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Old 06-12-2009, 03:57 PM   #16
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


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Originally Posted by bigcaddy View Post
I hope the dip tube hasn't started to disentegrate. only been in use for 4 days.
I mean the remains of the dip tube from the old heater. Here is a quote from Kenmac (I think he's a pro) in response to a water heater issue I had about 2 months ago

"If you had dip tube problems .. You would know it.. very little hot water.. Hot water for a short time then cold to warm.. Do a good flush.. It should do it"

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Old 06-12-2009, 04:04 PM   #17
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


First, I agree with your assessment completely, and it's probably that the lower element isn't working, and your drainage test would demonstrate that the volume of HW was insufficient.

I was just positing an explanation under the assumption that the HWH was both correctly installed and was fully functional.

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Low temperature groundwater does not explain the problem, since the water reaches 130 degrees (you already measured that), therefore regardless of the starting water temperature, you are reaching operating temperature.
But I [respectfully] disagree with the above.

The water heater would (after a sufficient amount of time) bring any groundwater temp. up to 130 deg.

Colder ground water will mean two things: 1) More hot water will need to be mixed at the shower valve to provide a comfortable shower (increasing the rate of HW consumption), and 2) colder water entering the tank will absorb heat from the volume of hot water more quickly than would warmer supply water, thereby reducing the usable amount of 130deg. water.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:09 PM   #18
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


that was partially what I was thinking. the heater came with the 120* setting. so I figured I'd bump it up a little to 130* but I have two little ones and I'm affraid to go much higher for safety sakes.

I was thinking that maybe I raise the entire temp to actually use less hot and compensate the high temp with cold water........ but it still doesn't work well.



BTW. thanks all for the help. I'm gonna dig into this tomorrow. I will post back what I find.. I'll start at the top of the list and work my way down.

have a nice weekend.
Tom
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:59 PM   #19
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


Ok, I just ran the first of test.

I put a thermometer in the shower and ran a 103* shower which would be a normal temp for me or my wife.

I had a consistant temp of 103* for 17 minutes. and it was cold at that point.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #20
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


Test 2 Check GPM on shower head.

nothing... American Standard Made in the USA

waiting on ohm meter.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:12 PM   #21
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You didn't by any chance measure the volume of water? Assuming your cold water comes in at 55 degrees F, you would need 0.55 gallons of cold water for every 1.0 gallons of hot water at 130 degrees F to average 103 degrees F at the shower. At a rate of 2.2 gpm (max rate for modern shower head), in 17 minutes you would have discharged about 37 gallons of water, of which about 24 gallons would have been hot water, and 13 gallons would have been cold water.

24 gallons of hot water is about half the tank, suggesting that the lower element is not functioning, either because it is wired incorrectly, the lower thermostat is not working, or the lower element is bad.

Of course, if your shower head actually puts out 4.4 gallons per minute, then in 17 minutes it would use up all 50 gallons of hot water. So you simply need to measure the flow of the shower head to resolve the matter.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:50 AM   #22
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


BC, This won't solve your problem outright but why not pull out your water bill and look at your daily consumption for the whole picture.. might give you a better idea of what you use versus the size of the heater.

If all the electrical checks out, also check if you have a bypass valve on the softener or elsewhere which might be only partly open retsricting feed to refill your heater. I know with my taps open only 1/4 turn or so I have plenty of hot to mix with cold...does your pressure on hot only seem lower than cold? As Daniel says check your volume but I would check both hot versus cold.

A couple of months back I was insulating above my heater and bumped the gas shutoff with my elbow. That night , no hot water so I raced of to HD 5 minutes to closing to buy a thermo couple and when I went to shut off the gas to install it... there was my problem. Have done the same with the softener by pass after trouble shooting, waited 3 days for soft water while receiving grief from the wife about spots on dishes etc....

While you're shopping grab a couple of low flow shower heads to boost the current performance. FYI there is also an anti scald cartridge which pops into the shower supply pipe to eliminate the issue of the kids getting scalded. At least I think that's how it works. You can have mine free if you pay the postage...
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:22 AM   #23
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thanks for all that.

We are on a well so I can't see consumption.
We don't have a water softener.

This is a plain jane setup.

I don't believe it's the showerhead. It' been in use for many many years without compaints until now.

My Ohm meter never showed up last night pulled a transmission instead. blaa.
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Old 06-13-2009, 08:56 AM   #24
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


Sure it's not the shower hred, but if yours is old enough to have no markings, a new one could prolong your shower pleasure
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:33 AM   #25
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To measure the flow rate of your showerhead, place a five gallon bucket in the shower, turn it on, time how long it takes to fill. Flow rate in gpm is 5 (bucket size in gallons) divided by the time in minutes. This assumes constant flow rate, which will not be the case since you are on a well, but it should be close enough.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:06 AM   #26
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I'll do a flow rate check now.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:08 AM   #27
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
place a five gallon bucket in the shower, turn it on, time how long it takes to fill.
I just did 15 seconds worth (the bucket was getting heavy) and my low flow nozzle came out to the 2 gpm rate. I'm going to find the flow restrictor and drill it larger.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:18 AM   #28
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I'm getting a little over three gallons a minute.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:58 AM   #29
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


Is your hot water heater on some type of timer ???????????

If so check it out.

A lot of times hot water heaters are on off peak timers.

Maybe your not starting with a full tank like you think you are.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:49 PM   #30
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Stumped. Water heater woes.


no timers. plane jane here.

still waiting on that ohm meter

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