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DrMince

Hot shower issues in a small hotel

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We recently acquired a small hotel in the sticks.

We (and our guests) have noticed that it is difficult to get the electric showers to produce enough hot water for a comfortable shower, even on fairly warm days.

 

The local shower/aircon maintenance team say that the units are not the problem but that the power supply is the problem.

 

There are multiple power lines coming in off the street to the various buildings we have at the hotel. For now I want to understand the problem, and the fix, in our house before implementing the fix to the guest rooms.

 

I know nothing about electricity but I will list here what I have seen by looking around the hotel grounds and doing a simple test in the house.

 

1. The cables running from the street to our house are about 80m long.

2. The cables are old and covered in squirrel nibbles, sometimes to the aluminium.

3. They appear to be 10 Sq mm PVC 750v 70c.

4. The shower units are 3.5KW new devices (two units).

5. I have plugged in a UPS with a voltage display to see is coming through the sockets.

 

With just the fridge and computer on, the UPS is showing about 205v input.

With one shower turned on it goes down to 185v input.

With both showers on it goes down to 165v input.

 

I have no idea if this is normal or if it is the problem.

Please let me know if you need any further information before coming up with suggestions.  

 

Thanks for any help you can give.

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Normal... by Thai standards.

 

Look at your meter calibration and divide the numbers by the product of (local corruption level) by (130-Local average IQ).

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For comparison purposes this is our supply voltage vs current graph. Note that the starting voltage (at about 8A) varies with day and time of day. Even so we're still "reasonable" at 50A. Measurements were taken in 2017.

 

Untitled-1.jpg.acc8137fa0609ad3623c43eee

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I'm thinking you go to the local EGAT/PEA office where the orange trucks are and speak to a foreman and get someone to explain about the 80m. They might be persuaded to run a new supply, if that is the problem, using some (cough) spare cable. 

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Good advice above.

 

BUT.

 

If you are going to go to PEA you need to be armed with FACTS. If you have low voltage at the meter that's their problem which they should sort.

 

They could easily move you to a less loaded phase which may solve your issues. Cost - lunch for the boys who sort it. 

 

You will indeed likely be replacing your incoming cable, but if you can get away without why spend your hard earned $$?

 

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What is the outside temperature at your place, especially in the night, if we are talking about taking a shower in the morning.

3500w is just underpowered if it gets a bit cooler.

 

We have 4800w here (living in Chiang Mai, currently down to about 17 degrees in the night), and if i want to take a warm shower in the morning i can not fully open the water tap in the shower.

A week or two ago when it was like 10 degrees here in the night, when i wanted to take a warm shower in the morning i could open the water tap only at the absolute minimum (so that the water heater was active, if the flow is too low it shuts off), and this was still far from hot.

 

So even if your voltages are ok, you might need to get at least a 6000w unit to be able to take a proper warm shower all year round.

 

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I’m surprised mor people don’t use boilers here, particularly people that use a lot of hot water.

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1 hour ago, mogandave said:

I’m surprised mor people don’t use boilers here, particularly people that use a lot of hot water.

When I built my house 22 years ago I wanted to plumb it like a house in the USA with hot and cold water everywhere.  I looked for a "boiler", a 30 gallon glass lined gas water heater and was unable to locate one anywhere.  All that I could find was big industrial/comercial units units at a  large industrial/commercial cost.

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On 12/19/2019 at 11:42 PM, wayned said:

When I built my house 22 years ago I wanted to plumb it like a house in the USA with hot and cold water everywhere.  I looked for a "boiler", a 30 gallon glass lined gas water heater and was unable to locate one anywhere.  All that I could find was big industrial/comercial units units at a  large industrial/commercial cost.

Did the same quest. Was looking for a second hand insulated enclosure. An old boiler would then do. The aim was putting a heat exchanger inside connected to a coil on the rooftop. Free warm water, for the laundry, dishes and mixer in the shower.

The quest is still on

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On 12/18/2019 at 3:56 PM, jackdd said:

So even if your voltages are ok, you might need to get at least a 6000w unit to be able to take a proper warm shower all year round.

It's the same where I am, water just gets too cold for the heater! we have a 8,000w heater, couple of weeks back when it was "cold" difficult at best to get a 'hot" shower!

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