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Coreyt0304
06-06-2014, 04:45 AM
Question...If you are at a hotel and the lights go out, is there anyway you can still use the water to take a shower? If they have a generator, does that include toilets and stuff?

T Robinson
06-06-2014, 04:47 AM
Plumbing is not dependent on electricity, in general. If you want a hot shower, you better hurry. It does rely on electricity.

jclarkdawe
06-06-2014, 04:48 AM
Depends upon the water source. If it is city water, then it probably will be flowing, unless the city pumping station is dead as well. If it is a well, only with electricity will the pump work.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Williebee
06-06-2014, 04:54 AM
Also depends on how big the hotel is, how many people are staying there (water pressure and all that) and where it is -- urban, rural, remote...

jaksen
06-06-2014, 05:21 AM
When the power goes out at my house we still have hot water as long as the hot water tank is full. (It will need electricity to heat up any cold water still flowing into the tank.) But if the tank is big, and it's full, you'll have hot water until the hot water is used up, or the water in the tank cools down.

I have a (second) house on Cape Cod with a HUGE hot water tank. If we leave the house and go home for a few days, we turn off the hot water. (To save electricity, money, etc.) If we return within three days, the hot water in the tank will still be warm. I personally find that rather amazing, that the water is still warm. It won't be HOT-HOT, but warm enough to wash your hands, or even take a shower.

Coreyt0304
06-06-2014, 05:28 AM
Its a small one floor hotel above a bar. The lights went out and the main character goes up to his room for the first time and I want him to take a shower. Think it would be too much of a coincidence if the lights came on long enough for him to take a shower and go back off lol

jaksen
06-06-2014, 05:33 AM
If the hot water tank in the hotel is full and no one has used that water, say for washing dishes, (and no one else is taking a shower), then yes, there may well be enough water for a shower.

But to make it realistic, have the water turn to lukewarm, then cold as he's taking it.

But keep in mind, if the electricity comes back on, the hot water isn't immediately hot. It takes a while for the tank to heat up the water. At my summer house, it takes about two hours for the water in the tank to completely heat up. (If it starts out cold, of course.)

debirlfan
06-06-2014, 06:10 AM
Wouldn't apply to the OP's question, but for anyone else considering something along those lines-

I followed the postings of some tech guys who were "holding down the fort" after Katrina in a high-rise office building with no power other than the generator running the computers. Not sure if it was a question of water pressure or what, but I recall them talking about progressively using the various toilets in the building because they had no way to flush.

Coreyt0304
06-06-2014, 06:16 AM
So if he for example goes up to the room and jumped in the shower it could be lukewarm for a minute before going ice cold. That'd probably be frowned upon if the owner knew about it though right?

Williebee
06-06-2014, 06:17 AM
Okay, but nuke warm is gonna kill him. Actually, if it's really nuke warm, he's probably got bigger issues. :)

Ravenlocks
06-06-2014, 07:00 AM
If the hotel has a gas line, the hot water is likely to be heated by gas, and that will still work (as will the gas furnace and gas stoves). So the lights could go out, but he'd still get hot water.

Trebor1415
06-06-2014, 10:22 AM
Don't forget the bathroom may be dark, if it's after sundown. He may want a flashlight or something.

Williebee
06-06-2014, 06:10 PM
"Oh my darling, the candlelight, glinting from the water in the toilet bowl... you are so lovely."

okay, maybe not.

Maryn
06-06-2014, 08:24 PM
Most older small commercial buildings--a one-floor hotel over a bar would qualify--have either a large gas water heater (because gas is far cheaper than electric water heater in terms of operating cost) or a boiler which provides both hot water and heat. A boiler needs electricity to maintain its heat, but for many hours after the power goes out, hot-but-getting-cooler water will be available.

A gas water heater will continue to operate as usual, so there'd be no shortage of hot water. In the early 90s, when an ice storm left this area without power for 13 days, we all took long, luxurious hot showers, because getting out and toweling off in one's 40-degree bathroom was going to be tough.

The instant-hot and always-available hot water in larger facilities relies on electricity to both heat and pump the water.

How many hotel rooms are served might be the deciding factor on the source of hot water. The bar, with a need for hot water for washing dishes and for its restrooms, will have its own water heater if it's gas.

Maryn, who worked for a utility company

Once!
06-06-2014, 09:32 PM
Some power showers won't work without electricity. It's not so much the heating of the water; it's the electricity that you need to run the pump.

Old Hack
06-06-2014, 10:10 PM
Many gas-powered boilers use electric thermostats and so don't work terribly reliably once power is down.

Some bigger houses and hotels use electric pumps to fill water tanks in their attic spaces to provide water to their various rooms through gravity-fed systems.

Many showers require electricity to work--power showers, as mentioned above.

Bathrooms without windows would be dark if there were no power.

If there's a full hot water tank but no power to drive a water pump required by the system, you'll have hot water but the cold might run out before the hot water, so your character could get boiled.

There are all sorts of things that could go wrong, and all sorts of ways to make this work how you want it to.

Coreyt0304
06-07-2014, 12:12 AM
Many gas-powered boilers use electric thermostats and so don't work terribly reliably once power is down.

Some bigger houses and hotels use electric pumps to fill water tanks in their attic spaces to provide water to their various rooms through gravity-fed systems.

Many showers require electricity to work--power showers, as mentioned above.

Bathrooms without windows would be dark if there were no power.

If there's a full hot water tank but no power to drive a water pump required by the system, you'll have hot water but the cold might run out before the hot water, so your character could get boiled.

There are all sorts of things that could go wrong, and all sorts of ways to make this work how you want it to.

A generator is running so the room has power. I decided to have him take the shower in cold water, it actually worked out fairly well.

WeaselFire
06-07-2014, 02:12 AM
Question...If you are at a hotel and the lights go out, is there anyway you can still use the water to take a shower? If they have a generator, does that include toilets and stuff?
Real question... What do you need for your story? If you need it to go out, put the hotel on a well with an electric pump. If not, gas or oil fired hot water heater and let the good times roll.

Jeff

Mark G
06-26-2014, 03:14 AM
Commercial water heaters probably use gas, rather than electric, as a heating source - so electric use might be limited to their controllers. http://www.hotwater.com/water-heaters/commercial/water-heaters/gas/

Hotels might have emergency power, to run things like the elevators, to comply with fire regulations. http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=110

With 500+ gallons of hot water on tap for a commercial system, he could take an hour long shower and never have it get cold. If the water for the hotel is sourced from a tank on the roof (or a community tank elsewhere at higher elevation), and fed by gravity, then there would not be an issue with pump failure.

My 2 cents.

PS: My wife and I stayed at a little place in the Bahamas where the power went out for an hour a day to conserve electricity. The water still ran...