Last year, our Phase III, 40 Gallon, water heater sprung a leak, so we
had to have it replaced.
I spoke with the Plumber about this and we did talk about the old tank
being 40 Gallon. He mentioned that he would replace it with a Weil
McLain, but never said anything about the size of the new tank.
When the plumbers came, they brought the new tank, which was
comparable in size, however, the new tank is only 28 Gallons.
I didn't notice this at the time because the two tanks are very
similar in size (the new one is a bit shorter, but it's noticeably
wider than the phase iii).
I noticed the difference when my wife started to complain that after
20 minutes in the shower, she has to shut down the cold water entirely
in order for the shower water to stay warm. That's when I started to
look into the problem and noticed that the new tank is only 28
gallons. It's a Weil McLain Gold 30.
I called the plumber immediately and he said that the size of the tank
doesn't really matter. That a 28 Gallon tank should be more than
sufficient for my needs.
I ran some tests, and found the following:
The maximum temperature of the water from this heater (we have to
crank it up all the way) is 160 deg. Farenheit. The dial on the old
one was kept at 167 deg. and that wasn't the maximum.
With the old tank, we NEVER ran out of hot water while showering.
I did some tests as to how fast the temperature drops, and here are
I ran the shower as we normally would when we take a shower and after
10 minutes, I meassured the temperature of the hot water alone: it
dropped from 160 deg. to 140 deg.
After another 10 minutes, the temperature of the hot water alone
dropped to 110 deg.
The plumber came here about 2 or 3 weeks ago and said that the problem
might be that the heater is not getting enough hot water from the
boiler (a gas-based HydroTherm), and he mentioned the possibility of
replacing the zone valve with one that has a wider inside diameter. I
was skeptical, but willing to go with it.
The day before yesterday I spoke with him (he was supposed to come,
and instead called me - after I called him. He had me measure the GPM
output of my shower (which is 3 Gallons Per Minute) and he mentioned
in passing that I might need a new shower head - I'm not going to
replace the shower head. We love this shower and the high pressure it
So, I'm still waiting for him to get back to me.
Can someone tell me if I'm right assuming that the size difference (38
gallons vs 28 gallons) is the main culprit here?
At this point I'm extremely angry about what is happening. I had no
way to infere that in spite of knowing that I had a 40 gal tank, he
would replace it with a 30 gal tank. Furthermore, the price difference
between these two sizes in Weil McLain's line is about $75. Why would
I want to save a miserable $75 in a $2000 job?!?!?!
Thanks for any ideas, opinions, or advice!!!!