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Old 07-20-2010, 05:45 PM   #1
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Hot water heater


I was hoping that someone could explain to me why sometimes our shower runs hot and sometimes warm. It will run warm after not having use the water all night. Is it a hot water heater going out or is it the way a hot water heater works. It has been doing this for the past 3 years and it doesn't happen very often.

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Old 07-20-2010, 05:55 PM   #2
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Hot water heater


Intermittent connection to your elec. [?] water heater.
With a $2 relay wired the right way you could have it monitor/babysit your heater voltage and alarm when it fails, so you have a chance of troubleshooting this infrequent problem.


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Old 07-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #3
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Hot water heater


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
Intermittent connection to your elec. [?] water heater.
With a $2 relay wired the right way you could have it monitor/babysit your heater voltage and alarm when it fails, so you have a chance of troubleshooting this infrequent problem.
It's a gas water heater, if that matters.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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Hot water heater


How old is the water heater?

Are any faucets in the house dripping?
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #5
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Hot water heater


During prolonged periods of no use, water heaters tend to stack which is when the hot water rises to the top of the tank. Depending on where the thermostat is located this can cause your problem. However, if you have a pressure balanced shower valve you should be looking at it first.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:13 PM   #6
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Hot water heater


If no one has used hot water for many hours and the tank has started to cool down, it might not kick on as soon as it should. Then the first person to take a shower gets a not so hot shower and the cold water replenishing what was taken from the tank finally kicks the heater on for the next person.

You may or may not have a temporary solution by turning the dial to make the water hotter until the heater kicks on and then turning the dial back to where it was. If you turn the dial a considerable amount and the heater does not kick on, chances are the water in the tank hasn't cooled down much yet and you might as well put the dial back where it was without having the heater come on. Wait 20 minutes before taking your shower.

This prolem could be caused by sediment building up on components inside the tank including the thermostat sensor. Sometimes dismantling the heater, inspecting the components, figuring out which is defective, and ordering replacements is cumbersome enough to want to replace the entire heater.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 07-23-2010 at 10:18 PM.
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