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takeitapart2fix 03-21-2011 01:56 PM

Water Heater Under and Over Performs
I have a water heater in my home that seems to be performing erratically.

There are 3 people in our house, and we all take hot showers at different times of day, but mostly in the morning. There is never enough hot water for more than a 5 minute shower.

However, the other day we had 2 guests staying at our house and all 5 of us took showers in the morning (probably 30-45 min apart) and we never ran out of hot water. I would guess that we each got at least a 10 minute shower.

Is there something wrong with the water heater or a part in it? The house is about 15 years old, and the water heater runs on gas.

kok328 03-21-2011 02:22 PM

Gas or Electric?
Gallon capacity?

joecaption 03-27-2011 10:01 AM

A water heater will work, always run out of hot water or not work at all, not work differant on differant days.
Sedament build up on the bottom of the tank because no one ever drained it off will cause low heat. Hook a garden hose up to the valve at the bottom of the tank and drain off a few gals.
To small a line coming into the tank to supply the water. It should be at least 3/4".
Uninsulated lines from the tank to the valves running through cold areas of the house.
Oriface is dirty causing the main gas to not come on in time to reheat the water fast enough. The gas company will need to fix that.
A stuck or dirty scald control valve in the shower control valve. SImple way to check that is if you run out of hot water go check the hot water at the faucet. If it's still hot then it's the valve.
Heater is located to far away from the devices, relocate heater or add one closer.
Heater is just to small. A 3 bedroom house could use a 50 gal heater. A 2 bed room needs only a 40 gal.

Redwood 03-27-2011 12:07 PM

You probably have the bad thermostat that takes a break every once in a while... It forgets to turn on until the water really cools off.

This would be something that on a 15 year old water heater I'd say just replace the entire water heater.

I would however check the temperature of the water leaving the tank. There could be other causes as well such as hot/cold crossover, and faulty tempering valves if installed.

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