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Old 01-21-2012, 10:48 AM   #1
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Strange Water Heater Issues


First I am a novice at DIY. I have some capable friends who have been helping me but are stumpted. We recently purchased a water heater to replace an outdated one. After the install the water heater last on 15-17 minutes before the hot water is gone. The strange part is hot water comes out of the sink located in the same bathroom, as well as throughout the house. We have replaced the on/off cartridge in the shower, but that didn't help. Believing that the cold water was "over dilluting" the hot they reversed the direction of the water knob. So now the hot water is first and the further you turn it goes to cold. Not sure what else to try. Would like to avoid tearing anything up. Thanks for your help.

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:01 AM   #2
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Strange Water Heater Issues


Depends on how old the shower is, but it could just be that the shower puts out more water and runs the WH out faster than the sinks.

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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Strange Water Heater Issues


The way the post is written it's a little confusing to understand.
If you have plenty of hot water every where except the shower, is it a single handle or double handles? How new do you think it is?
The reason I ask is newer ones have an anti scald feature built in, when someone works on the plubing it's common to have knocked loose some trash inside the pipes. It's stuck in the scald control.
Every company has a differant way of removing and fixing it, but it can be done from the front side, not behind the wall.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:27 AM   #4
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Strange Water Heater Issues


Plumbers need to make a living too.
Call one.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Strange Water Heater Issues


Could be a detached/missing/broken drop tube in the new water heater. The drop tube is supposed to deliver the cold water to the bottom of the water heater but if it is detached/missing/broken then the cold water is delivered to the top of the heater and symptoms such as you describe are experienced.

If it is an electic water heater the lower heating element may not be working and that would also cause the symptoms you describe.

Last edited by Bob999; 01-21-2012 at 12:21 PM. Reason: add info
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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Strange Water Heater Issues


@ jproffer The shower is older but the bathroom was remolded about 6 years ago. We never had a problem until this past November and then changed the water heater in December.

@joecaption Sorry for the confusing post. We have a single handle. The "mechanism" behind the "single handle" was just replaced. The plumbing shop into thought that maybe a gasket was worn letting in more cold water than hot diluting the hot.

@TarheelTerp I know they do and will call if we have too. Have a couple old fix guys who are helping me at the moment, but they are stumped. I'm not construction savvy but know how to work/fix a computer...thats why I'm trying this route first.

@Bob999 It's a brand new electric 50 gallon water heater. These were the same issues we were having that caused us to replace the water heater. (I am suspect that it may not be the water heater now.)

We also turned off the hot water flow from the hot water heater to see if there was a "blending" in our pipes. The tech support with Whirlpool wanted to verify our pipes weren't mixing. They weren't the hot water came to a stop and the cold had no hot water mixed in.
Upon their suggestion we ran the hot water in the tub to see how long it was hot. Thats where we got the 17 minutes. As soon as it went to warm/cold I turned on the facet in the bathroom and it was still pipping hot at around 125 degrees.
Thanks for all your help!
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Strange Water Heater Issues


Okay, My random thoughts: I think single handle tub and shower valves always let a little hot or cold through even if you turn it all the way hot or cold. At least mine at my house does. When my wife runs us out of hot water, the shower gets really cold, but the hot water in from our 2-handle bathroom sink is always warmer. And it is winter, so the cold is pretty cold. Also, some shower valves have a hot water limiter or manually adjusted scald preventer. I have seen like an allen screw that you could adjust to not allow the valve to go all the way hot, maybe you could adjust that? Or check the thermostats on the water heater.

OR a 17 minute shower is a pretty long shower
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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I' ll look for that and adjust. And for the record I don't take 17 minute showers. Lol. That's just how long the water stays hot for.
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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Strange Water Heater Issues


I dated a woman whose record time might have been 17 minutes.....normal time was more like 30-35....on a 40 gallon WH.

I never asked if it ever went cold on her, but surely it did.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
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So it turned out that the breaker which the water heater was on wasn't good. It was not "popping" but when replaced we haven't had problems since. We have had family visit and no one has had cold water!

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