DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum

DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum (
-   General Appliance Discussion (
-   -   Gas water heater seems to be failing (

bvz 04-25-2008 12:57 PM

Gas water heater seems to be failing
I have a 30 Gal kenmore gas water heater from 1981. It is supplying less and less hot water all the time (the water can start out hot, but almost immediately gets warm, then cool... I can barely make it through a shower now).

Although it may be a coincidence, it seemed to start getting bad after I had done a little plumbing (I found a vertical pipe that had been capped off in a wall I was removing. So I opened all the faucets, cut the pipe back, siphoned water out of the remaining stub so that it wouldn't steam when I soldered a new cap on it, and then actually soldered the cap on. I then started up the water and everything seems to be working fine... but now I have this hot water issue).

I have drained the tank and refilled it. Nothing seems to help.

While I'd like to replace it, I'm a little skint at the moment. Is this something that can be repaired? Can a DIY guy do it?


glennjanie 04-26-2008 12:37 PM

Hello Ben:
Your plumbing project didn't affect your water heater.
The water heater comes with a 'dip tube' which is a piece of plastic pipe these days. Yours was probably copper or galvanized tin. The dip tube takes the new cold water to the bottom of the water heater which forces the hot water to the top. In your case the dip tube has corroded away and the water is making an in/out route which doesn't give it a chance to heat up or for you to harvest the pre-heated water.
Yes, a DIYer can fix it. Take a piece of 3/4" copper tube (the roll kind) 36" long. Straighten it and flare one end (as if you were going to use flare fittings to make a connection). Disconnect the COLD water side of the heater and insert the new tube in the hole. It will come to rest on the flare and you can reconnect the cold water (use pipe joint compound or teflon tape on the connection). Now, the cold water goes to the bottom again and you can use the warm water out of the top. Best wishes with your project.

kok328 04-27-2008 06:28 AM

Your dealing w/a 25+ yr. old water heater. Replace it and enjoy a hot shower.

glennjanie 04-27-2008 11:50 AM

The only difference would be $3.00 or $300.00+.

shan2themax 04-27-2008 01:19 PM

Finally, a post where I can be helpful.... you can lease a hotwater tank.... I did.. I have a 120 gallon hot water tank and it cost less than 20$ a month... if something happens they come and fix it and it doesnt cost me anything ever (other than 20 a month)..... It could be a good solution if available in your area until you can save the money to buy what you want...
They have different sizes and will help you figure out what you need... I can tell you though... 5 people 1.5 baths, a dishwasher and w/d.... I have never not had hot water

Here is a link to the site....

inspectorD 04-27-2008 03:18 PM

Not that your crazy...
Do you realize that $20 times 12 months equalls $240 per year.
A good water heater will last 10 years with no fixes. For much less than the $2400 you would initially shell out.
However if that $2400 includes the install and removal of the old one and piece of mind....only you can do that math.:D

Being a DIY girl I would have thought you installed your own heater.;)

jasonkoll 04-29-2008 01:59 PM

Replace the water heater
You can buy a great water heater with a 10-yr warranty for $400 bucks. They are incredibly easy to install and should give you next to no problems over the next 10 years. Log in to, their prices are usually the cheapest around and equipment the best in town.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:31 PM.