How big should my water tank be?

I had 'the builders in' for about the millionth time today to look at our hot water tanks.

The company claim that a 50 litre tank should be fine for two people taking a shower.

In our old apartment Mrs Saul was able to spend the amount of time in the shower that ladies tend to spend. I could then go in afterwards and be somewhat more efficient, but there was always plenty of hot water and I never needed to adjust the tap settings once I'd got it where I wanted it.

In our new place, on a full tank, I find myself running out of hot water by the end of my shower. That doesn't seem right. The tank has been fully inspected, the temperature set again at 70C and a new thermostat installed, but I still ran out of water during the shower I had after it had been 'fixed'.

What to do, yanni? Were we simply lucky in the old place, or have the infamous 'consultants' struck again? Were the same people who thought it ok to place a cupboard in the face of whoever is doing the washing up involved in 'signing off' the water tank design? Is 50 litres enough? Is there a problem somewhere else?

Call me pampered, but I expect to be able to take a shower without having to readjust the taps 10 times and without finishing off under a lukewarm dribble from the hot tap.

My fave moments from today:

Fixing man: Can you test the hot water now sir?

I switch on the hot tap, out of which no water pours at all.

Me: There seems to be some kind of problem here.

Fixing man, looking terrified: I will fix sir!

--

Fixing man: I must go to get new thermostat sir.

Me: Fine. How long will you be?

FM: Half an hour.

Me: Are you sure?

FM: Yes.

Fixing man returns one and a half hours later.

Me: Why did you say half an hour and take one and a half hours?

FM: He he hee.

Me: I don't mind how long it takes but you must be honest when you tell me.

FM: He he hee.

--

Me: Why is the water now yellow?

Fixing man's boss: There seems to be some sand in the pipe.

Me: Ok, how do we fix this?

FMB: Just let it run for 15 minutes.

Me (joking): Ok. I will send you the water bill then.

FMB (looking nervous): Hmm, maybe just leave for now sir, maybe it will clear without running.

Comments:

What no combi boiler...bah! Back to back showers can use up the water in some tanks, me thinks. Workarounds may include setting the temperature a few degrees higher, waiting about 10 minutes for the water to warm up a bit before jumping in.

Posted by Riz on November 14, 2007 at 10:18 AM GST #

You need up to 120 lits for a 3/4 bed house. 50 lits is too small for a 2 bed flat. While OK for small familly I would say the developers were skimping. You stuck with this and will have to discipline yourselves. Changing thermostats or setting higher temps will not solve your problem.
See....http://www.diydata.com/planning/ch_design/hot_water.php

Posted by stuart saul on November 14, 2007 at 11:27 AM GST #

Seems that 50l is enough for 10 minutes worth of showering according to various guides on the web.

Seems that shorter showers will be the order of the day if taken sequentially.

Posted by Aaron on November 14, 2007 at 06:41 PM GST #

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