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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    3

    Default Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Hello,

    I have a b & b with 5 guest rooms and a manager's apartment, each with it's own claw-foot tub/shower combo. So theoretically 6 people could be bathing or showering at once, and occasionally we get complaints that the hot water has gone cold, we currently have a single 50 gallon electric residential water heater. I am searching for the best option to either add to or replace so that guests do not run out of hot water. The plumbing was replaced a year ago and is set up so that 3 bathrooms are on 2 separate water lines after coming into the house, with shower heads all 2.5 gpm. Thus we have the option of either having 2 separate heating systems for 3 bathrooms each, or keeping them together and having 1 or more heaters working together somehow for all 6 bathrooms.

    Your thought are appreciated,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,622

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    A tankless water heater to provide unlimited hot water would probably be your best choice if your gas or electric supply can handle it.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    2,509

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Separate systems are better in case one goes down you have a backup. If possible put a bridge between the two that can be closed when not needed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
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    5,443

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    At peak times, you have huge demand for hot water and the tankless will not be able to supply that much hot water at once, therefore two 50 gal standard units will be better. You can pipe them as Houston suggests or separately. Gas line upgrade to 3/4" pipe may be required for both units.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxinnkpr View Post
    Hello,

    I have a b & b with 5 guest rooms and a manager's apartment, each with it's own claw-foot tub/shower combo. So theoretically 6 people could be bathing or showering at once, and occasionally we get complaints that the hot water has gone cold, we currently have a single 50 gallon electric residential water heater. I am searching for the best option to either add to or replace so that guests do not run out of hot water. The plumbing was replaced a year ago and is set up so that 3 bathrooms are on 2 separate water lines after coming into the house, with shower heads all 2.5 gpm. Thus we have the option of either having 2 separate heating systems for 3 bathrooms each, or keeping them together and having 1 or more heaters working together somehow for all 6 bathrooms.

    Your thought are appreciated,
    Chris
    Add doing dishes , laundry and cleaning and no doubt that single 50 gallon tank is too small..
    Perhaps another 50 gallon tank or an on demand sytem might be the answer. You're pretty much looking at a commercial setup than just a residential type setup.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    143

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    I agree with canuk, especially his comments that a Bed & Breakfast of the size noted requires a commercial installation for the domestic hot water (DHW), and perhaps installed in combination with a hydronic heating system for space heating, depending on the location of the B&B; you didn't mention the type of heating system you have now or the other routine water-use activities that the guests can expect to use on demand during a normal day's activities, and when the "peak hour" of highest DHW usage will occur each day (usually sometime in the A.M.).

    You will have to bring in a heating contractor (Yellow Pages, "Heating contractors") to make some of these calculatiions in order to plan on an adequate DHW system; using the "Peak Usage" chart on the 2nd site below, you should be able to calculate fairly closely how many gallons of DHW will be required for the various uses during "Peak" to assure that none of the guests runs out of hot water; you must also consider "recovery rate" of the DHW heating equipment as another important factor; a typical value for your B&B might be 150 gal/peak hour, with sufficient HWH size to assure a rapid recovery rate so that the DHW heater can recover quickly enough to have DHW beyond the "morning rush" hot water usage; assuming you also have to heat the building in cold weather, this would seem to point to a hot water boiler system of adequate size in combination with an indirect hot water heater (heat exchanger) of adequate size to provide both space heating and DHW in the same package.



    http://www.aceee.org/consumerguide/waterheating.htm
    http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/disast.../waterhtr.html
    http://hotwaterheatersguide.blogspot.com/
    Last edited by Pelton; 03-29-2012 at 11:41 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    We just put in a new furnace 2 years ago so am hoping to figure out the water heating as a separate system. Do commercial hot water heaters heat faster or are they just built to last longer with higher use? It may seem like a lot of use with that many bathrooms but almost the whole day they don't get used, there is just a peak in the morning. We generally hold off on laundry until after the morning, though the kitchen sink could be on for a few seconds while showers are going. If I can solve the problem with a residential heating system than that would be preferable due to costs, and since the house is zoned residential we are able to use those city codes to work with. If commercial heaters give significantly more hot water during a peak use, though, it would be worth spending for it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    The Great White North
    Posts
    4,045

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    It may not be necessary to use comercial grade equipment but rather a commercial type setup.
    Generally speaking you probably only need to add a second water heater in a series arrangement with the existing tank. This an economical way of adding to the demands of your hoter supply needs.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,443

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxinnkpr View Post
    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    We just put in a new furnace 2 years ago so am hoping to figure out the water heating as a separate system. Do commercial hot water heaters heat faster or are they just built to last longer with higher use? It may seem like a lot of use with that many bathrooms but almost the whole day they don't get used, there is just a peak in the morning. We generally hold off on laundry until after the morning, though the kitchen sink could be on for a few seconds while showers are going. If I can solve the problem with a residential heating system than that would be preferable due to costs, and since the house is zoned residential we are able to use those city codes to work with. If commercial heaters give significantly more hot water during a peak use, though, it would be worth spending for it.
    From what you are describing here, two 50 gal residential gas water heaters are all you need, because they will be able to handle your hot water need.

    They come with different tank warranties, from 6 years to 12 years, so you can pick the one right for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Water heating for bed & breakfast

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    From what you are describing here, two 50 gal residential gas water heaters are all you need, because they will be able to handle your hot water need.

    They come with different tank warranties, from 6 years to 12 years, so you can pick the one right for you.
    The problem with the warranties on there residential heaters is they are void if there used for commercial.

    John

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