The thunderstorm that kept you tossing and turning last night also knocked out your electrical power. You wake in a panic; this morning is your big meeting and you need a shower. It looks like the power outage is lasting longer than anticipated. You know you can’t make your coffee, boil an egg, or turn on a light, but can you take a long, hot shower? The answer is yes, no and maybe.
Are you relying on water from your personal well? You’ll need to break out the baby wipes or sponge bathe with bottled water. Home wells rely on electrically operated pumps to bring the well water to the surface and into your house. No electricity means no shower. If you use a tankless hot water heater, either electrical or gas-operated, you have the same problem – no hot water reserve.
If the water in your tank is heated electrically, you may have enough hot water remaining in the tank to shower, unless you like long, hot showers. Remember, until the power returns, you’re at the mercy of the amount of water remaining in the tank. Shower fast, as the water in the tank will begin to cool when the outage occurs. Are you using a gas hot water heater that relies on electricity to ignite the pilot light? Sorry, you have the same problem as the electric hot water heater.
Does your home have a standard upright hot water tank? Tanks with gas-powered heaters and continuous pilot lights will keep the water in the tank hot during a power outage. So feel free to lather up!
Power outages are unpredictable. To put your mind at ease and keep the hot water flowing, consider installing a generator to support your well pump or to power your hot water heater.