Advice on upgrading elements in elec HW heater?

Hi Folks,
My el cheapo 40 gal electric hot water heater has 3000W elements. It is fed by a 20A cct breaker and 12 guage wires.
I would like to install 4500W heating elements for faster recovery.
Is this a reasonable approach to extend my daughter's marathon showers when she comes home for Xmas? In other words, would there be a noticeable increase in hot water while the tank is in use?
Thanks, Gary
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G Mulcaster wrote:

I think the increase in comfortable shower duration would be minimal with those larger elements.
Besides, you'd be pushing it close to the theoretical limit with a 20 amp breaker and 12 gauge wire. 4500 watts at 230 volts will draw 19.5 amperes. I'm no expert, but I wouldn't be suprised if that would violate some codes. Someone else here will probably comment on that.
Roger on the daughter thing. I had the same problem before the nest got empty. I did two things which helped a lot:
1. installed a flow restrictor in the showerhead inlet.
2. Istalled a tempering valve in the output line of the water heater and then cranked the heater's thermostats up so the tank ran around 165 F with no flow, but the water leaving the tempering valve was a relatively safe 120 F.
You do the math....
HTH,
Jeff
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Let it run cold. She'll learn to take a faster shower and you save in the long run.
When my daughter was home, our oil fired heater would supply endless amounts of hot water. After a while I'd just go flip the switch and turn it off. Fifteen minutes or more is plenty. Eventually, she learned to get out in a reasonable time.
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Hi Jeff,
What is a tempering valve and where can they be purchased?
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G Mulcaster wrote:

A tempering valve (Also called a "Hot water extender tempering valve") mixes cold water with the hot water coming from the water heater to produce cooler water. There's an internal mechanical thermostat which automatically moves the valve to admit the proper amount of cold water to achieve the setpoint output temperature.
The setpoint is varied by a knob, it's usually got a range of 120F to 160F output water temperature.
The "extender" in the name says it's just what you need to cater to your daughter's bathing habits. <G>
They are available almost anywhere where plumbing parts are sold. Here's what they look like:
<http://www.plumbinggoods.com/index.cfm/action/catalog.browse/category_header/2/id_category/dc97e473-72e6-43d4-a22b-a8134eff0b4a
HTH,
Jeff
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today.
Gary
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Consider one of the point of use instant heat water heaters as a booster for the main water heater if you have 220 available and a closet or space where yo can tie into the hot water line.
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On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 22:30:42 -0500, "George C. Fahrlender"

Never thought of that. Thanks.
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I just installed a valve on the hot water line. When the shower got too long I would shut off the hot water until I heard a scream, then turn it on again. The long showers got shorter.
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