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Old 02-01-2009, 03:01 PM   #1
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electric hot water heater problems


I have been having trouble with my electric hot water heater. When I take a shower, I continuously have to increase the hot water to keep the flow comfortable. I previously had a hot water timer installed by the power company and I removed it, thinking this could be the problem. Still same problem. I have attempted to drain the tank using standard info. that I have gathered, but I get little discharge from the drain at the tank. I have opened the cold water line to attempt to blow the drain open, but it didnt help. any suggestions?

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:31 PM   #2
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electric hot water heater problems


One cause: Wrong kind of faucet washers. Some materials including neoprene swell in hot water so you have to open the faucet more to maintain flow.

IF the water heater doesn't drain readily when faucets in the house are opened or the main water valve is not turned off, that could be a completely separate problem, large amount of sediment in the bottom of the tank.

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Old 02-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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electric hot water heater problems


Sediment in the tank would be my guess as well. It effectively reduces the capacity of the tank, thus making a 50 gallon water heater behave like a 12 gallon one.

If you can't get water to flow out of the drain valve, you might need to take the drain valve off completely. Sometimes you need to shove a stiff wire or something into the open port to break up the sediment.

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Old 02-03-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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electric hot water heater problems


With lots of sediment in the tank you run into a variety of Catch 22 problems. For example (I'll leave it as an exercise to find careful solutions):

1. Getting the water out of the tank before taking off the drain valve.

2. The heater being extremely heavy if you want to replace the whole thing quickly.

3. Something breaks when you remove the drain valve.

It would be nice to be able to blast air or water in the drain valve backwards and then establish a flow that brings out the sediment a little at a time and all eventually.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-03-2009 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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electric hot water heater problems


Check both heating elements to make sure they are good. There is an upper and a lower element.
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