Need Help with Hot Water Issues

bmkruegerFebruary 17, 2011

My water heater is a pain in the butt. I never seem to have enough water unless it's scalding hot and constantly turning on to heat up. There is also very poor pressure at the showerhead to the point where I wonder if I am going to get shampoo out of my hair.

When I moved into my apartment about a year ago, my landlady told me that I shared my 30 gal. water heater with the apartment directly below me. She claimed that there was a regulator on the system that allowed the downstairs residence to have access to enough water for two (2) showers and one (1) load of dishes per day.

As the months have gotten colder the guy living downstairs has complained to me, sometimes quite rudely, that the amount of water or the content of water that he's receiving in his showers is not enough. I have turned up the water to try and appease the situation but I am now at this point getting bills that are over $60 per month. My parents own two homes and their gas bills combined DO NOT equal that much. Furthermore, when asked nicely to help pay, my neighbor refuses and when I mention that I may have to turn down the heater, he says that he'll call the landlady and complain.

I have spoken to my landlady and last week she got a plumber to come have a look at my water heater. He installed a new valve and length of hose for the line that fills the heater. He also told me that he turned up the pressure at the connection as best he could at the street. When I mentioned pressure issues he said that could be due to a sediment filled tank. After getting permission from my landlady, I flushed my tank and still have not received better results.

I am on the edge of kicking my neighbors @$$ at this point for his rude behavior but I am just documenting it and biding my time. As for the heater, I am also showing restraint in hopes that someone from here can give me a suggestion on what to do. I will take anything that you folks have to offer, even if it's how to talk to my landlady about this and make her understand.

Thanks for reading my post and putting up with my long, drawn out complaint. Any questions about what I have said, ask me, I can probably clear it up.

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"She claimed that there was a regulator on the system that allowed the downstairs residence to have access to enough water for two (2) showers and one (1) load of dishes per day."

I would really suspect this is bovine scatology.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 9:47AM
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IMHO, a 30 gallon tank is pretty danged small to share between two apartments.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 10:37AM
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I too agree that the regulator idea is hogwash. I did from the start but my landlady doesn't speak the best english so sometimes it is just better to not argue or try to explain things.

I also find the small size of the water heater to be unacceptable. Our other neighbor has a fifty gallon tank for a shower, a bathroom sink, and a kitchen sink.

I did turn down the water heater some to save a little money. I figure if the neighbor is already not getting adequate water, he's not going to notice the thermostat moving one notch. When I showered today the water was still plenty hot.

Is it possible that the insulation in the plumbing is poor and the water is losing a lot of heat to colder outside air? The apartments are at least 40 years old and we've had some well below freezing temps on this mountain this winter.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 3:46PM
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A better question is: Why, in the world, would you agree to pay for your neighbor's hot water? You don't have a water heater problem - you have a lease and landlady problem.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 8:57PM
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The entire thing does not sound like a legal apartment conversion.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 10:24AM
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In the areas where I am familiar with the rental law, tennants can not be billed for shared utilities. That might not be the case where you live, but I expect that it is.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2011 at 2:20PM
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