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Old 12-10-2009, 10:27 AM   #16
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


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Hello all. This is my first post here. Recently the hot water in our shower started getting cooler and cooler. When we start out we have to mix the hot water with cold to get a nice temp but during the shower we have to reduce the cold water until it is completely off and the water still gets cooler.

What we have in the house is an old Columbia Co. Boiler that heats our house using a 3 stage baseboard system and it also heats our tap water. Heating the house seems fine but for some reason recently the tap water has not been staying hot.

Looking at the gauge in it's idle state (not using any hot water for a while and the furnace not firing up recently), the gauge reads 10PSI and the temp is at 160.

Last season we had our pump go out and had to replace it but from what I see, that is a totally different system. It looks like the tap water goes into the boiler cold and comes out hot. Looks like only 2 pipes for that system where there are a lot of pipes going in and out and splitting for the baseboard heating system and the pump is connected to those pipes and not the tap water system.

Any help would be great. If you need more info to help answer this question let me know and I will try to respond as good as I can.

Just a couple of things to have a pro look at... before doing anything drastic.
When was the last time the boiler had service and the flues cleaned?
And by cleaned I mean thoroughly brushed with a properly sized wire flue brush and vacuumed out?
The reason I ask is because Iíve seen boiler flues so badly caked with soot and deposits that heat transfer was inadequate to keep up with demand with tankless domestic hot water.
You start out with a hot shower and it gradually gets cooler and cooler over about a 10-15 minute period, even though the boiler is still firing. Probably even more quickly if there happens to be a call for heat at the same time your using the domestic hot water.
A malfunctioning hot water extender [also called a mixing valve] at the boiler is another common problem thatís generally not too expensive of a repair.


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Old 12-10-2009, 09:39 PM   #17
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


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i was unable to find the pressure valve locally so i called Kohler who is sending me the part and i should have it in 5 -7 days. so until then I'll keep my fingers crossed.

free i hope
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Old 12-11-2009, 07:21 AM   #18
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


i purchased the valves so i didnt have to wait at a local store. the boiler was just cleaned in Novenber after we moved in. this morning the water got alittle hotter compared to what it has been. But still after a few minutes the temp gets luke warm and will stay luke warm but if i back the handle down towards cold the tinest bit it gets cold almost as if there was no hotwater. But the sink has steaming hot water coming out of it while this is all going on so i think it my be isolated to the faucet. Not sure but it is starting to seem like the hot water presure for the shower is dieing down.. not sure what could be casuing that also the hot water pressure for the bathroom sink and kitchen sink are fine.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:05 PM   #19
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


Do that same test again. With all faucets running(including the clothes washer. If after the same amount of time. You still have hot water. One of them is bleeding cold water into the hot water line.

Then just go back through and turn off one faucet at a time. Wait a few minutes and see if the water gets cold, if not then turn the next one off. When you turn one on, and a few minutes later the shower is cold. That one is bleeding through.

While the bathroom vanity and show should be feed by the same line. Thats not always the case.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:15 PM   #20
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


its odd i noticed this before but never thought anything about it but my main water shut off has another shut off below it.. Also is there any other adjustments i could be missing? This is the valve i have http://www.us.kohler.com/onlinecatal...sp?item=210402

Could it be the brass valve housing thats allowing the water to mix? And cause this issue?

Last edited by typo; 12-11-2009 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #21
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


Not that I can think of at the moment.
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Old 12-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #22
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


here is what my shut off looks like
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:26 AM   #23
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


i adjusted the cap so when i turn the handle all the way it should only be allowing hot water thru the faucet. Even then it seems like the water still isn't as hot as it should be compared to other faucets, but the hot water pressure seems low is there a possible adjustment for this on my boiler? And could this be the root of the problem?
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:18 PM   #24
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


You could have a flow control valve on your line feeding the coil. And if its diaphram is getting hard. It can freduce water flow.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:52 PM   #25
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


well good news is i found the problem, after many calls to my local oil company who we purchased a service contract for our boiler from. A Tech diag. the problem to a bad coil. he showed me the cold water in and hot water out pipes and the water would start out hot but die down. The shower is just using too much water where the faucets are using just the right amount for the coil to supply hot water to them. He also suggested maybe replacing the whole boiler at this point, which he estimated off the top of his head at around 6k.

But now the question is stick with oil or go electric? whats cheaper int he end? what makes more sense now? Any input on this?

Last edited by typo; 12-16-2009 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:39 PM   #26
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


What are your electric and oil rates.

Might want to get an indirect water heater, if you get a new boiler.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:48 AM   #27
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


well i might get lucky enough to have my home warranty cover the coil but if not then I'm kinda SOL. i think my furnace is some where in the 80% efficient area. So I'm hoping the home warranty will suggest replacing the coil and not the furnace.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:20 PM   #28
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


so going to replace the whole boiler with a new burnham v8h which is recommended from our local oil company. Its that or replace the coil which is about half of the cost of a boiler.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:40 PM   #29
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


Does your coil have a flow control valve installed before it.

That would restrict the water flow to an amount the coil can handle.
Look on the coil plate to see if it has a GPM rating. If so. Ask your contractor what the GPM rating is on the new boiler. If its the same. then they will have to install one on the new boiler. or you will have the same problem.

Instead of a new boiler. I would probably just get either an indirect water heater. or an aquastore(I prefer indirects).
Either would allow you to get plenty of hot water to your shower.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:49 PM   #30
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Hot water starts hot but gets cold quickly.


i was asking about an indirect unit but i really don't have much space for one. I have one valve which if i recall is only to shut the water off from running Thur the coil not to restrict it it so much. The tech said he could put a coil in and rebuild the boiler and it would be fine but for the cost it will pan out to be about 2k out of pocket to replace the boiler as a whole. Compared to replacing the coil for 800. Reason why the boil is only 2k out of our pocket is because my home warranty will pick up 1400 of the bill and my wife works for the local oil company who we will be purchasing the boiler from. so after all is said and done i will be paying around 2k for installation with a new boiler.

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