it out every month. Your heater will thank you for it. You might want to consider cleaning the screens on your areators if you have a high mineral buildup. If thev problem still persists after you have flushed, you will have to drain the heater, remove the boiler drain and go up in the bottom of the tank with a wood or plastic rod, (not metal) and try to break up the mineral and flush it out.


Remember that showers are a mix of hot and cold and your shower head may be 1.6 gals /minute, that's a mix of hot and cold not just pure hot. I am older than you and younger than Speedball but never saw a tank last so long. How often do you shower Tom?
Not in my house, it isn't a mix of hot and cold. I mostly live alone, ( my companion's a model and is away a lot on photo shoots) I set the temperature in my heater at 110 F. as hot as I can stand it in the shower and never have to temper the water by turning on the cold. And I shower every six months whether I need it or not Regards, Tom

ballengerb1
Nov 16, 2007, 08:44 AM
Glad to hear you have increased the frequency of your personal hygene. That once a year thing just wasn't doing it. At 110 I start to whimper.

KISS
Nov 16, 2007, 09:18 AM
Electric water heaters have the potential of lasting longer than gas. When you maintain things, they last a long time. Gas heaters I can get about 12 years out of them and I don't do it monthly, but at least every 6 months.

I seriously doubt, your going to get water at 212 deg. F out of the tank.

The scale will affect recovery and it can impact slightly the amount of water you can get out of the tank. If an element is bad, it will SEVERELY impact the amount of water you can get out of the tank.

Temperature at the shower is dependent on the ratio of hot to cold water. If the hot is restricted and not at the same flow rate, then issues arise there.

Your water heater should not sound like a rocket and Tom's right on the ball as usual.

And Tom, your about where my father was for showers. He had fish skin or ichtheosis and his skin consisted of scales. There was no real need to shower. Showers made the disease worse.

jlisenbe
Nov 16, 2007, 07:00 PM
I suppose everyone has noticed that while we are carrying on an entertaining conversation, SWLondon has moved on to other pursuits. At any rate, Tom (or anyone else who knows), when you flush the tank, do you just use a garden hose? If so, should you turn off the power for a few hours and let the water cool down or will the hose handle the hot water all right?

KISS
Nov 16, 2007, 07:50 PM
You don't have to drain the tank. Most drain valves I don't trust either, so I replace them. They are either plastic and/or won't open far enough to let out any debris. I just use a metal bucket and have a valve I can trust on the water heater.

In reality, it doesn't really matter if it's cool or not, but you don't want to drain uphill.

speedball1
Nov 17, 2007, 04:20 AM
when you flush the tank, do you just use a garden hose? If so, should you turn off the power for a few hours and let the water cool down or will the hose handle the hot water all right
You only flush for minute. A garden hose will have no problem handling the hot water. Good luck, Tom