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Old 02-21-2011, 07:19 PM   #46
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Hot water problem - Figured out cause - Need advice how to fix!


Try this.

1. Turn off the valves in back of the washing machine to which the washing machine hoses are connected.

2. Turn on every single-handled faucet, throughout the house, to get a small flow of warm water (using some hot and some cold). About enough to fill a large drinking glass in nine seconds.

3. Try each fixture in turn with just hot or just cold on relatively high to see if the fixture is working correctly. If you were testing a single handled faucet, put it back to a small flow before going on to the next faucet.

4. Turn off one single handled faucet. Retry step 3 to see if the hot cold problem returned to any of the other faucets.

5. Leave the single handled faucet you turned off off. Repeat step 4 with a different single handled faucet including retrying step 3 to see if the problem returned.

6. Hopefully you can narrow down and perhaps pin the blame on one of the single handled faucets causing a cross feeding of hot and cold when turned off. You may need to go back to step 2 and then do steps 3 and 4 while turning off single handled faucets in a different order, to see if it is always the same single handled faucet that causes the problem when turned off.

7. When done testing (or having to suspend testing for two hours because you ran out of hot water), double check to be sure all the faucets are turned off.

8. The washing machine faucets should always be closed when the machine is not in use. Flooding from burst hoses ranks high among the various kinds of homeowner insurance claims.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-21-2011 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #47
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Hot water problem - Figured out cause - Need advice how to fix!


Does your water heater have a recirculating pump on it?

Ninja Edit : Have you checked the washing machine mid cycle to make sure it's getting hot water the entire time?
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:16 AM   #48
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Hot water problem - Figured out cause - Need advice how to fix!


From what I have read so far it looks as though the OP has not completed any of the troubleshooting that was recommended by some real smart people that have repeated several times. Maybe he should just call a NYC plumber.
AllanJ, Doc, Thurman. real good info. Oh yeah Broox some people have to be reminded a couple times before they do something, like read.

PS: I don't think the OP has shut off the washer supply lines yet because he does not say so any place unless I missed it. If I missed it feel free to chew me out.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:15 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by COLDIRON View Post
PS: I don't think the OP has shut off the washer supply lines yet because he does not say so any place unless I missed it. If I missed it feel free to chew me out.
I didn't see it either, but it was a little difficult scanning through all of the arguing to get at it.

There are a lot of people that just want a 'magic solution' and not to have to do anything to figure it out. Not saying he is one of them, but without doing the troubleshooting, it makes one wonder.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:50 AM   #50
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poster said getting to cut offs behind washers is a big project being stacked unit and in tight /restricted space which I can totally understand. not sure how he/she is bathing
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:08 AM   #51
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any chance you have a mop sink in the building?
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:03 AM   #52
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Hi guys,

I understand the frustration with the lack of feedback re. shutting off machine valves etc, but yeah, it is near impossible for me to get the unit out of the closet to access the valves. The magicians that installed this thing (to make it worse, it is a w/d combined unit and weighs a ton) have it wedged in a closet with a door which will also need to be removed.

Trying to figure it out as much as possible and really appreciate all the feedback on here.

Alan, you asked about the recirculation loop. I was told by somebody that
NYC building code requires that if your longest HW run is more than 100 feet (which it is) you need a recirculation loop, which is supposed to circulate cooled down water in the hot water pipes back to the water heater so you don't waste water when you first turn on the hot water.


The person who told me this had similar symptoms and capping the recirc line (so there's no recirculating and the water has to run until it's hot) made the problem go away.


That was their statement, and knowing next to nothing about plumbing, I'm not sure if it could be the cause in this case.

Somebody else mentioned that a mixing valve on the hot water heater could be causing the issue.


So...I think I'm going to have the 15 year old washing machine replaced along with the 12 year old hot water heater and see how things stand after that. It seems to me that these are two items that are nearing the end of their lifespan and need replacing anyway. Does that sound like a good plan to start with?


Last thing...I'm a first time owner and previously had the landlord around to take care of this stuff. If I get a plumber in to take a look, what is 'normal' for paying for the troubleshooting stuff and the actual work done. Of course, it is probably fair that both are considered work, b/c it is his/her time, but just wondered if you normally pay for the troubleshooting and then get quoted for the actual work that will have to be done?


Cheers all.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:54 PM   #53
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Hot water problem - Figured out cause - Need advice how to fix!


So my original thought (hence why I posted it) was the check valve at the recirculating pump = dead.

I've seen this problem a lot lately with failing check valves on recirculating systems, and the complaint is that some fixtures work fine plenty of hot water, and others have hot water only for a few seconds and then go cold.

The reasoning for this is because the fixtures going cold are near the end of the recirc loop, and while the pump is working just fine, as soon as you drop pressure in the hot water system, the cold water filling the tank is going to follow the path of least resistance to the fixtures on the end of the loop. Without the check valve to prevent the cold from flowing into the hot, the incoming pressure will overpower the pump and go right through it.


I'm not sure this is your problem without being able to look at it, but it's another thing to check.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:19 PM   #54
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I think he should call a plumber as it seems that there is more than one problem here. Washer hoses? washer solenoids? shower valves? check valves? mixing valves? Did I miss any. All of these are very valid but to expect a DIY to figure this out is a tough one.
This one could go on for a long time.
Best of luck.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:43 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kissiffer4 View Post
Last thing...I'm a first time owner and previously had the landlord around to take care of this stuff. If I get a plumber in to take a look, what is 'normal' for paying for the troubleshooting stuff and the actual work done. Of course, it is probably fair that both are considered work, b/c it is his/her time, but just wondered if you normally pay for the troubleshooting and then get quoted for the actual work that will have to be done?


Cheers all.
Prices vary across the country, but troubleshooting is time on the clock in most cases. If you get a good plumber, troubleshooting shouldn't take too long.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:04 PM   #56
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Hi All,

I hope you are still reading this I had a plumber drop by today and we found something else out.

To quickly recap, we have this problem with our hot water in the bathrooms (and kitchen) running cold after a minute or so. If you turn off the faucet and back on again after a minute or two it is hot again, only to run cold. I found out that if I put the washing machine upstairs on a cold cycle, then the hot water shower faucet downstairs remains really hot the entire time the machine is filling up. As soon as it moves the next cycle (stops filling with cold water), the hot water in the faucet downstairs cools down again.

OK. So, today the plumber dropped by and did a test with the shower faucet upstairs. He turned it to cold and whilst that was running, put the shower faucet downstairs on hot. Turns out the behavior is identical to the washing machine. Whilst the faucet upstairs is on cold, the water coming from the one downstairs remains really hot. As soon as we turned off the faucet upstairs, the one downstairs cooled down (as with the washing machine).

Now...he wasn't sure what could be causing this. Possibly a cross connection somewhere? He is going to 'speak to a few people' and get back to me, potentially with the idea of opening up the walls behind each of the showers (upstairs and downstairs) to get a look at the pipes and see if there is a cross connection somewhere.

Due to our washing machine being wedged into a closet area he wasn't able to test that today.

Guys/gals, what do you make of this?

Thanks again for all of your help. I'm learning a lot of this.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #57
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No idea here.
I do appreciate you keeping us updated though.
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:09 PM   #58
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Just waiting to hear the final answer. Thanks for the update I'm sure many people are interested in the solution. No other comments at this time.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:40 PM   #59
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I have a simular problem. If I turn on the hot water handle at the master bathtub the water pressure at other fixtures drops slightly and then the water goes cold in about 20 seconds. I have a recirculating pump for instant hot water but I didn't quite understand Alan's theory about the checkvalve. Seems we had the problem even when we unplug the recirculating pump.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:59 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willk53 View Post
I have a simular problem. If I turn on the hot water handle at the master bathtub the water pressure at other fixtures drops slightly and then the water goes cold in about 20 seconds. I have a recirculating pump for instant hot water but I didn't quite understand Alan's theory about the checkvalve. Seems we had the problem even when we unplug the recirculating pump.
if there is a shut off valve next to the pump turn it off and see if the problem gets better. turn the power off to the pump before you do if it fixes it, then you have a problem with the check valve or you may be missing one

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