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homer12 01-21-2008 11:23 AM

"sticky" gas water heater thermostat
Cross posted from plumbing.....

I've had this long standing issue with my water heater. I have the thermostat set to heat the water to about 130 degrees, as measured just after the burner cycles off at a nearby tap. But the burner doesn't kick on again until the temp drops to about 105 degrees. No way to get a hot shower up through 3 floors of copper pipe like that in the winter! I usually have to run some water in the AM to get the water heater to kick on so I have hot water.

And when I turn the thermostat up again after a vacation I have to turn it way up the scale before the burner kicks on. It's like the spring is stiff.

New thermos are, what, about $50? Not worth it for a 13 year old water heater. So I am slowly coming around to deciding to get a new one.

I am thinking of getting a water heater with one of those new self-powered digital controllers. Are these any good? Seems like they should provide a tighter control band.

bigMikeB 01-21-2008 08:46 PM

You are talking about an electric water heater here?

homer12 01-22-2008 05:08 AM

Not electric. Gas.

bigMikeB 01-22-2008 05:11 PM

Replace the heater.

biggles 01-22-2008 05:17 PM

hot water heaters don't make up hot water they maintain the tank at setpoint,if the hot water piping going up is uninsulated and passing thru cold walls the heat will be drained out as it comes off the heater the stat is very generic and low end with a big swing from on to off with the gas.if your tank is say 40 gallons that is how much hot water you can use.they have tankless HWH that can take 55F water entering and bring it up to 170F constantly on flow..they run $1000 + check it out

bigMikeB 01-22-2008 05:20 PM

I think you will find that a 40 gal water heater will only give you about 30 gals of hotwater and the recovery per hour varies tremendously with the type and size of the burner. The heater he is talking about is 13 years old a new thermostat control costs close to the price of a new one, this isn't a hard choice.

homer12 01-22-2008 05:27 PM

My problem isn't slow recovery or lack of volume. It is the excessively wide control band of the thermostat (25 degrees or so). Having always had electric units before I am not sure if this is typical of gas water heater thermostats or if I just have a bad one.

bigMikeB 01-22-2008 06:08 PM

At the age of the unit there is probably a good build up of sediment coating the probe that goes in the tank, there is most likely a fair amount of this on the bottom of the tank as well. It's past it's life expectancy.

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