help - water heater not keeping up


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Old 02-28-18, 07:32 AM
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Question help - water heater not keeping up

Last month we had a new Richmond Essential series 50 gallon water heater installed, to replace our AO Smith water heater that gave up the ghost. New water heater has dual 4500 w elements. This new water heater does not seem to give us nearly as much hot water as our old unit. What can I do to improve this? Can the heater elements be switched out with 5500 w elements, and even if this can be done, would it make a difference?

I have looked at tank boosters to mix the cold water supply with the hot water in the tank - do these work as advertised? And is there a particular brand that is better than others?

Does anyone else have any other suggestions on what we can do to improve this?

Thank you,
Kevin
 
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Old 02-28-18, 08:26 AM
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Is this new water heater set to a lower temperature than the old one? That could cause you to use more hot water. Before switching out the heating elements you need to confirm that your house's wiring and circuit breaker can handle the extra load.
 
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Old 02-28-18, 09:02 AM
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Thank you for the reply - i have the upper temperature set at 125 and the lower temperature set at 120, which I believe is what the old unit was set to. I can certainly try tweaking those temperature settings as well. Any suggestions on ideal settings?
 
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Old 02-28-18, 09:35 AM
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As a first step.... set both to 130f and try that.

Tank booster ? Doesn't sound like anything you could use here.

The size of the element determines the recovery rate. Electric water heating is a fairly slow process anyway. Once the tank water is heated.... it should provide a good amount of heated water. Incoming water temperature has a lot to do with water heating too.
 
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Old 02-28-18, 09:49 AM
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I will try setting these both to 130 tonight and see if this makes a difference - curious why the manual suggests a lower temperature setting for one of the heating elements?

I saw some tank boosters online that mix cold water with the outgoing hot water, using a thermostatic mixing valve, so it allows you to turn up the water heater temperature even higher, for example to 140 degrees, and then mixes the hot with the cold to an ideal temperature, thereby using less hot water from the tank and making it last longer. You're not thinking this could be a good option if nothing else helps?

Thank you,
Kevin
 
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Old 02-28-18, 10:12 AM
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You could have a thermostatic mixing valve or automatic temperature compensating valve installed and then run the water heater temperature near 140f as maximum recommended water temperature is 120-125f max.

The top thermostat is for the upper heating element. When the water in the top of the tank reaches that temperature.... the top element turns off and the bottom one turns on. The bottom element heats until the water in the bottom of the tank reaches the lower thermostat setting.

Cold water is released at the bottom of the tank thru an internal dip tube. Hot water is removed at the top. As the water is heated... the hot water rises to the top.
So arguments could be made about different upper and lower thermostat settings
 
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Old 02-28-18, 01:13 PM
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Thank you I appreciate the info - I will first try adjusting the temperature settings as you suggested earlier, and will post back with results. If this doesn't make enough of a difference, I will look into the mixing valve. The one I'm looking at online is the Cash Acme Water Heater Tank Booster, which I found on Amazon.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
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Old 03-19-18, 06:15 AM
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Sorry for the delay in posting back, but we adjusted the temperature settings as you suggested, and after a few weeks of monitoring, this seems to have been enough to take care of our issues with running out of hot water. I appreciate the suggestions on this.

Thanks,
Kevin
 
 

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