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Tub Fillers – Getting Yourself In Hot Water! September 12, 2007

Posted 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.

Kohler high-flow valve

  • 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?
In-line heaterThe 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.



1. Insurance - November 30, 2007

Wish i had the talent to write such posts.

2. Cheap Farmers - December 1, 2007

Got a little bit confused while reading :S

3. Insure livestock - December 2, 2007

Stumbled upon your blog a week ago and decided to come back. Not for the articles you write, but for how you write them, really amazing stuff you’re doing here, i like how you put information into the articles which makes it much more easier to read and much more interesting of course. Keep up the good work!

4. Tank - April 10, 2008

Having an inline heater is a must, otherwise you go to all that time and effort and the bath is called in no time. Most inline heaters work by removing the heat around the pumps for the jets and use that to keep the water hot and therefore don’t cost much more than a regular pump. As you point out- It doesn’t heat the water (maybe a few degrees) but it will keep it nice and warm for as long as want.

5. Fought - June 19, 2008

Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

cheers, Fought.

6. Lev - January 14, 2010

Hello, I understand that in order to get a high gpm flow, one
needs 3/4″ piping and a 3/4″ high-flow valve. But what about
the trim, i.e. the spout? The Kohler Purist tub filler spout that I
consider is supposedly high flow, but it still appears to be
connected to a 1/2″ pipe. I was unable to find a tub filler with
a 3/4″ connector. Perhaps the trim is not a flow-limiting factor?

7. Polaris - April 7, 2011

Thank you for the sagacious opinion. My friend and I were preparing to do some study about that. We got a great book on that matter from our local library and numerous books are less informatory as your site. I am very glad to detect such information which I was searching for a long time. 🙂

8. Eric - May 5, 2011

While instant hot water heaters might SEEM like a good idea to heat water for tubs, in Canada and other northern climates (northern US states), the ground water temperature is quite low, resulting in lower flow rates (5 GPM maximum) for hot water. Most tub fillers average 7-9 GPM, meaning you get to “fill your tub slow” with an instant.

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Tub Fillers – Getting Yourself In Hot Water! | The Bathroom Faucet Guide

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