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Old 01-31-2008, 04:03 PM   #1
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Hot water heater overheating


Hello,

I installed a dirt trap on my hot water heater and at the same time got rid of the section going directly into the regulator that was 3/8"s reduced from the 1/2 pipe. It must have been like that from an old hot water heater that was 3/8" a long time ago.

Anyhow, I put the temperature dial on the same setting as it was before the change which was the "normal" setting and the next day it was overheating, water was spewing out of the hot water preasure release valve/pipe and the smoke alarms were going off, I'm guessing because of the steam.

I turned the dial down to two notches above the "vacation" setting and opened the valve to release all the hot water/steam.

So, is there some way to tell the regulator how big of a pipe is coming in? The regulator's intake hole is 1/2 inch but when it was reduced to 3/8" the "normal" setting was fine...now that it is actually 1/2" the "normal" setting is too hot...

Any advice on what I should do? I want to make sure there is plenty of hot water and that it's hot, not warm, but without it overheating.

Thanks!

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Old 01-31-2008, 04:24 PM   #2
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Hot water heater overheating


What is the heating source of the water heater? Gas or electric? The thermostat must be defective, the size of the piping has nothing to do with it. Just be glad your relief valve is working at this point

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Old 01-31-2008, 04:55 PM   #3
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Hot water heater overheating


It's a gas water heater. When I turned it down the flame kicked off though...
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:16 PM   #4
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Hot water heater overheating


Perhaps the spring in the relief valve is weak and the valve needs to be replaced. Try testing the lever on the valve
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:04 PM   #5
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Hot water heater overheating


I tested the lever and it seemed good. A friend of mine recommended flushing it (have never done it in 5 years) and keeping it at a slightly lower setting.
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:07 PM   #6
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Hot water heater overheating


Did you replace the pipe nipple going into the water heater gas valve?
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:39 PM   #7
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Hot water heater overheating


Yes, it used to be a 3/8" nipple going into an elbow that was 3/8" to 1/2" with a very small 1/2" nipple - maybe even just a male coupling into the gas regulator.

I replaced it with a dirt trap that is all 1/2" so instead of the elbow it's a 1/2" tee with a 4" nipple going into the regulator.

The closest valve is before the union and I didn't touch that at all.
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:53 PM   #8
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Hot water heater overheating


The relief valve goes off on high pressure or high temp. So you should check your water pressure to see if its high (80psi is norm). Above 100psi in conjuntion with thermal expansion could cause it to discharge on pressure. You could install an expasion tank on the cold feed if this is the problem. If its going off on temp. then the gas valve is probably bad and needs to be replaced. The pipe size has nothing to do with it. It must just be a coincedence that you change the pipe to the size it should have been in the first place. You should however have a Licenced plumber or gas fitter check it out. Also if its close to 10 years old you don't want to dump to much $ into something that could have a tank leak in the near future. You might think about getting a new one.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:54 AM   #9
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Hot water heater overheating


Your gas pipe size has nothing to do with this situation. Time to empty the water heater for your yearly flushing and when you do this change out the relief valve. Relieve valves go bad all the time and years of crud build up inside the tank can lead to over heating.

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Old 02-04-2008, 12:43 AM   #10
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Hot water heater overheating


Quote:
Originally Posted by almostdone View Post
The relief valve goes off on high pressure or high temp. So you should check your water pressure to see if its high (80psi is norm). Above 100psi in conjuntion with thermal expansion could cause it to discharge on pressure. You could install an expasion tank on the cold feed if this is the problem. If its going off on temp. then the gas valve is probably bad and needs to be replaced. The pipe size has nothing to do with it. It must just be a coincedence that you change the pipe to the size it should have been in the first place. You should however have a Licenced plumber or gas fitter check it out. Also if its close to 10 years old you don't want to dump to much $ into something that could have a tank leak in the near future. You might think about getting a new one.
IF IT'S BLOWING HOT WATER AND STEAM IT'S GOING OFF ON HI TEMP.
IF THE HEATER IS 5 YRS. OR LESS HAVE PLUMBER REPLACE GAS VALVE,
IF IT'S OVER 5 YRS. REPLACE WITH NEW WATER HEATER

JERRYMAC MASTERPLUMBER PH.D IN WATER HEATEROLGY
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:32 PM   #11
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Hot water heater overheating


Quote:
Originally Posted by MACPLUMB View Post
IF IT'S BLOWING HOT WATER AND STEAM IT'S GOING OFF ON HI TEMP.
IF THE HEATER IS 5 YRS. OR LESS HAVE PLUMBER REPLACE GAS VALVE,
IF IT'S OVER 5 YRS. REPLACE WITH NEW WATER HEATER

JERRYMAC MASTERPLUMBER PH.D IN WATER HEATEROLGY

It would blow out hot water no matter what since it is a water heater. If its also steam then it might be going off on hi temp. I have seen them go off on hi pressure and cause steam also. 130 degree water in a cold New England basement. Don't know where he live. Yes this is possible but you are probably right. I read your profile and you must know what you are talking about. Is your occupation retired plumber or retarded plumber. Check your spelling on your profile. LOL
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:48 PM   #12
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Hot water heater overheating


I am NO plumber,,,but seems to me it is POSSIBLE that changing the gas line knocked some crap loose and gunked up the regulator and makes it 'stick' on hence the overheating. IF you price a new gas regulator valve it will scare you into spending a dime more and just replacing the heater!! (your choice)

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