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Old 01-02-2013, 08:20 PM   #1
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running out of hot water


Good evening, first ? here... I have been lurking for a while but now have an issue I could use some help with.

About 1.5 years ago I installed a new gas water heater. All has been fine until recently we noticed we have been running out of hot water much faster than usual.

The water is plenty hot just not plenty of it. It used to be that the 4 of us here could shower one after the other w/o issue or run a washer (dish or clothes) just before or during a shower and there was plenty of hot.

So I have good temp just less volume. Is there anything I should try? I am thinking some kind of air lock and the tank is not filling up all the way??? any ideas welcome...

Thanks

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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running out of hot water


Have you checked for leaks?

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Old 01-02-2013, 08:25 PM   #3
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running out of hot water


Been drain the sediment out of the bottom of the tank?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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You can probably rule out air lock since the water/air exits the top of the heater when in use.
What kind of gas heater?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:41 PM   #5
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Thank you for the quick ???

No leaks that I can find. The unit is in the corner of the garage and I spend a ton of time there I think I would have noticed even a small one or any other strange goings on ....

I have not drained it... I was thinking I would try that tomorrow....

It is a a Whirlpool 50 gal "gas water heater with the flame lock safety system" the model # is about as long as a VIN but if it helps I can go get it
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #6
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Dealt with a similar problem once- turned out to be a bad shower valve cartridge. Cold water crosses over through the valve and mixes with the hot,
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:52 PM   #7
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Dealt with a similar problem once- turned out to be a bad shower valve cartridge. Cold water crosses over through the valve and mixes with the hot,
thought that at first but checked all access and every sink/shower runs significantly cooler after running an appliance or taking a shower... not sure what volume I was actually using before verses now. I never had an issue...there was always enough hot with the exception of a few times where we could say...oh well 3 showers dish and clothes run in the last hour was a bit much but now it seems like we need to wait an hour after running the dish washer or taking a 10-12 min shower....
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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Thank you for the quick ???

No leaks that I can find. The unit is in the corner of the garage and I spend a ton of time there I think I would have noticed even a small one or any other strange goings on ....

I have not drained it... I was thinking I would try that tomorrow....

It is a a Whirlpool 50 gal "gas water heater with the flame lock safety system" the model # is about as long as a VIN but if it helps I can go get it
Are you just looking for leaks at the heater or under the house too? Eplumber might be on the right track too. Do you notice if the water lasts longer at some fixtures than it does at others?

Do you have a recirculating system on the hot water line?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Dealt with a similar problem once- turned out to be a bad shower valve cartridge. Cold water crosses over through the valve and mixes with the hot,
And....and easy way to test.....the moment your running out of hot water....go to one of your sinks....if your out of hot water there....then it points to the water heater.

At this point I would check to make sure the dip tube (or what ever it's called) is in place. The cold water enters the water heater at the bottom....if the tube has fallen off, cold water could be taking a short cut.

One question......how old are the kids? Boys? Start timing them....
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:24 AM   #10
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LOL 2 kids 8-11 boys.... they do at times let the water run...thats what I had been thinking but last night it went quick the hot went out it about 10 min to a luke warm.

I will trouble shoot over the next few days ...keep the ideas coming.

If I have a leak under the house somewhere I will need to wait to see it... on a Slab no unusual water that I have noticed ...
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:49 AM   #11
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The Hot water heater I installed about a year ago will shut itself down if is senses VOC or if air flow is blocked. They have a screen that can become clogged with sawdust etc (Spider Webs?)

Unplug it and brush clean everything, and blow it out under there with compressed air and see what happens?
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:52 AM   #12
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The Hot water heater I installed about a year ago will shut itself down if is senses VOC or if air flow is blocked. They have a screen that can become clogged with sawdust etc (Spider Webs?)

Unplug it and brush clean everything, and blow it out under there with compressed air and see what happens?
I will certainly take a look at that... lord knows there are all kinds of dusts and such floating around in my garage... if this leads to any kind of improvement, may finally be time to build that closet around it ...
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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running out of hot water


So the new water heater has been operating for awhile with no problems and just recently you have been running out of hot water?

Check the temperature dial on the heater. Maybe it got turned down accidentally or was bumped and ended up in a lower position.

You can check the dip tube. If for some reason (biodegradation?) it broke off in the middle you could still get hot water for a short time and then the water goes cold.

It is probably not a good idea to set the temperature to the "very hot" range without automatic tempering valves in the plumbing system since that increases the chance of scalding injury if you are a little careless with the shower faucets. However this may be necessary as the water heater ages and seems not to get the water hot enough. Meanwhile automatic tempering valves that bleed cold water into the hot water lines can malfunction, creating the original complaint.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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running out of hot water


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If I have a leak under the house somewhere I will need to wait to see it... on a Slab no unusual water that I have noticed ...

How old is the house? Copper lines under a slab only last so long.....


Time to start walking around barefoot and see if you feel any hot spots on the floor. That will indicate that the leak is nearby. The other option is to ensure no hot water is being used in the house, and shut off the valve to the water heater. Leave it off for a few minutes and do not use any hot water in that time frame. Turn the valve back on slowly. If you have a leak in one of the lines you will hear the water flow through the valve as you turn it on.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #15
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Alan, where did he say he had a concrete floor, or had his HW pipes running through it? Did I miss that one?

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