Tub Fillers – Getting Yourself In Hot Water! September 12, 2007Posted by FaucetMaster in Buying Tips, Roman Tub Faucets, Tub & Showers.
The problem is you AREN’T in hot water – yet. Here are some tips to look for when considering when looking for the facuet that gets you that relaxing bath: for keeping your water hot. Also some goodies that can help!
How fast does it fill?
Flow rates – what is the faucet rated for GPM (gallons per minute)? Tub faucet’s don’t have/don’t need aerators, so they are USUALLY limited by:
- The valve that’s in the wall or under the deck (of the tub) for flow rate. When buying, check how many gallons your tub can hold to give you an idea of what flow-rate you want. Example: Have a 32 gallon tub? A 4 GPM tub filler will fill it in 8 minutes.
- Pipe size: When purchasing your faucet – if the trim (the shiney, finished part) may be sold seperately from the valve. Online stores often do this. Check to see if there is a “high-flow” or 3/4″ pipe model. You may have to check your inlet pipes (hot/cold) if they 1/2″ or are 3/4″, but if they ARE, I definitely recommend getting the 3/4″, which will give you the higher flow rate. **Also, if you are having trouble finding the flow-rate on websites, check the manufacturer’s.
- PSI (pounds per square inch) or your water pressure. Usually spec-sheets on valves or faucets give an approximate estimate of what the flow-rate is based on what your water pressure is. Here is an example (see the chart on pg 2 of the PDF).
Will you have enough hot water?
Ah ha! Yes, you have the great 3/4″ high-flow valve and you’ve got good water pressure in your house already. BUT, can your water heater compensate? Gah – I know… You’re probably headed out to the garage with a flashlight to check. It’s ok, I’ll wait.
Ok, you’re back! Well, if your heater does have the capacity to fill you’re tub in one go, then you should be good. If you have a reeaaaally large tub though that even your pool-heater shudders to think about, there is another solution: tankless water heaters. Not only are you not constantly heating a tank of water (keeping it hot), the larger units can easily keep up with your tub’s demands AS you demand the water. I recommend the “whole-house” heaters, as “point-of-use” are usually for a smaller application, like a sink or small tub. Most online stores are nice and give you a GPM flow rate right up front – yay!
Will it STAY hot?
The heat fades and you’re left sitting in a tub of luke-warm water – bleh. Some manufacturer’s, like Jacuzzi, make in-line heaters that keep the tub water hot as it’s jetted. It’s actually fitted on the pump-piping and is NOT really made to heat the water, just keep it hot. Not for the faint-of-heart :).
Also – material of the tub can effect how the tub water stays hot. Cast iron can cause the poured water to start off a little more tepid because the metal might be cooler to start with. Acrylic or fiberglass tubs might not have that effect, but depending on how well they are insulated (the underside), they might bleed heat after being filled. For material I’d recommend sticking for appearance or your durability in mind – those are usually a bit more important. Also, the point might be moot as I have yet to see a cast-iron jetted tub :).
Well, thats about all I have for how to keep your bath water hot. More to come about other fun topics like replacing a bathtub drain, different types of bathtub faucets, etc.