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Defective water heater?

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tagal4

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I installed a new Bradford White natural gas water heater I got at a plumbing supply store at the end of last summer, and ever since then I have had problems with air in my hot water lines that keeps getting worse no matter what I do to try to bleed it out. I have tried letting the faucets run for minutes on end - both hot and cold taps and just the hot taps by themselves until the water stream coming out the faucets looked better, which didn't accomplish anything but waste water. I have tried opening the drain valve on the bottom of the water heater and letting the water drain while it fills from the top for minutes on end (until the water stream coming out looked better) to try to force the air pockets out, which once again just wasted water. Finally I tried opening the safety valve on the side of the water heater momentarily because I watched a video of a guy doing that to remove air, but this didn't accomplish anything either except make a mess in my basement.

The water heater I replaced (which I got from the local Ace Hardware) never had this problem when I got it new many years ago: I can't remember having to do much of anything to bleed the air out of the water lines after I installed it, so I'm thinking something must be wrong with the one I just got. it's as if it's literally putting air in my hot water somehow as it heats my water and expels it. This problem just keeps getting worse and worse to the point when I open a hot water tap somewhere in my small house now the faucet spits and carries on violently before any water comes out, and then when it comes out it is a very uneven weak spray-like stream. When I shut off the hot water tap and turn on a cold one the stream returns to normal.

This is getting very frustrating so I would appreciate any thoughts on this matter.
 

Snoonyb

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Air is being created/introduced somewhere in the system.
What is temp. setting of the water heater?
Are you on a well?
Is there any evidence of a minor leak at any of the hot water angle stops?
Are any of the fixture faucet the type with a crossover tube, which would allow air to be siphoned if both hot and cold were open at the same time?
 

tagal4

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I have it set on the "hot" setting which is just high enough to get me decently hot water. No, I'm not on a well; I use city water. Angle stops look like they are fine. I don't know water you mean by a faucet crossover tube - all of my faucets are the two-handled type so I believe there is a crossover tube of some sort in each of them to mix the water. Everything was working fine until my old water heater gave up the ghost and I had to replace it.
 

Snoonyb

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I'm just going through a process of elimination.

After all the spitting and spurting is finished, is the hot water stream comparable to the cold?
 

tagal4

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I'm just going through a process of elimination.

After all the spitting and spurting is finished, is the hot water stream comparable to the cold?
No. It's a coarse, weak spray-like stream.

I noticed tonight when I was doing wash that the water heater is now making a knocking noise.
 

Snoonyb

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It sounds like the water valve controlling the supply too the heater is not open completely, which would lead to the air no purging as well as a low stream. If it's the old style gate valve, have it, or change it, to a new ball valve.
 

tagal4

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It sounds like the water valve controlling the supply too the heater is not open completely, which would lead to the air no purging as well as a low stream. If it's the old style gate valve, have it, or change it, to a new ball valve.
That can't be it because all the water valves in my house are already ball valves - even the ones for my faucets - and they are all currently open. I re-plumbed my house a number of years ago with copper pipes and ball valves.
 

Fireguy5674

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Do you have a small pressure tank on the discharge side of your water heater? Like a 2 gallon size? Not sure why changing the water heater would cause the problem to start, but because systems are now required to have anti-backflow checks your water system is a closed system. When your water is heated and expands there is no place for that expanding water to go. The small pressure tank allows room for the change in volume to be accommodated.

I am not sure this is your issue, but might be worth a try before making that call to the plumber. The tanks are available at any plumbing supply place including all the big box stores. Just tee it into the supply side of your water heater and see if it makes a difference.

As to your poor water flow on hot water side, the other thing I've seen is a chunk of calcification at the valve getting disturbed when you turned off the water to replace the water heater that is now restricting flow even with the ball valve.

Lastly, double check to make sure you did not reverse the hot and cold lines when you installed the water heater. I am sure you didn't, but sometimes it is really simple stuff that gets over looked. That will really gum up the works.
 

68bucks

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Just throwing out ideas but maybe a problem with the dip tube in the water heater. Maybe a crack or something up high on it that let's air into the line? You would think that it would eventually purge out maybe not.
 

kok328

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Dip tube would not cause this problem. No expansion tank would not cause this problem.
I'd start over. Shut off the main water supply and open all faucets, tubs and showers.
Drain all pipes in the home to the lowest points and empty the water heater.
Remove all shower heads and aerators.
Refill your pipes and heater while bleeding out all the air to the highest point of use.
Once you get proper flow, clean out all your aerators and shower heads before reinstalling them.
 

tagal4

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Dip tube would not cause this problem. No expansion tank would not cause this problem.
I'd start over. Shut off the main water supply and open all faucets, tubs and showers.
Drain all pipes in the home to the lowest points and empty the water heater.
Remove all shower heads and aerators.
Refill your pipes and heater while bleeding out all the air to the highest point of use.
Once you get proper flow, clean out all your aerators and shower heads before reinstalling them.
So you mean when I start refilling everything start by shutting the drain to the water heater and keep shutting off faucets until I get to the highest one in the house the farthest away from the water heater, including the cold water spigots and outside faucets?
 

68bucks

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Dip tube would not cause this problem. No expansion tank would not cause this problem.
I'd start over. Shut off the main water supply and open all faucets, tubs and showers.
Drain all pipes in the home to the lowest points and empty the water heater.
Remove all shower heads and aerators.
Refill your pipes and heater while bleeding out all the air to the highest point of use.
Once you get proper flow, clean out all your aerators and shower heads before reinstalling them.
More I think about it the more I doubt the dip tube too.
 

tagal4

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I'm still having trouble seeing how trying to bleed my whole house again is going to accomplish anything but waste more water since the only water that has air in it is that which comes out of the water heater. All my cold water spigots are running just fine.

Regarding the "call a plumber" suggestion. I'm afraid if I do that I'm going to pay a hundred or so dollars for someone to tell me my water heater is defective and needs to be replaced. Then he'll probably want to install HIS brand of water heater at HIS price (which will be inflated) because he knows he has me over a barrel. I have had so many bad experiences with plumbers and other so-called experts I have hired that I have decided I am done with them. They sense you are vulnerable then go in for the kill; then look out bank account! Half the time THEY don't know what they're doing.
 

68bucks

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Have you tried listening to or feeling the pipe coming directly out of the heater tank? Seems like if air was coming out of the tank you might be able to feel it going through the line. You can put a screw driver tip against the line and then put your ear to the handle end. If bubbles are going through the line I bet you could hear it. Might confirm if the air is originating there. Of course it could be coming into the tank and just collecting there too since its a wide spot in the line. Again just brain storming.
 

kok328

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I'm still having trouble seeing how trying to bleed my whole house again is going to accomplish anything but waste more water since the only water that has air in it is that which comes out of the water heater. All my cold water spigots are running just fine.

Regarding the "call a plumber" suggestion. I'm afraid if I do that I'm going to pay a hundred or so dollars for someone to tell me my water heater is defective and needs to be replaced. Then he'll probably want to install HIS brand of water heater at HIS price (which will be inflated) because he knows he has me over a barrel. I have had so many bad experiences with plumbers and other so-called experts I have hired that I have decided I am done with them. They sense you are vulnerable then go in for the kill; then look out bank account! Half the time THEY don't know what they're doing.
I can't imagine you still having air in your system after all this time.
P.S.- don't open the bottom drain on the water heater when trying to fill it, it fills from the top but, the dip tube takes the water to the bottom of the tank. Leave the drain closed but, open the expansion relief valve. when water starts coming out the relief valve pipe, close the valve and then proceed to the next highest or closest point and work the faucets hot/cold until no air (aerators and shower heads removed. then go to the next highest or closest point until you've reached the end of the line. clean and reinstall the shower heads and aerators. If you still have a problem after a couple of days, then you'll need to figure out how to exercise your water heater warranty when not installed by contractor/plumber.
In my parts, you have to have a permit and get a final inspection before firing it up.
 

bud16415

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In a pressurized system like this water wants to come out any opening and air wouldn’t be entering the system.



There will be trapped air in the system at startup. The tank is full of air and the pipes drain back when disconnected from the tank so there is air in the tank. Once the plumbing is connected and the tank is brought to pressure the air will compress and be forced into any area it can be trapped.



The goal is to work that out of the pipes using the water pressure to push it along and out of the system.



Normally it takes some time by letting the water run getting the air out and then turning the heat on.



The fact its not working out for you tells me there is some high point that’s trapping air and allowing water to slug past without clearing it all out.



We don’t know the lay of the land with your plumbing what kind of pressure you have coming in, where the tank is located and how many stories in your house etc.

I don’t think air is coming in as much as the air in there isn’t getting out.
 

tagal4

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I live in a small one story, one bath house with the water heater in the basement. The water comes in from the meter (which is by the street) on the west side 3'-4' below grade. The pipe for the front outside faucet branches off after the main shut-off where it comes thru the basement wall, then after about 20' of 3/4" pipe there is a tee that takes the water to the water heater and cold water faucets. Pretty basic set-up.

One of the main things that makes me think something is wrong with this water heater is when I replaced the water heater that came with my house over 15 years ago I didn't have ANY problem with air in my hot water after I installed it and opened the taps for a while like the installation instructions tell you to do. I got it at the local Ace Hardware, and I wish I would have paid the extra money and got another one from them instead of this piece of junk because I know they would have stood behind it if anything went wrong with it.

The guy fixing up the house behind where I live mentioned that the plumbing supply place where I got THIS water heater from sold water heaters for a good price, and I'm like most folks in not wanting to pass up a good deal. It's not going to be such a good deal if I end up having to eat the cost of this water heater if they won't stand behind it.

I'm looking into tankless water heaters: anyone have any thoughts or experience with them? This would eliminate the problem of air getting into the hot water in the water heater tank. the only concern I have is I read tankless water heaters don't like hard water (which I have).
 

Dr.Kumar

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I am assuming you have only one water tank. The problem you mentioned happens when you have more than one heater tank and the expansion tank for recirculating fails. In Texas, many families who put waterless tank had their heaters damaged when pipes froze last week. Please get opinions from 2 reliable plumbers before you spend any more money. Dr. Kumar, VastuTruth.com LLC, Reliable Vastu Consultant in USA
 

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