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Old 12-24-2012, 11:42 AM   #1
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


Hello all,
I have a 10 year old hot water heater and have never drained the sediment on a yearly basis, which is what I believe is the recommended practice. As a result, lately the temperature of the hot water seems to be going down and we have to turn up the shower valve hotter than normal to get to a comfortable water temperature. I'm assuming that the buildup of sediment and rust at the bottom of the water heater tank is reducing the efficiency. My question is, do I take a chance and open the drain valve and try to drain out most of the sediment, or will this result in a leaking drain valve and not much else. I know I'm due for a new water heater within the next couple of years but I'd rather not mess with it until it fails. Thanks

Merry Christmas

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Old 12-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #2
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


Drain it, if it leaks you can just buy a garden hose cap to stop it from leaking.
Is it gas or electric?
If it's elecric one of the elements may have failed.

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Old 12-24-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


Thanks for the reply. It's a gas model. I'll wait till after the holidays and then drain it and see what happens. Good idea on the hose cap. Thanks
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


When you do it make sure to remove all the aireators on the faucets and take off the shower head to flush out the lines.
There's going to be some trash that gets knocked loose in the lines.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:20 PM   #5
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Sal View Post
Hello all,
I have a 10 year old hot water heater and have never drained the sediment on a yearly basis, which is what I believe is the recommended practice. As a result, lately the temperature of the hot water seems to be going down and we have to turn up the shower valve hotter than normal to get to a comfortable water temperature. I'm assuming that the buildup of sediment and rust at the bottom of the water heater tank is reducing the efficiency. My question is, do I take a chance and open the drain valve and try to drain out most of the sediment, or will this result in a leaking drain valve and not much else. I know I'm due for a new water heater within the next couple of years but I'd rather not mess with it until it fails. Thanks

Merry Christmas
well its time to mess with it because its failing it will only get worse...you can try flushing as joe said follow his steps ..but most tanks last 8-10 yrs some going alittle longer. ben sr
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


Does the water go cold all the time or only at random times?

First thing in the morning and before you take a shower, slowly turn the water heater temperature knob up two or three notches and then slowly turn the knob back to where it was.

If the heater kicks on but kicks off as soon as you turn the knob back down, the water should be good and hot. If the heater does not kick on when you do this the water should be good and hot. If the heater kicks on but stays on, then wait about 20 minutes before taking your shower.

This behavior might mean that there is something wrong with the thermostatic assembly (aquastat) behind the knob. It is probably not worth the money to repair that since at that age (10 years) you don't know how much longer the tank will last before a leak happens.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-25-2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


When you drain the tank some to remove whatever, pay attention to the water temperature through about a 5 gallon drain period. If it stays about the same F through that 5 gallons the dip tube is probably shot. If it becomes considerably cooler after a gallon or two of draining the tube is in reasonably good condition taking cold inlet water to the bottom where it belongs.
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. The water temperatures are pretty stable these days. The only thing out of the ordinary are that we now have to turn the shower handle farther to hot than we have been used to. In general, we would turn the handle from the off position which is 6 o'clock up to about 12 o'clock and that would be a comfortable temperature. Lately though, we have been having to turn the handle to 1 o'clock and even 2 o'clock to reach a comfortable temp. I'm going to try to drain the sediment and see if that helps. Either way, I'm going to plan on getting a new one so I can get it changed on my schedule, before it fails.
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Old 12-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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hot water heater not as hot as usual


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Thanks for the replies. The water temperatures are pretty stable these days. The only thing out of the ordinary are that we now have to turn the shower handle farther to hot than we have been used to. In general, we would turn the handle from the off position which is 6 o'clock up to about 12 o'clock and that would be a comfortable temperature. Lately though, we have been having to turn the handle to 1 o'clock and even 2 o'clock to reach a comfortable temp. I'm going to try to drain the sediment and see if that helps. Either way, I'm going to plan on getting a new one so I can get it changed on my schedule, before it fails.
I sounds as if you have one of the infamous single handle controls and a new heater may be unnecessary. If possible check hot water operation at a two valve location before condemning the heater.

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