lukewarm in the morning

The Tank lukewarm in the morning

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    Our hot water situation is this: first thing in the morning, we have either lukewarm water or a short supply of hot water. The first shower of the day is either warm or hot, with the second shower either cold or warm. If you wait about an hour between the first and second shower, all is fine – water is piping hot. It seems that the hot water is fine once we start using it during the course of the day, but cools down overnight through lack of use.

    What can we do to ensure hot water first thing in the morning? The tank is insulated and not situated in a cold part of the house, but would more insulation help?

    We have a 40 gallon gas tank, about 12 years old.

    Randy Schuyler

    Go to Tanklets, from the Troubleshooting page, and click on Temperature Fluctuations. You have a deadband problem.

    Randy Schuyler


    Insulating a gas water heater is a deceiving thing. You insulate the outside and do a good job of it but where is the heat loss in the first place? The center metal pipe up the center of the water heater is how it is heated. Once the flame cycles off you are left with a vertical metal pipe (good heat conductor) in contact with hot water. Air inside the pipe gets warm, becomes less dense, rises and draws cold air in to replace it. It is a terrible waste. I have seen one commercial model (power vent) which had a baffle at the top of the WH which opened during the firing cycle and closed after the firing cycle to stop this convective heat loss.

    I have not seen this yet on any residential models.

    So extra insulation on a standard gas water heater has little benefit on standby losses.


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