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Old 03-07-2009, 06:06 PM   #1
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


Hello All - new to the forum. Hoping someone might have a little advice for me related to a problem I'm having with my Hot Water Heater.

It's a natural gas water heater, 40 Gallons, Whirlpool Model BFG1F4034T3NOV.

While I'm aware a 40-Gallon tank isn't huge, it should certainly be enough to provide at least one normal-sized bathtub of hot water, right? The water heater was installed in 2007, so it's practically brand new. We cannot even get half of a bathtub filled with hot water before ice-cold water begins coming out of the faucet.

We know the water heater is working because it will come on and begin heating water, but even if we leave it alone and do not use hot water for a long period of time, then try to fill the tub, we cannot get more than half a tubfull.

Any ideas?

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Old 03-07-2009, 06:40 PM   #2
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


Do you get hot water at the kitchen of bath Lavitory when the water turns cold at the tub?

This will tell me if it is the water heater or you tub/shower valve.

Do you have hard water in your area?

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Old 03-07-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
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Yep, sounds to me like you have a lot of heavy hard water and there is a build up in your water heater lines which is not letting the water heat up properly.

You will probably have to replace your water heater and put a water softener filter previous to the water going into the new heater.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:57 AM   #4
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Once the water begins running cold from the tub faucet, the rest of the house faucets also produce cold water.

We actually have public water from the town, not from a well, and hard water has never been an issue for us or any of our neighbors. Is there something else that might cause this? I looked up some info on my model, and the reviews are pretty horrible. There's even been a class action suit on similar models in recent years. We bought the house last year, and the water heater had been installed about 6 months before we purchased the home. I'm sure the former owner installed the cheapest product he could, which is why I think it might be the unit itself.

Any other ideas? I appreciate the help so far.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:06 AM   #5
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


check to make sure the water lines are not hooked up backward on the water heater. then i would be looking for a bad tstat or thermocouple .
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:21 AM   #6
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go to 1 of the faucets that off the air rader , and see if you have white objects .If you loss hot water after a short time ,that tell me your dip tube is broken ,and instead of putting cold water in the bottom of your tank it is mixing on top or middle .Also clean the sediment out of you tank
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astottl View Post
check to make sure the water lines are not hooked up backward on the water heater. then i would be looking for a bad tstat or thermocouple .
If I get hot water for a while, then it gets cold, could that still mean the lines are hooked up backwards? Seems strange, but I don't know hot water heaters as well as some other home appliances.

It seems the temperature of the water itself is correct, when I adjust the thermostat, the water temperature rises or falls accordingly. It simply does not produce the quantity that it should. Could the thermocouple or thermostat cause that?
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Old 03-08-2009, 12:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metx View Post
go to 1 of the faucets that off the air rader , and see if you have white objects .If you loss hot water after a short time ,that tell me your dip tube is broken ,and instead of putting cold water in the bottom of your tank it is mixing on top or middle .Also clean the sediment out of you tank
I do not see any white objects in the aerator of any faucets.

I had considered the dip tube as a possible problem. Does anyone think that is something worth checking into? Is it something I could check/test, or would I need to get a professional in to take a look at something like the dip tube?
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metx View Post
go to 1 of the faucets that off the air rader , and see if you have white objects .If you loss hot water after a short time ,that tell me your dip tube is broken ,and instead of putting cold water in the bottom of your tank it is mixing on top or middle .
I was wrong - there ARE white objects in the aerator! The one I checked originally was recently cleaned. I just checked two more, and sure enough, little white objects were there. What do I do?

I thought dip-tube problems were on older model water heaters. This is was just installed in 2007. Could it still be the dip tube?

Last edited by MaximumAsh; 03-08-2009 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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Sound like you have some hard water. The bottom of the tank and the thermo off the gas valve into the tank will be covered with it. It would be faster just to replace the water heater.

Also, google whirlpool law suit. There was a action suit that was about the anode rod being faulty. The anode rod is a sacificaul rod that is suppose to attract the hard deposits and it didn't work.
I don't know alot about the suit..just info. You might ask the place where you purchased the heater.

Just simpler to replace the water heater.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
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Here is a picture of what I saw.
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?-p1060600_small.jpg  
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #12
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Replacing it would be... difficult. The former owner boxed it in too much, I would have to take down part of a wall. When I saw that, I told him it was a bad move, but he said "Hey, it's brand new, you won't have to replace it anyway." Figures.

As I said it would be very strange if it was hard water, since it's public water and there have been no known hard water issues anywhere in the surrounding homes. The water heater was installed less than two years ago, is it possible the hard water could be that bad so quickly? And could it really only affect my home when it's a public supply?
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:17 PM   #13
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yep..
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Replacing it would be... difficult. The former owner boxed it in too much, I would have to take down part of a wall. When I saw that, I told him it was a bad move, but he said "Hey, it's brand new, you won't have to replace it anyway." Figures.
Just plain awesome. This is why we have plumbing codes.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:38 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by greengiant View Post
Just plain awesome. This is why we have plumbing codes.
Hahaha, yes, valid point. The HVAC is in the same boxed in area, but is more accessible and (if ever necessary) removable. It's blocking the hot water heater though, so there's no way to get the water heater out without removing a wall or the HVAC first. That's why I'm hoping for an alternative.

Would checking the dip tube be worth the effort? I can also drain/flush the tank and screen the output to see what's going on in there.

As for hard water vs. dip tub pieces in my aerator, I was told that if I put vinegar on the white pieces and they fizz it's hard water. If not, it's probably dip tube. Is that an accurate test? Seems a little odd. I understand the chemistry side of it, but I would think removing the dip tube and checking would be the most substantial proof.

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