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Old 08-16-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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gas water heater recommendation please


It's not leaking yet but I have been living with my old builder model water heater for too long. It is 15 years old and as long as I can remember the temperature control of the manual gas valve with bimetal thermostat has been terrible. What I mean is that if I have the control set so that the burner kicks off when the water outlet temp is 130 degrees, it will not kick on again until the outlet water temp drops to 105. So in practice, I get a cold shower every morning as the thing drifts down to somewhere close to 105 unless I am lucky enough to just happen to catch it after an infrequent heatup cycle.

I went so far as to disassemble the thing several years ago to check for a damaged dip tube thinking that it was short circuiting the incoming cold water back to the outlet... but, no, it was fine. The problem resides entirely in the gas valve thermostat.

Not worth replacing the gas valve at this point so I am looking for suggestions for a replacement water heater that has a more narrow control band for temps. This is my first gas water heater so I don't know what is considered normal or abnormal in that regard... but I hate my current unit.

My workaround has been to run off enough water out of a hot faucet first thing in the morning to get the burner to kick on and let it heat it up to proper temp while I have breakfast. But if I forget I get a cool shower... not really a problem now but very unpleasant in winter.

Anyone ever actually measure the control range for a gas water heater? Anyone have any suggestions for a model that has relatively consistent temp control, especially coming off a long period of non-use like first thing in the morning?


Last edited by raylo32; 08-16-2011 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
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gas water heater recommendation please


city water comes in at 55F during the first shower and mixes with the balance of the tank those controls are very generic bi metal..did you flush the bottom of it out minerals and rust at the base....the brands are mostly made from the same group of producers and they stick there labels on them...A O Smith thru Sears.the recovery rate is what your concerned with but don't expect big advances...hot water heaters maintain hot water don't supply it on a flow demand...might think about those inline recovery types you mount on the wall.

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Old 08-17-2011, 05:21 AM   #3
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gas water heater recommendation please


Burner operation and recovery rate are fine. It's just that when the tank sits unused for awhile the temp drifts down and the burner doesn't kick on until the water gets way cooler than you want. It's like the bimetal contol is just way to insensitive.

So the first shower in the morning is cool but that gets the burner to start and then the second and third showers are fine. When I come down in the AM I open the hot faucet and run the water off until I hear the whoosh of the burner lighting. Then it heats up while I have breakfast and I get a hot shower.

A couple years ago Sears was selling some models that had self-powered Honeywell digital controls that supposedly had upper and lower temp detectors for better temp control. I don't think they have the same ones now. Lowes has a Whirlpool model with some sort of electronic control. I was wondering if these are a better alternative to the old bi-metal t-stats... or if my bi-metal t-stat is just an outlier and that most work better?

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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
city water comes in at 55F during the first shower and mixes with the balance of the tank those controls are very generic bi metal..did you flush the bottom of it out minerals and rust at the base....the brands are mostly made from the same group of producers and they stick there labels on them...A O Smith thru Sears.the recovery rate is what your concerned with but don't expect big advances...hot water heaters maintain hot water don't supply it on a flow demand...might think about those inline recovery types you mount on the wall.
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