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Old 01-18-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Hot water heater bad?


Hello;
We have a 10yr old gas hot water (tank) heater. Lately, it seems that we are not getting enough hot water from it.
Today, I opened the drain cock at the bottom of the tank and let out some water. It ran pretty clear, but very hot.
As I recall, the cold water inlet tube is supposed to deliver cold water to the very bottom of the tank, therefore the water I get from that tap at the bottom is supposed to be only luke warm.
So, possibly the cold water inlet tube is cracked or broken.

Am I correct in saying that I should be getting luke-warm water from the bottom tap?

Thanks

FW

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Old 01-18-2009, 04:16 PM   #2
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Hot water heater bad?


should be whatever the water temp is set to imo.

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Old 01-18-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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Hot water heater bad?


Assuming that it has been on for a while, it all should be the same (hot) temperature or you wouldn't have 40, 50 or whatever gallons of hot water. If I understand correctly, a water heater does fill from the bottom, as you stated and the hot water leaves from the top. There is a valve of some sort as explained to me years ago that keeps them from mixing while filling. That is how you can take a long shower that stays hot.

Having said that, I would expect that if you ran a shower, then drained some off immediately afterwards as it was refilling and heating another tank full, then you probably would get less than hot water.

I'm not a plumber though, I just fix a lot of stuff. Maybe someone else can verify this.
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:51 PM   #4
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Hot water heater bad?


the cold water feed opens up into the tank from the top the rod should be on the hot water line out of the HWH.the drain off should be the tank temp and sameclose to the nearest sink hot water.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:01 PM   #5
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Hot water heater bad?


Most water heaters have a 'dip tube' in them. It is inside of the cold water inlet. Its purpose is to take the cold water that flows into the tank down to the bottom of the tank.

If it is missing, you'll get hot water at any faucet, shower, etc., for a short time. It will turn cold in just a few minutes.

If it is intact, you'll get hot water from the tank drain for just a few minutes, then it'll turn cold. If it is missing, the water will stay hot from the tank drain for a long time.

It sounds to me like this is your problem.

Turn the cold water supply to the tank off, bleed the pressure down, and remove the cold water inlet to the tank. The dip tube is usually plastic, with the top end flared out so it sits at the bottom of the threads of the inlet fitting. Just because the flared end is in the tank fitting doesn't mean the rest of it is there as well.

They're sort of hard to get out, usually if you jamb a finger into it, and pull straight up, it'll come out. It's not threaded in, it just sits there. It goes to almost the bottom of the tank.

It's pretty rare to have one fail, but it does happen.

Rob
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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Hot water heater bad?


I'm a bit confused about what is being said about the tank filling. I thought that the tank started to fill as soon as hot water is required. What else would push the hot water out of the tank?
Shouldn't the pressure in the tank be the same as the cold water pressure in the house?

FW

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