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Old 07-17-2009, 11:47 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Wiki says that average tubs range between 40 and 70 gallons.

My showers usually don't last more than 3-4 minutes. If you can stand it, just live with the cold water during the summer months and use the hot water only when it's necessary. I learned some useful shower tricks while taking showers in Mexico at a place with no water heater and in December. (Yes. It gets cold there.)

I tried to just tough it out initially, but that left me almost purple when I got out. So what I did, when the water was too cold to stand, is slip your body in just enough to wet yourself. You only need a light sheen to build up a good lather. While you are soaping up, don't even stand near the water. Move to the back of the tub. To finish up, hustle under that ice spitter and wash off as quickly as possible. I survived like this for 2 weeks and didn't once get hypothermic.

If you don't use the A/C anyway, a nice cold shower in the afternoon should hit the spot and leave you feeling fresh for the rest of the evening.

As far as advice for actually solving the problem, I'm no electrician but if it's throwing the fuse on the washer/dryer, then there almost certainly has to be a short somewhere that is constantly drawing juice out when the swith is on. Get yourself a cheap voltmeter or a Kill-a-watt and test those main lines.

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Last edited by jonathan150cc; 07-17-2009 at 11:54 AM..
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:24 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I love the sense of humor on this forum.

I'm little too sensitive to cold showers, but I do have alternative access to showers at campus health club facilities once the school year begins. Exercise “does the body good”! I'll try the voltmeter test and maybe I can find an electrician who is sympathetic to my case and would make a deal to check this electric problem in the apartment.

I actually called renters advocate “Hand” and was told that there was nothing they could do. As long as the hot water actually works it doesn’t matter how much it costs. I’m a human rights advocate, so I'll keep looking at ways to keep the owners honest.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Turn off the water heater and close the valve. Then slowly open the valve while listening for water flow. That will confirm if there's a leak.

If you suspect someone tapping power but other steps don't remedy the problem, my solution would be to disconnect all devices, turn off the main breaker, borrow a 240v (or more) inverter or generator, and use it to apply 240v from each hot to neutral.

Another solution is to leave the water heater off at all times and cook some water on the stove for showers.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:51 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I skimmed through this thread so excuse me if I missed any of the following:

What temperature are the heating elements set for?

With a 50 gallon tank you could turn the bottom one right down.

How warm is the tank when you touch it or better yet do you have access to an IR temp gun?

Could you take pictures of the tank and and any near piping and post them?
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:25 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Use a cut-off valve for the shower like this one:

Shower cut off valve - Save Water - Be Green | greatgreengadgets.com

That way, you're not wasting your precious hot water by having it run down the drain while you're soaping up, and you won't also have to fiddle with the water to get the right temperature when you turn it back on.

If your water heater is tripping the dryer, you've definitely got a problem.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:37 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clev View Post
Use a cut-off valve for the shower like this one:

Shower cut off valve - Save Water - Be Green | greatgreengadgets.com

That way, you're not wasting your precious hot water by having it run down the drain while you're soaping up, and you won't also have to fiddle with the water to get the right temperature when you turn it back on.

If your water heater is tripping the dryer, you've definitely got a problem.
It's actually a little cheaper to make one out of a ball valve and a close nipple. (IIRC, shower fittings are 1/2" thread.) Both of those are available at Home Depot for about $6 total.
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Or you could save $10 and just turn the water off for 30 seconds while you later up. You shouldn't lose much heat. The hot water will already be in the pipes and it will stay warm for a bit.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:03 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan150cc View Post
Or you could save $10 and just turn the water off for 30 seconds while you later up. You shouldn't lose much heat. The hot water will already be in the pipes and it will stay warm for a bit.
True, but the nice thing about the shutoff valve is that the water is the same temperature as when you shut it off, so you don't have to fiddle with the hot and cold to keep from getting burned/frozen.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:00 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Hot water usage

Hello,
So far I have gotten no further on the exessive electric usage problem. I have recieved some tips on using less water, however the problem is with turning the breaker on. Having the hot water breaker on (all other breakers off), and using no water at all costs a fortune.

Every time I pay my rent check I tell the office that I have an excessive electricity usage problem and they do NOTHING except tell me they'll get back to me; and then the don't get back to me.
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Old 09-22-2009, 11:32 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahama View Post
[snip]We do have a social service program here "Hand", but I'm concerned contacting them will cause a non-renewal of my lease at the end of this month. I may contact them regardless because I'm concerned about a possible electric problem causing this. If I turn my water heater breaker on while the washer and dryer are in use, the breaker for the dryer automatically trips off. Is this an indication of something dangerous?[snip]
sarahama

I am not a licensed electrician. Is your water heater 240 volt? You can usually tell by the size of the breaker. The breakers for the dryer and water heater are probably twice as high as the breakers for lights and outlets.

It sounds to me like the circuit for the dryer and water heater are "split". Bottom line they are wired incorrectly. One phase of the water heater circuit may be wired to the dryer and keeping one part of the heating element active at all times the breaker is on. One phase of the dryer circuit may be wired to the water heater circuit.

You can try investigating this further yourself but I urge extreme caution as there may be voltage where there shouldn't be, such as on the dryer frame or body. Some interesting experiments would be to see if the dryer feels hot or warm after it's been off for a while, see if it will run and heat up with the water heater breaker off and to see if turning the dryer breaker off has any effect on the water heater operation.

If my hypothesis is true, having voltage on the dryer element 24/7 would use a lot of electricity.

Based on what you said above about the dryer breaker tripping when you shut off or turn on the water heater breaker, that is justification to demand the landlord bring in a licensed electrician. Something is not right.

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