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jifisher 07-19-2009 04:09 PM

Low Hot Water Pressure
Hello folks. I've got an issue with my hot water pressure. About a month ago, the hot water pressure suddenly became pretty bad. It runs at about the pressure of the cold water. And with each additional facets that is turned on, it gets worse and worse.

Here's the weird thing In the master bathroom, I have two facets within close proximity of each other. If I turn one faucet to hot-only, it runs very slowly, but if I turn the other facet to cold-only, the hot-only facet starts running at full blast and the water is very hot. There seems to be some odd pressure issue. I just can't fathom why turning on the cold water on an adjacent facet makes hot water in the other facet run faster.

Here's what I've done thus far:
1.Drained tank by connecting water hose to drain valve at the bottom of the tank, while leaving the cold water inlet on. Pressure seemed pretty good much better than at the sink. Didn't get any sludge at all.
2.Tried to drain tank by connecting water hose to drain valve at the bottom of the tank, while turning off the cold water inlet. I actually turned of the water to the house. The water barely dripped out of the drain valve. I turned on a hot water facet to try and get some pressure, but still just got drips. I heard a bunch of gurgling.

Any ideas?

Thanks - John

Plumber101 07-19-2009 06:22 PM

What type of piping is in your house? Galv, copper or what?

Sounds like you have a restriction off the HW tank before it goes to any fixture.

jifisher 07-19-2009 06:52 PM

So what do you think I should do?

Plumber101 07-19-2009 07:12 PM

Tell me what type of lines you have?

jifisher 07-19-2009 07:25 PM

The lines are copper. The house was built in 2002 if that makes a difference regarding materials used etc...

Plumber101 07-19-2009 07:33 PM

I would start at the HW heater connections. Remove them and inspect for blockage. Once you have them disconnected turn on the cold to check pressure. Once the supply to the WH is ok start tracing the hot out of the WH and inspect sweated coupling and fittings if you find one that is corroded realy bad this may be your restriction. If nothing is found than it is a matter of picking a point and cutting it and verifing flow and pressure.

kenmac 07-19-2009 08:42 PM

P[lumber is right... Check where the hot line that comes out of the W.H. I had to take 1 apart last week that was closed together with lime scale & clean

jifisher 07-19-2009 08:59 PM

Thanks guys, I'll give it a try. It'll be a little later in the week before I reply with any feedback.

biggles 07-20-2009 05:23 PM

to drain the hwh shut the cold water into it connect that hose to the bottom as you had it and pop the safty vent to relieve the pressure and vent air in to the tank to let the hose drain it....sounds like the hot water line just out of the tank is liming up and narrowing down to kill your hot water supply

jifisher 07-26-2009 09:32 AM

Fixed it!!
6 Attachment(s)
The problem was corrosion on the hot water outlet on the water heater tank. I've posted pictures and details to help others who may have a similar issue.

Picture 1 - Hot water outlet
Picture 2 - Twisting counter-clockwise with channellocks, remove copper pipe. Requires quite a bit of pressure.
Picture 3 - This is what it looks like when you remove the pipe from the water heater. Notice the corrosion.
Picture 4 - This is what the pipe looks like when removed
Picture 5 - This shows the corrosion inside the pipe. You literally could not see through it. I have no idea how I had any water pressure at all. To clean this out, used a sharp chisel and just worked it for about 15 minutes.
Picture 6 - This is what came out. I'm worried that I've got more of this stuff in my water heater and pipes.

biggles 07-27-2009 06:48 AM

that was a good fix....might consider a dielectric fitting to replace that nipple just out of the tank hot side....the new nipple has a plastic sleeve within the pipe so the copper is the first metal to feel the hot water coming out with minimal blocking up...unlike the old nipple which acts like a magnet as you saw

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