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amakarevic 12-14-2007 02:42 PM

short supply of how water
hello gurus,

the problem this time is that hot water runs out really fast, after about 5 min. the water heater is 40 gal and gas and the only other appliance that shares gas is the furnace for radiators. i am not sure about the size of my gas meter but the line that connects it with the two appliances is 3/4 in.

could it be because most of the gas that comes in gets absorbed by the furnace so not much goes to the water heater ?

this has been happening only since recently, i.e. since it's been cold.


- a

Sammy 12-14-2007 02:45 PM

Could be the tank is just going bad and your noticing it because its getting colder.

Any idea how old it its?

Marlin 12-14-2007 03:56 PM

As was already asked, how old is your water heater?
Has it always been this way?

It's really hard to say without knowing what size furnace you have, the length of the run, and how many BTUs the water heater if is 3/4 is the correct size. I highly doubt that is your problem though. If you really want to test it just for piece of mind:
Make sure your water heater isn't running (to be sure it's up to temperature).
Turn the switch to your furnace off (so it won't run while you do the next step)
Take a shower and time how long your water lasts, don't just estimate.

I pulled the flow restricters out of my shower heads and if I let the hot water run full blast my 40 gallon tank (which is really about 36) will be empty in ten minutes. So it is possible you're just emptying the tank.

If it still doesn't work out you could try flushing the water heater.

redline 12-14-2007 05:26 PM

Sounds like the water heater has sediment in the bottom of it.

It is a good idea to drain the hot water once a year to remove the sediment.

are you on public water or a well?

amakarevic 12-14-2007 08:50 PM

public water.

Ron The Plumber 12-14-2007 10:09 PM

Check the dip tube, could be broken.

jpplumber 12-15-2007 02:32 AM


Check the dip tube, could be broken.
Right answer. Dip tube can be replaced by unscrewing the cold side nipple or most of the time best just to replace the water heater if it is anywhere near ten years old and be done with it.

amakarevic 12-15-2007 07:03 PM

thanks everyone. could someone give more detail as to where i look for things like "cold side nipple" or "dip tube"? i am somewhat unfamiliar with the structure of a gas water heater.

also, i noticed that my water heater has no connection to electric power, which go me wondering how the embedded thermometer/thermostat works, or simply the apparatus that determines when it needs to fire it off to heat more water. this is outside of the domain of the problem, i.e. simply my curiosity to learn more how these things work.

if there is an online exhibit or something that breaks down a water heater like this, that would be great.

redline 12-15-2007 09:55 PM



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