Lack of Gas Hot Water

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New Member
Jan 17, 2006
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We live in a 3 story, 4700 sq.ft. house. Our 4 year old State Select 75 gallon gas hot water heater is located in an unfinished (but heated) area of our basement. Our main bathrooms and showers are on the 3rd floor.

Our problem is that when we turn on our shower, the water hardly gets warm, let alone cold. However, after wife takes her shower and I get in, the next batch of water coming in is much hotter. Trying to figure out why the hot water for the 2nd shower is so much hotter and why we aren't getting enough hot water for the 1st shower.

Similiar situation for tub. Wife will try to fill master tub and it runs out of hot/warm water during filling (even with a 75 gallon tank). However, if she gets in and waits about 10 minutes, the water that comes out is much hotter.

We keep our heater set at a fairly high setting to maintain enough hot water for that first shower in the morning.

Can anyone offer assistance if it appears that the water heater is behaving normally or if there might be something wrong and what to have a technician look for.

Also, since it's a 75 gallon tank, I'm wondering if we really need such a large tank. Our builder put it in standard, but could we get by with just a 50 gallon tank and would we save much money? We have 5 people in our house, 2 adults, 2 teenagers and a 6 year old. We rarely shower at the same time, nor do we seem to multi-task except for maybe running the washing machine and dishwasher at the same time.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
May be a crossed line, a cold water line connected to the hot water line. Shut off valve at water heater and open hot water side from any faucet, if water still continue to run, you have a crossed line. Also you may have a pressure unbalance, cold water carrying a lot more pressure than hot water. Taking out a little bit of pressure from the cold line going up to the higher floors may help. Without a water circulator, normally in each use you have to let water run before the hot water reach the faucet. Good luck...
The amount of water in the pipes from the heater to the main shower/tub is the problem. Adding a circulator as Manual suggested is a fix---or adding a tankless heater in the bath will solve the problem.

That way you could replace the current heater with a smaller unit---although it will be less expensive to wait until the current heater needs replacing. The tankless will heat the water currently being wasted and the existing heater will not work any harder.
Do you have anti scald mixing valves built into the fixtures? Maybe they have to be adjusted.

Put a hot water line loop and circulator in. It will keep the hot water closer to the fixtures so you don't have to put up with drawing all the warm and cool water out of the pipes before drawing from the heater.

Make sure the heater water inlet and outlet are connected correctly. On the heater you will see it labled IN and OUT.
Ive had this problem before where one bathroom would get hot water just fine and another would never quite get hot water.

My brain hurts trying to remember all the details.

There was a recirculating pump on a timer and when the pump was not running there was less resistance for the cold water at the bottom of the water heater to go to the furthest bathroom through the return loop on the recirc system. Saying your house is big and the builder put in a "standard" 75 gallon water heater i am assuming you also have a return loop.
You could try valving off the return loop and see what happens. You might be trading one problem for another though.
Simply unplugging a recirulating pump(if your return loop has one) will not work.

Some shower faucets will cause the same problem. Seems to be the fancier the faucet the more likely it has an issue.

Oh, the problems by little house could not even dream of having.
There is a little brain teaser in The original posters post.

How much water does the tub hold?
How long does it take for a 75 gallon water heater to recover? Ten minutes?
How much volume does all the pipes hold between the water heater and the tub?
So if you fill a tub up half way is that not more water than held in the pipes between the water heater and the tub? She does not say the water in the tub is cold she says untill the water coming from the tub spout gets hot.