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EmitheCat 11-22-2011 11:43 AM

Hot water seems to run out faster AFTER insulating???
Hello DIY'ers, I have just spent hours insulating the hot water pipes under my house, but to my dismay, it seems that since I've done that, the hot water seems to run out much FASTER now than before. True, the hot water seems to reach my remote taps quicker, and stay warmer, but it is dramatically shorter of a time for showers, washing dishes, etc. Can anyone help me understand why?

We have a 40 gal gas water heater, with a recirculation pump, which is not continuously on, it is dial operated on a timer. (Ie: when we want to use the hot water, we go to the dial and turn it for what ever amount of minutes we want). We live in California where the temperature is mild most of the time, and have just insulated the water heater with a blanket, and the pipes with R 5.1 foam insulation.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

JDC 11-22-2011 06:47 PM

Possibly the check valve on your recirc line is bad. Just a thought

biggles 11-22-2011 07:11 PM

how hot is the water when first open if you can hold your hand under it it's not hot enough 12O'Clock is typical if you have a dial:wink:

EmitheCat 11-22-2011 11:41 PM

How do you check the "check valve"?
Hi JDC, thanks for the idea. How do you check the Check Valve and where is it located? Is it easy to know if it is bad, or should I call in the pros? And Biggles, thanks for the post- to answer your question, it is too hot to place my hand underneath, I believe it's more than 120.


jimmy21 11-22-2011 11:45 PM

39 Attachment(s)
Probably the blanket on the heater is making the tstat area hotter and the stat is turning off at a lower temperature

ddawg16 11-23-2011 11:20 AM


Originally Posted by jimmy21 (Post 777359)
Probably the blanket on the heater is making the tstat area hotter and the stat is turning off at a lower temperature

That was kind of my thinking....

Insulating the pipes will not have any effect on how long you have hot water....just how hot it stays in the pipe.

To test jimmy's you see a difference in how hot the water is? Do you have to turn the shower knob a little more than normal?

EmitheCat 11-26-2011 02:53 PM

Hmm, I feel like the hot water is HOTTER now, as in, I have to turn the hot water knob less to get the same amount of hot water I used to before in the shower. I will try taking off the water heater blanket and seeing if that corrects the problem, and will report back. Thank you all for the ideas.

EmitheCat 11-29-2011 04:43 PM

Well, I have checked the thermostat/pressure release valve and it is on the top of the water heater, which is not covered by the blanket. I've also drained the hot water heater in case any of the sediment was causing a problem. While there, I lowered the temperature on the water heater and lowered the speed of the pump. No change. I'm now thinking that there may be too much pressure in our closed water circuit. A few things make me think so- first, the water seems to "pulse" and there is increased noise (the water seems much louder than before, especially when the irrigation system turns on). All of these things have happened since we insulated our pipes and did some minor remodeling on the bathroom. In that remodel, the sink hot and cold water pipes were moved a few inches. A plumber did the work, and I did the insulating of the hot water pipes, so I have no idea what lead to these problems I'm now having. Any thoughts, guys?

maestro827 11-29-2011 11:34 PM

Sounds like your dipstick deteriorated ..its a $8 plastic pipe that is in the cold side entrance of your water heater, it sends the cold water to the bottom of the tank to mix with hot water.
First....turn valve off, then deattach the coldside nipple... stick your pinky finger in there and pull the pipe up and out ...It should be shredded/split or possibly just a lil tiny piece of plastic pipe left....Dont throw the leftover pipe'll need to match the top rim of pipe to new one for comparison, only 2-3 different rims to choose. When you install new pipe make sure you cut it so its approx. 6" off the bottom of tank

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