Installed 59-gal capacity tub: 48 gal Bradford runs out of

The Tank Installed 59-gal capacity tub: 48 gal Bradford runs out of

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    48 gal Bradford is only about 7 years old and seems to be OK (no hard-water, no sediment apparent). When I tried to fill the tub, the hot water ran out when the tub had only filled to about 35 gallons (…no other usage in the house was going on).

    When I called Bradford, they thought the flow rate on the tub was too high. Anyone concur with this? Or do I just need a bigger capacity water heater?



    First, was the WH satisfied before filling the tub? If the WH tank is 48 gallons, you have a few gallons below the lower element which is not heated.

    You may need more stored BTUs. Either install a larger WH or an additional one in series with the current one. Or install a tempering valve on your current heater. I have a tempering valve on my WH. It can be set from 120 to 160 F. If I set the WH to 170 F and the tempering valve to 120 F, the 170 water mixes with the cold water to achieve 120 F leaving the tempering valve. High temperatures without a tempering valve is inviting a severe burn.

    An additional WH can be wired from the same circuit as the present WH. Take the power supply to the “downstream” WH first. Wire the lower thermostat into the top thermostat circuit in place of the top element. Set the lower thermostat to maximum setting. Wire the second WH from the terminal from which you removed the wire going to the lower thermostat.

    With WHs cold, the top thermostat will supply the lower thermostat (and the lower element). When the first tank top thermostat is satisfied, the thermostat will shift power to the other terminal which will send power to the second (upstream) WH. The second WH works as usual.

    This wiring scheme was put out by Duke Power when they had their half price water heating program.


    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: I’d have a look first at the dip tube to make sure it is fully there. At seven years, yours may have damage. If that’s OK, you should expect to get about 75% of the volume of the heater as undiluted hot. That would be about 36 gallons. Even if you have cold ground water and need two gallons of hot for each gallon of cold, you would still need an additional eighteen gallons of cold water to get a useable bath. So, if your heater worked correctly, you would get roughly 54 gallons in the tub as a minimum.

    I suspect a dip tube problem, or possibly backflow through a recirc line, or cross connection. If all of the above checks out … more heater capacity needed ;).

    Yours, Larry

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