hot water

We opened a few weeks ago and NEVER have enough hot water. What to do? Bigger water heater? It is a electric not gas, does that make much difference. Our other restaurant has the same size water heater and never has a hot water issue, but it is gas.

Any thoughts would be appreciated, gotta get it fixed quick!

Is there such a thing as a water heater which will heat quick, if so where to buy and how much.

Thanks for your input.

I haven’t used one, but they make a tankless hot water heater that heats water up just before it goes through the spicket. People who use these set one up at each faucet. Probably not the ultimate solution, but worth looking into. How big is your current hot water heater. I have an 80 gallon and have never had a problem. Any chance you have a leak in the slab that is draining the hot water? Hows your water bill?

i actually have one of those spicket heaters in my house… works great… but i dont know how sufficient it would work in a pizzeria

I would switch to a gas water heater, either tankless or tank if you have the room. Electric heaters just don’t have the recovery time that a gas one has. I have a Bosch tankless water heater for my house and I love it, it hangs on the wall in my garage so it does not take up any floor space, I don’t waste energy keeping a bunch of water hot all the time, and I never run out of hot water no matter what! Tankless water heaters that have enough heating capacity for a restaurant are going to run you in the neighborhood of $1200-$1500 though, but you will get that back bit by bit in your gas bill every month. There are even energy credits for installing tankless water heaters, I think I am getting something like a $300 credit for the Takagi tankless water heater I am putting in my new place. Good luck!

Since you didn’t give any details, if it looks like you have a big enough tank, consider that maybe yours is malfunctioning. If you have very hard water your electric heating element can cover itself in lime deposits making it very very inefficient and almost useless. A typical 40 gallon hot water heater can deliver 60 gallons of hot water in one hour.

Also check to make sure the thermostat is not set to “vacation” from the landlord trying to save money when the place was vacant. Set it to the hottest setting so you can mix more cold water in at the tap to stretch it out. NOTE: hot water may scald, be careful!

Now that I think about it, it seems like most electric hot water heaters have two elements in them and I am thinking maybe one of yours is not working. I think there is one down low on the tank and then there is another in the middle of the tank. You might want to try and replace one or both of them instead of buying a new tank, but I still think the cost of a new gas tank would save you more in the long run.

Electric water heaters have two elements. Only one can run at a time. The idea is that the lower element is activated as new cold water enters the tank. If you use enough hot water that the new cold water reaches the higher element, the lower element is turned off and the upper element activated.

Typically, the lower element burns out before the upper element due to higher usage. When the lower element is burned out, the heater can only produce about 1/3 the normal amount of hot water. So a 40 gal tank becomes a 12 - 15 gallon tank.

Your tank sounds like it has a burn out lower element. It is a simple job to replace a tank element, if you know what you are doing. Elements typically cost between $10 and $20.

Basic instructions are:

  1. cutoff the electrical supply to the heater
  2. cutoff the water supply to the tank
  3. drain the tank by opening a hot water facet and attaching a garden hose to drain valve
  4. replace the element using basic tools
  5. reverse steps 1 - 3.

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