Advice re optimal set up of hot water supply to 5 showers in a house

Susie2017

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Just looking for advice re best way to set up the above system for a friend who is considering renovations for his large family. Plumber has advised that a condenser gas boiler could serve two showers. Solar panels could run another 3, but there would be no overlap ie those heated by gas would always be heated by gas. He currently has one electrical shower in situ and is considering keeping it as it was only recently installed. Any suggestions as to the optimal and most efficient set up. What type of tank would be needed ? Four bathrooms are upstairs and one on ground floor.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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Does your friend already have five showers?

Or planning to install some more?

How large is the family? I can't see who would need anything more than one shower for every two people.
 

Susie2017

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Yes its a large family with grandparents. That is what they will need for the forseeable future. It is currently a 6 bedroomed house, with one ensuite and bathroom. Looking to extenddownstairs and change to 4 ensuites and main bathroom with shower. One ensuite will be downstairs. Should he do PV for the lot. Has had a quote of 16-18 K for solar PV 6Kw, with interconnecting gas boiler. Was told that solar PV will provide 85% of hot water in mornings. There will be minimum six showers every morning ! Any opinions. Solar tubes and thermodynamic were also mentioned, they would be around 6500 but understood that PV was a better approach ?
 

Bronte

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One of my sisters put in 4 ensuites upstairs plus a full bathroom and downstairs toilet. I was told it was the worst thing ever as she spent so much time cleaning them. Other than the parents and grandparents room there should be no need for ensuites. Then all you need is one decent sized main bathroom with shower. And a second toilet/sink downstairs.
 

dereko1969

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I think that amount of ensuites would make the house seem like a B&B! Also removes presumably a lot of storage potential in each room.
Bad Idea.
 

Nutso

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Agree with Bronte & Dereko1969 - my SIL has a big house - 6 bedrooms, 4 en suite, 1 main bathroom and one downstairs bathroom. It's a full time job to keep them all clean. We built last year and for that reason (among others), built 1 en suite, 1 upstairs main bathroom, 1 downstairs bathroom (also with a door to downstairs bedroom which doubles as en suite for guest room).

If they want to add more ensuites, would it at least be possible to do "jack & jill" bathrooms where they are accessible from 2 bedrooms? Personally I would much rather storage than extra bathrooms. Even in a decent sized house it can be hard to find places to put "things"
 

Bronte

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One thing I will always insist on for our ensuite is a full bathroom. Can't stand the pokey ones the parents in Ireland have to put up with. I've got double sinks, separate shower to the bath and it's a nice bright room which is a pleasure to use. Due to being abroad our childrens bathroom doesn't have a shower in it, though it has a lower down double sink which worked out great for the teeth brushing. This summer I banished all the children from showering in our bathroom (via our bedroom). Now they have to go two floors down to the shower room on the ground floor which is attached to the spare bedroom. I got a lot of arguments about spiders but I held my ground.

OP should concentrate on a fine fully bathroom as his/her ensuite. They will never regret it. Same story with the double sink.
 

Susie2017

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I agree entirely re sentiments. I am of entirely the same opinion. Would much prefer extra wardrobe space. Have advised also re cleaning. But friend is insistent that this is the optimum set up. Now back to the water heating issue. Any thoughts on solar ?
 

Thirsty

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Would electric showers be a better idea?

Failing that (and I'm not being snide) I would consider contacting a few (modern) B&B owners and see how they resolved the issue.

Edit to add: 4 bathrooms in my house; I pay someone to clean.
 

Nicklesilver

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The number of en suites doesn’t change the amount of hot water required. His question is about hot water not the configuration of the house!!
I would look at an air to water system. Gas boilers are now completely out dated.
My advice get a more up to date plumber and a new quote, read some passive house magazines.
 

Thirsty

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"The number of en suites doesn’t change the amount of hot water required"

Not a plumber, but I would have thought two / three / four showers running at the same time would use twice/three/four times as much water?
 

SparkRite

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"The number of en suites doesn’t change the amount of hot water required"

Not a plumber, but I would have thought two / three / four showers running at the same time would use twice/three/four times as much water?
I think what @Nicklesilver is saying is that if 10 people need to shower, whether they do it consecutively or concurrently the same amount of hot water is used.
 
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