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Old 03-06-2010, 04:48 PM  
ilyaz
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... I doubt your problem is a sediment build up unless your water is extremely hard. ... I would simply follow the manufacturers flushing instructions ...

The diptube ... is unlikely ...
Redwood, I may be misreading your post, but I am confused: are you saying that the reason for the drop in temp is not the diptube and it's not a sediment build up either, but you still suggest draining and flushing? So what is the reason for the temp drop? And what would be the advantage of draining and flushing?

By the way, here's another piece of info. Our utility sink is next to the heater and its faucet does not have any volume control so I can turn the water like it's the Niagara Falls. I noticed that when I do that and it's hot water, the water gets cloudy. Is this the buildup?

Thanks.


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Old 03-06-2010, 05:23 PM  
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Yes I sincerely doubt your problem is either sediment or, a bad diptube.

The cloudiness of the hot water you just described is simply air in the water.
If you run the water into a glass the milkiness will clear from the bottom up to the top of the glass fairly quickly.

The most important thing right now that you could tell me is is the water good and hot at the utility sink right next to the water heater?

Does it stay that way for a while?



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Old 03-07-2010, 09:51 AM  
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The most important thing right now that you could tell me is is the water good and hot at the utility sink right next to the water heater?

Does it stay that way for a while?
Yes, it seems to stay hot somewhat longer than in the shower.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:43 AM  
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That pretty much rules out the water heater not working right, leaks, and a tempering valve problem.

Do you have any single handle faucets in the mix?
Moen and Mixet have a notoriety for hot cold crossover problems...

Are there any fixtures where the hot and cold can be turned on with the water turned off at the outlet?

Or, a Y connection being used on a washing machine...

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:19 PM  
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Do you have any single handle faucets in the mix?

Are there any fixtures where the hot and cold can be turned on with the water turned off at the outlet?

Or, a Y connection being used on a washing machine...
No Y's
The only single-handle faucet was in the kitchen but it's not there anymore, just two pipes sticking out from the floor.

Not sure I understand you 3rd question. Can you give me an example?

By the way, what happens if the heater is never flushed/drained? We've had it for about 3 yrs and never performed any sort of maintenance on it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:06 PM  
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No Y's
The only single-handle faucet was in the kitchen but it's not there anymore, just two pipes sticking out from the floor.

Not sure I understand you 3rd question. Can you give me an example?

By the way, what happens if the heater is never flushed/drained? We've had it for about 3 yrs and never performed any sort of maintenance on it.
I don't want to hijack this thread. I'm interested in Redwood's analysis of what's causing a gradual and steady cooling of the hot water in the shower (besides a bad dip tube). And, I could think of an example of the kind Ilyaz wanted, so I figured I'd speak up.

An example might be a shower head that allows you to turn off the water at the shower head temporarily to lather up. If someone were to do that, (to answer the phone, say) and then dried off and got dressed and never did shut off the water at the faucet, then there would be a direct connection between the hot and cold water supply piping via the shower valve. If that person then came home and turned on the lawn sprinkler, he could find that he's watering his lawn with hot water instead of cold water. In Plumber-ese, that kind of situation is called a "cross connection".

What Redwood is thinking is that you might have one of these cross connections in your house, and any cold water getting into the hot water supply piping would result in the shower gradually becoming cooler. (cuz then you have cold water coming in both the cold water and hot water supply piping into your shower valve)

What happens if you don't flush your water heater for three years?

That depends heavily on the hardness of your water.

Scale, or "lime" forms on the hottest surfaces when water is heated. This scale is formed from the hardness ions in the water precipitating out on hot surfaces. So, if you have hard water and you have a gas fired water heater, you can expect a lot of scale to form on the hot bottom of the enamel coated tank where the gas flame impinges. That scale insulates the water from the flame, and causes the metal bottom of the tank to get much hotter than it otherwise would, and that will increase the thermal shocking to the tank and shorten the life of the tank.

The same thing happens on the heating elements of an electric hot water heater. However, in that case, the heater can be drained and the heating elements removed and cleaned.

If you have soft water, then you get much less scale because most of the hardness ions have been taken out of the water before it reaches your house.

If you have soft water, you probably didn't do any harm at all to your water heater by not flushing it for 3 years. Truth be told, lotsa new home owners never flush their water heater. I had an A. O. Smith BTRC250 commercial water heater, and every time I'd flush it, the water would run clear right off the bat, so I eventually stopped bothering to flush it every month. The whole idea of flushing is to clean out any sediment or dirt accumulated at the bottom of the tank, but in my case, there was never any accumulated dirt to flush out.

If you do have any scale forming in your water heater, the tell tale sign is that your water heater will make funny (rumbling, popping or wheezing) noises when the main burner trays are firing. If you don't hear any funny noises like that when your water heater's main burner trays are firing, then I wouldn't be concerned.

Just start flushing your water heater every month from now on.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:03 PM  
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Flushing the water heater is a good idea and you should do it but I don't think it's your problem.

No single handle lav faucets or, tub/shower mixers?

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Old 03-07-2010, 07:01 PM  
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No single handle lav faucets or, tub/shower mixers?
I don't think so, but just in case, I am attaching pix of all of my faucets and showers.
all2.jpg  
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:06 PM  
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The lav faucet in the upper left is a Moen.
Try shutting off the stop valves under the sink and see if the shower improves.

There is also one on the center right that is a single handle for a tub/shower but the pic is not clear enough to see the brand.

Try it with that one lav faucet shut off underneath the sink.

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Old 03-08-2010, 06:44 AM  
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The lav faucet in the upper left is a Moen.
Try shutting off the stop valves under the sink and see if the shower improves.
Will do

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There is also one on the center right that is a single handle for a tub/shower but the pic is not clear enough to see the brand.
This is also a Moen. By the way, this is a replacement installed a few months ago in place of the previous one which was at least 10 yrs old and whose cartridge went bad. What we have noticed is that water pressure in the new one is lower than in the old one. My wife is complaining that there is not enough pressure for her to take a normal shower. Can this be related somehow to the temperature problem?

Thanks much!


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