I recently bought a four family property. I wanted to provide washers and dryers for my tents, 1 set per two units. However, I have run into an interesting dilemma. People want hot water on the washers but where should it come from? I don't think it's fair to run the hot water from one of the tenants hot water tanks.

Is the only option to get a 5th hot water tank dedicated to the washers? If so, who's gas line do I use to heat the tank? Any common solutions out there I am missing?

  • 1
    Its probably not fair to use one unit's cold water, electricity and gas either. Do you already have separate meters setup for those?
    – Grant
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 0:04
  • @Grant there is only 1 cold water line that comes into the four family house. It's how all of the multifamily's are built in our city. I am using my electric for it and there is no gas. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 14:05

2 Answers 2


Since this is a common facility for your tenants, it should be installed in such a way that neither tenant is paying for the gas or electricity required for the washer.

If there is no common hot water heater in the building, then you should do the following:

  1. Have an additional electric meter installed to supply electricity to the common areas of the building. Depending on local regulations and the size of the building, this may need to be a commercial meter.

  2. If you want to use gas for the hot water and dryers, have an additional gas meter installed.

  3. In order to supply hot water to the washers, you may want to investigate tankless water heaters which take up significantly less space than a tank. A small 100,000 BTU heater like this one can easily supply several washing machines.

Marey Model # GA16NGETL

An alternative route is to go all electric. Install a common electric meter as above, but use an electric on-demand water heater and electric dryers. Depending on your local utility costs this may end up being a lot more expensive than gas, though.

  • I was already considering the tankless heaters. Now that someone else has validated this I think I will try and find a cheap one. Thanks for the advice Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 23:14

I you already have 4 water heaters installed and don't want to add a 5th for the laundry (which I think is probably the best solution), you could tie the the washing machines into one of the units' hot water systems, pay for the gas bill yourself, and give that unit free hot water (maybe you could charge higher rent for including hot water).

  • This is the best idea yet. And it gets even better if the OP/owner were to occupy that unit.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 2:58

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