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Old 09-19-2006, 11:11 PM   #1
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Hot water pressure?


I'm a little stumped. Brand new water heater (40 gallon tank) installed today. All copper horizontal lines & Risers. A big drop in water pressure on the hot side off all faucets.

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Old 09-19-2006, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hot water pressure?


Eh, sometimes the replacement of a water heater can stir up crap in the pipework that will block the seats in valves and such.

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Old 09-20-2006, 01:13 AM   #3
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Hot water pressure?


Did you get galvanized nipples in the box with the heater and if so, did you install them?

They are heat traps, and have a little ball in them that is supposed to settle down and keep the hot water from rising up the pipes. They might be defective or installed upside down.

MDShunk is on the right track as well.

Check your cold water supply valve to the heater, make sure its open fully.

You can hook up a garden hose to the bottom of the heater on the drain and run water from it to a safe area to get a rough measurement of flow and to see if the problem is in the heater itself, before it, or after it.

If your cold water valve to the heater is a compression or a gate valve, its quite possibly the problem.

On other thing on the heater itself you can check is the dip tube. Break the cold water side free and stick your finger in there and pull up the diptube, its plastic, with a flared end and is held in with just a washer. Make sure its not deformed or defective.

Measure it and make sure its not contacting the bottom of the tank.

Good luck.
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:01 AM   #4
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Hot water pressure?


The hot water pressure is controlled by whatever the cold water inlet pressure is. As previously mentioned, check the supply valves at the fixtures to make sure they are not filled with debris. Checking the pressure from the drain valve is also a great idea. This will tell you if the inlet (cold water valve) is blocked. If it is a gate valve, the gate may have "frozen" or is not all the way up. I would replace it with a ball valve.
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:26 AM   #5
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Hot water pressure?


Hot side? Hmm, sounds like exactly what MDShunk said. Does the hot water heater feed more than one faucet? IF so, is the pressure drop present at all? IF not, a good place to start looking is by checking the faucet itself for blockage.
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:40 AM   #6
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Hot water pressure?


Won't believe this one!!!

The dip tube broke, and big chunk of plastic was "jammed" in the hot side dielectric union.

This is the third or fourth AO Smith water heater I have had a problem with in the last 3 years or so. All problems involving a dip-tubes!!!! But those problems had the dip tub cracked or one time it was about one foot long. What is going on with AO Smith??? They use to be so good, maybe this is a product of OUTSOURCING (Made in some other country besides good old USA)
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #7
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That IS a surprise. Haven't heard of many diptube problems since 1996 when the material used to make them disintegrated. On a new unit, I would be calling the supplier or Smith for answers.
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:29 PM   #8
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Hot water pressure?


Perfection Corp made most of those plastic DT that disintegrated. Like Dragon says, in 97 they went back to copper. Check the production date on the unit, I bet its not so much a problem of outsourcing, I bet the water heater was made between 93-97.
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Old 09-21-2006, 02:09 AM   #9
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Hot water pressure?


Quote:
Originally Posted by J187 View Post
Perfection Corp made most of those plastic DT that disintegrated. Like Dragon says, in 97 they went back to copper. Check the production date on the unit, I bet its not so much a problem of outsourcing, I bet the water heater was made between 93-97.
No, they would never go back to copper because of electrolysis issues. Copper is a more noble metal than the steel in the tank and would shorten the life of the sacrificial anode considerably. That is why heater manufacturers require insulating or dielectric unions of some sort when connecting to copper piping systems.

I've installed water heaters at the rate of about 60 a year and I pull the dip tube on each one to be sure its in good condition before making water connections to them. They are all plastic.

Its not that uncommon to have a broken dip tube. I'd really be surprised if this heater was not made in the second quarter of this year. Check the serial number. The first part of it is a date code.
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Old 09-21-2006, 04:57 PM   #10
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Hot water pressure?


Can't check the serial number. Have new tank. I get AO Smith tanks from my supplier, around 50 a year. The dip tube quality has been going down in the past 3 years or so. They are all made on Mexico(I'm Told). AO Smith use to have a nice size plant in Kankakee IL just south of Chicago. They to have moved to Mex.(Just making an assumption, from what my supplier had told me) The dip tubes are made of polypropylene. And they do break, I'll admit maybe my guys tighten down the nipple too much and they might have some effect on the flared end, but how do you explain a dip tube I got which was about one foot long?? That one took the cake!!!

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