I like to think that I put a lot of research into my purchases. Just ask my builders—they'll tell you that I have more questions and more information than they think a homeowner should have! So, no surprise that I carefully reviewed all of the features of my new tub before I ordered it. Yes, I'm demanding—I wanted it as deep as possible, soaking only, high-placed drain, gel-coated fiberglass. Naturally I verified that we had a water tank large enough to fill it, or nearly. My tub takes 46 gallons of hot water to the overflow and my tank holds 40 gallons of hot water. Out of luck for the last six gallons, I figured. Well, didn't I get used!?!? It turns out that a 40 gallon tank won't let you have 40 gallons of hot water. The minute it starts to deplete beyond the halfway mark, it refills with cold water. Result: I only get 20 gallons of hot water before my tub runs cold. Arrgghhh—does every purchase and decision in a homebuilding project lead to yet another purchase? Apparently so. Oh, and did I mention that my tub is leaking? Well, at least I'll get a new ceiling in the laundry room... and an 80 gallon hot water tank!
Sure, I looked at on-demand hot water from the start. My thinking was that it only made sense. I ran into a number of problems, though. First, finding a whole-house solution didn't turn out to be practical. Reality is that turning it on and off for short spurts -- like hand-washing -- fires up the system without letting it get to full force. The result is an energy-guzzling quick fix. The obvious answer was a single-site on-demand water solution. Great idea until I looked at installing it. Since the appliance needs venting, and venting needs clearance from windows and doors, I was unable to install it. The new addition has windows on that side of the house and the second story has the two bathroom windows. So, it would have been great but it just couldn't be.