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  • Water Heater Question

    I have done many small plumbing repairs on my home over the years. I replaced the water heater a while back and always wondered about something. Like all tanks it came with 3/4 inch connections on both the cold and hot side. On my old tank the 3/4 hot side reduced right away to 1/2 inch. I connected the new water heater the same way. I assume all my hot water distribution is 1/2 inch. I checked with neighbors and friends and all their water heaters reduce the hot side right away to 1/2 inch too. Is there a reason for the reduction to 1/2 inch? Why make it with 3/4 hot connection if the the standard practice is to reduce it within two of feet of the hot connection. I thought it may be a safety issue such as keeping the tank filled so the heating element doe not get exposed or something. I have good pressure at the 1 inch service line coming in (76 PSI and 25 GPM). The reason I am asking is that I am gearing up to do some major repiping and wondered if the hot water can be distributed with 3/4 instead of 1/2 inch. Right now when somebody takes a shower and someone else in the house turns on hot water you hear screaming

  • #2
    Re: Water Heater Question

    It's not done here. I run 3/4" close to 1/2" end use
    Last edited by toolaholic; 11-28-2011, 01:13 AM.
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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    • #3
      Re: Water Heater Question

      typically the older homes and apartments were piped in 1/2''. especially with only 1 bathroom.

      1 thing to consider with hot water is proper sizing. oversizing will create a long delay and waste of water if you oversize the hot.

      pressure and volume work hand and hand. 3/4'' is pretty typical for a 2-3 bathroom home.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Water Heater Question

        I have 2 full baths, laundry, and of course a kitchen with dishwasher. I didnt think about the delay in getting hot water but it would be worth it if I could run the washing machine or dishwasher at the same time the wife is taking a shower. Would the 3/4 hot help with that. I want the wife to be happy

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        • #5
          Re: Water Heater Question

          Why not just update your shower valve to one with a pressure balancing valve?

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          • #6
            3/4" pipe means more water wasted, longer time before hot H2O arrives.

            A shower balancing valve would be nice, but does that require tearing outhe old valve?
            Code made me put in balancing valves when I added on to my house.
            I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
            It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
            "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

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            • #7
              Re: Water Heater Question

              Originally posted by wbrooks View Post
              Why not just update your shower valve to one with a pressure balancing valve?
              I don't know what that is but I will do some research.

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              • #8
                Re: Water Heater Question

                A pressure balanced valve allows for the even distribution of pressure at the hot and cold

                in the shower or bath when there is water use at another fixture. Up sizing your hot lines

                will not benefit you in that regard. Half-inch hot lines are not unusual here in Fla. In fact,

                I still run into some homes built in the 50's and 60's that have 3/8" hot lines up here on the

                27th parallel.

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                • #9
                  Re: Water Heater Question

                  It is code. In sizing water piping it's 3/4" cold from the main to the water heater, 3/4" out of the water heater for what you described, and then depending on the amount of fixture units you would size your piping accordingly. But always 3/4" off the hot side of the water heater in this situation. If you have "2 full baths, laundry, and of course a kitchen with dishwasher", and I presume you have outside hose bibs too? You are way undersized if you're running half inch to all fixtures from the water heater.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Water Heater Question

                    Originally posted by Big Jim View Post
                    A pressure balanced valve allows for the even distribution of pressure at the hot and cold

                    in the shower or bath when there is water use at another fixture. Up sizing your hot lines

                    will not benefit you in that regard. Half-inch hot lines are not unusual here in Fla. In fact,

                    I still run into some homes built in the 50's and 60's that have 3/8" hot lines up here on the

                    27th parallel.
                    I was just doing some reading tonight about the pressure balancing valves. I honestly did not even know they existed until now. They are not out of my price range either. This will make the wife happy . Both of the bathrooms plumbing are backed up to closets so I think I can just cut an access from the closet and not disturb anything in the bathroom.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Water Heater Question

                      It looks like the pressure balance valves costs less than the thermostatic valves. Which one is easier to install? I am thinking the thermostatic valve may be overkill not to mention the cost.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Water Heater Question

                        hey, before you get caught up with all this crazy blance valves and reducing valves. You can do some simple test to figur out whats going on.if your pretty handy or know a plumber he could help, first just get a simple faucet mount water pressure gauges, meaning the ones you can screw to the arerator of your faucet or if you can go a little further into it. shut off the water to your house make up a couple of pressure gauge rigs and attach a couple to different water supply stub outs throughout the house. Turn water back on and see what presurre is at each gauge. then turn on a fixture at a time and see on the gauge how much pressure u lose at the other fixtures. I also have to agree with Ironranger, it sounds like its way undersized. To have 1/2" coming out 2ft after the water heater is Ludacris. At at least should be 3/4" and reduced to 1/2 at each fixture. I wonder why your having pressure issues and scalding spikes when people are in the shower. Brother please, you definelty need to get a trained professional in there. At least if you still do the work yourself, get someone to size it for you, its in the CodeBook (IPC).
                        Wise man said "Hot on the left, cold on the right,
                        crap flows downhill, and checks come on Friday"

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                        • #13
                          Re: Water Heater Question

                          Its just down to the same old Plummin discussion ,Its nothing to do with preasure ,(But volumme).

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