General Question

squirbel's avatar

Is there some type of heater for a bathtub?

Asked by squirbel (3996 points ) February 15th, 2013 from iPhone

Does something like this exist? I rent, and the hot water runs out after a minute or two, not enough to fill a bathtub.

I would really like to have a hot bath, and I’m willing to spend money to get the device.

The device I imagine would sit outside the tub, and have two hoses. One input, one output. Water gets sucked into the machine, heated, and pushed back to the tub.

It’s just an idea but I really need a hot bath to relax in! :(

I am even willing to make one.

Would some sort of bucket-type container with a jacuzzi inline heater work? Does the inline heater suck the water? How does it work? (Second question)

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18 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

The thing you want certainly does exist, and it’s called a “water heater”. Your landlord should supply one that works to supply an “adequate” amount of hot water. Reasonable people can differ about what is “adequate”, but “not enough to wet my ankles in a bathtub” is going to be at the extreme lower edge of any reasonable person’s idea of “adequate”.

Any device such as what you’re suggesting, while possibly workable, is not normally commercially available (I don’t think you’ll pick this up at Home Depot), and is likely to be unsafe in several ways: plumbing leaks outside the tub, and electrical shock hazard (or fumes and venting from burning fuel, for another).

Talk to the landlord pleasantly. Maybe he doesn’t know that his water heater is limed up or has an element burned out.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

This might sound strange, but how about looking at a tropical fish supply shop. I don’t know if it would work, but some of the aquariums out there are pretty big. Plus it’s designed as an imersion heater. Plus what CWOTUS said.

augustlan's avatar

There are things like this heated, bubbling bath mat thingy that might do the trick. I’m not sure they’re up to heating outright cold water, though.

Edit: You can apparently get it cheaper on ebay.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I think you want an immersion heater for your bathtub. The only examples I found when I googled were ads, so you will have to look them up yourself. I would ask the landlord to check the water heater before going that route however.

You might find one at an Army Navy surplus store.

muhammajelly's avatar

@CWOTUS Why should the landlord supply one? Why instead shouldn’t adults be able to enter into whatever contract they want. Why not fix the water heater at your sole expense if you agreed to the house in its current condition at the current rent rate? It might be as simple as replacing an element or adding a cup of vinegar. If you agree in the current condition, warts and all, and then change your mind can the landlord also change the mind about the rent? The notion you have is why there is no way to obtain a truly low-cost living space. You cause such spaces to be outlawed when you believe someone else needs to come to your home and wipe your butt.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@muhammajelly because the water heater becomes part of the structure in most jurisdictions. As part of the structure, unless your lease specifically states otherwise, the water heater is the responsibilty of the landlord to maintain.

muhammajelly's avatar

@squirbel I use hot water in places that don’t have it by boiling water and mixing it in with cold water. An electric tea kettle can make about ½ gallon of boiling water in 7 minutes. Four such kettles would cost $40 and can make 4 gallons in 14 minutes. There may be cheaper or faster ways along the same line but this way is very simple.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe lol that was the first thing that popped into my head as well. Ive done it before lol. When I decide to take a bath I like taking long baths so while the water is hot filling it, it cools pretty fast so one day I just said fuck it and threw one of my spare aquarium heaters in there. Worked perfectly :P

muhammajelly's avatar

@WestRiverrat The lease does say so if “you agreed to the house in its current condition” as I touched on in my post. Nothing makes me believe this is a new problem.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Where I live that would not absolve the landlord of his responsibilities. Unless the landord was willing to let the tenant take all the improvements they made to the rental property when they left. And if the landlord knew the waterheater didn’t work and didn’t disclose this to the tenant, the landlord would be responsible for treble damages for renting an illegal apartment.

muhammajelly's avatar

@WestRiverrat This is why people are complaining in other posts and places that you cannot find low cost housing or that standard of living is going down. Self-service is low cost. Full service comes at a high price. People who are willing to perform self-service have a higher standard of living because their dollar goes a long way.

CWOTUS's avatar

You might be surprised that I agree with your first response to me, @muhammajelly. I believe that responsible adults should be free to contract in non-standard ways if it suits them. However, in the USA, I believe (I could be wrong, because I don’t rent property out, nor am I a renter myself) that the law says that landlords must provide certain basic amenities, which include “a supply of hot water”, whether that is done (as in a large apartment building, for example) with a single high-capacity central heating system for the entire building, or a residential water heater “of adequate capacity”.

That is, those are the minimums to be able to rent “a habitable domicile”. (People do own their own properties with much fewer amenities, and that is also allowed, subject to some restrictions.)

I wasn’t arguing from a theoretical point of view (a place from which I do very often argue), but from “the law as it is”.

I also believe that even in the theoretical non-utopian society that you and I might argue in favor of, the landlord still has a duty to disclose the state of the hot water supply and other salient features of the rental unit.

muhammajelly's avatar

@CWOTUS I am all in favor of disclosure. I will say that often you don’t know about a problem like “hot water works but gives out early”. I give my tenants 72-hours to check for and report problems after they move in but really I would accept a report up to a week later. Six months later if they tell me about a problem I am not open to the fact that it existed when they moved in.

Note: Is the hot water heater turned all the way up? Is there a faucet dripping hot water?

Unbroken's avatar

I get @muhammajelly and @CWOTUS are coming from. But having met a lot of renters, being one for so long, and knowing so many landlords being involved in cleaning or confidence.

I can tell you that not all fixes are better then alternative. Some people have no clue what they doing and yet they do it any way. Making a bigger problem.

And you don’t always discover issues in the first week of renting. Furnaces have gone out mid lease because no one ever serviced them or changed the filter. But furnace rooms are usually locked and it is not my job or part of my contract. Same with hot water issues. Or water softeners. I’ve been infested with carpenter ants during the summer after signing a lease in the fall. No warning from the landlord. And I had to take care of that issue myself. Or had 20 year old appliances die on me.

The biggest issue I had was black mold. I am allergic to mold anyhow and yeast. So the house was making me sick. There was evidence of mildew but not mold. Though I wasn’t really looking. It smelled but like indian food. I use scentscy and vinegar.

My plants were too high to see the dirt was growing fur. My cat bowl I change twice a day. But I thought it was odd that there would always be dust in it. I have a pet peeve about dirty dishes so it was a month before I felt so incredibly sick, I left dishes over night, after the food tasted off. I woke up furry dishes.

Turns out the refrigerator cooling pan was alive with fungus. As were my plants. I lost my deposit moved out and they promptly moved someone else it. What bugs me the most was there was a newborn in the other side of duplex. I told the family. But she didn’t have any money to move. Slum lords. They may allow pets. But a lot of them are just nasty individuals.

squirbel's avatar

To address those who speak as though I were renting a home – I am renting an apartment while I save up for a house. Renting a home is silly imo.

I am going the aquarium heater route because I like long baths. Thanks guys!

muhammajelly's avatar

@squirbel Why is renting a home silly?

squirbel's avatar

I’m not married anymore, and saving up to own a home is wiser than renting a larger space than necessary.

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