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Old 03-09-2009, 08:36 PM   #16
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


I was just thinking. What is the temperature setting on you water heater? If it is too low you will run out of hot water sooner.

I guess the best thing to do is try all the ideas suggested to you and if none of them solve the problem then, sorry, you have a big job ahead of you.

By the way, check for leaks. Maybe there are leaks somewhere where you can't see and will not know until the area gets soaked and show up on the bottom of the wall or seeps under the wall soaking the floor gradually. Leaks like this only accure when you use a lot of water like filling up the tub.

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Old 03-10-2009, 07:25 AM   #17
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


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I was just thinking. What is the temperature setting on you water heater? If it is too low you will run out of hot water sooner.
Back when this first happened, I turned it up a little to see if that would help. It was already set at the "standard" temperature. I moved it up slightly, and it increased the temp accordingly, but didn't change the amount of hot water the heater was putting out.

No leaks, everything is ok there, thank goodness.

I'll try flushing it and seeing what comes out by screening it.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:36 AM   #18
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


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Here is a picture of what I saw.
These pieces to not appear to be plastic.
If the pieces easily crumble under pressure, they are from hard water buildup.

Dip tubes were an issue in the mid 1990s. The model number of the heater in question could not have been manufactured prior to 2005. Whirlpool water heaters starting with BFG were not available until late 2005.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:08 AM   #19
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


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Originally Posted by waterheatertech View Post
These pieces to not appear to be plastic.
If the pieces easily crumble under pressure, they are from hard water buildup.

Dip tubes were an issue in the mid 1990s. The model number of the heater in question could not have been manufactured prior to 2005. Whirlpool water heaters starting with BFG were not available until late 2005.
They actually seem to be sort of like paint chips. Shiny, white, and hard. I will hopefully know more once I flush the whole thing and screen the output as I do so. I checked with other homes served off the same public water supply, and no one has hard water issues. Very strange. I also talked to the guy who installed the system in 2007 before I purchased the home. All he said was that he felt the water heater was junk, but put it in because the previous owner insisted. That's not a great sign.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:45 AM   #20
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


Have you contacted the manufacturer?
There should be a number on the side of the water heater.
If you cannot locate the number, you can use 800-456-9805.
This will take you to their office in Tennessee
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:00 AM   #21
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


"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."

This is statement is false. There was a class action suit invovling Whirlpool water heaters, but it had nothing to do with anode rods. The suit was regarding thermocouples equipped with a thermal fuse.


The anode rod is not intended to attract the minerals that cause hard water problems. It is sacrificial, but it is intended to corrode, and help prevent the steel in the water heater from corroding.

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."
This statement is also false. I have been installing, and servicing water heaters for the better part of 5 years. A statement such as this, I have found, is usually made by somebody who cannot determine the cause of the problem.

Without determining the cause of the problem, you could find yourself in the same situation with a new heater, and a lot of wasted time, effort, and money.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #22
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


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Without determining the cause of the problem, you could find yourself in the same situation with a new heater, and a lot of wasted time, effort, and money.
Thanks Waterheatertech - and I agree with the above. It's one of the reasons that I come to forums like this before making any major decisions. I do most of my home renovation and repair myself, but I'm still learning as I go and prefer advice when I can get it. My previous home (electric water heater) had a similar issue. It was a simple fix, just needed to replace one of the two heating elements. It had gone bad, preventing enough water from being heated. I had several people tell me to just get a new water heater. Thankfully I kept looking around for advice, and found out all I needed was a $20 heating element.

I did call the manufacturer, and they said they weren't aware of any "known issues" with the model I had. They suggested getting a licensed expert to come take a look. Last time I did that (about 3 months ago) he just said: "Try turning up the thermostat. The water coming into the house is really cold this time of year." Obviously that is not the real issue. Even if the water coming into the home is cold, once the water heater has a full tank of heated water it should be able to provide more than 1/2 a tub full of water.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:57 AM   #23
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Gas Hot Water Heater - Help?


Forty gallons is about 5-1/3 cubic feet. Except if you draw it all out of the tank quickly, some churning will occur with incoming cold water and the last cubic foot would be lukewarm at best.

I would guess that the water would be about 6 inches deep in the middle of the tub by the time the water went cold.

By turning the heater thermostat higher, you can add cold water to the tub mix and get more total water of a given temperature into the tub before the tank ran out.

While you may be able to conjure up a replacement dip tube, chances are you don't have enough headroom in the basement to swing it into place and down into the tank.

The anode rod is usually far enough away from the dip tube so as not to be the cause of dip tube problems. A This Old House episode showed someone replacing a fully sacrificed (rusted off) anode rode with a jointed magnesium assembly that could be inserted without the need for headroom.

Anode rods can attract deposits. This prevents them from doing their job of sacrificing themselves. But usually if this happens the surface of the tank also attracts deposits and does not itself rust away as quickly. Attracting deposits is not the purpose of an anode rod.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 03-13-2009 at 12:03 PM.
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