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Old 07-13-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


My wonderful water heater which has served me many years has finally corroded through on the bottom. Not bad timing as we're in the middle of a heat wave here in Oregon.

I have:
* Turned off the cold water IN outlet and I turned the electricity off at the breaker.
* Turned all the hot water spigots in the house on and left them open to clear anything in them.
* Hooked a hose to the water heater bib (the little spigot at the bottom of the heater) and drained the excess water today with the water heater being off for 2 days in 90+ degree weather.

The hose is still hooked up 12 hours later and there's still about a cup of water coming out every 20 seconds.

I physically touch the cold water IN line and there's no water in it so it's room temperature. I physically touch the hot water OUT line, but instead of also being room temperature it's very, very cold.

Somehow there appears to be cold water entering my hot water OUT line on the hot water heater. Interestingly enough, I found a set of directions to drain the tank to replace the heating elements from my late stepfather from waaay back in 1998 and there is mention of this.

After going through basically the steps I have, he noticed the same thing:
"The problem is that the hot water outlet leaks back into the tank. Enough leaks back in to replace the gravity drain to the street! Where does it come from? Don't know so... The tank won't drain until the hot water outlet is removed from the tank"

Can anyone out there explain how this could happen? It's almost granted that this has been like this for the life of the house, about 30 years.

I -really- appreciate any ideas you have or what this might imply- so I can go off and do more searching. I'd like to address this if I can.

Thank you for reading,

Inayity

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Old 07-13-2008, 08:58 PM   #2
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


YOU HAVE A CROSSOVER CONNECTION IN A SINGLE HANDLE FAUCET SUCH AS ONE BY MOEN OR MAYBE YOUR WASHING MACHINE
PLUMBERS RUN INTO THIS OFTEN, THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO HAVE A LIC. PLUMBER CHECK THIS OUT

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Old 07-13-2008, 09:06 PM   #3
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


I really appreciate the information and you taking the time to pass it on!

I will seek professional assistance on this one.
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:35 PM   #4
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MACPLUMB View Post
YOU HAVE A CROSSOVER CONNECTION IN A SINGLE HANDLE FAUCET SUCH AS ONE BY MOEN OR MAYBE YOUR WASHING MACHINE
PLUMBERS RUN INTO THIS OFTEN, THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO HAVE A LIC. PLUMBER CHECK THIS OUT
Just did a little troubleshooting, starting with my back bathroom. Turned the cold water (and hot) off below the sink...below my Moen faucet and the bleed hose has hardly anything coming out now.

You're GOOD!
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #5
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


You can probably replace that Moen cartidge yourself if it isn't corroded into place.... and send MacPlumb his consulting fee.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:21 PM   #6
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


I thought calcium deposits hold it in place. . .?

There's a special tool to twist them loose, but the cartridges with plastic ears don't respond well to this technique.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:36 PM   #7
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(Water Heater MYSTERY) Hot water out from dead tank with cold water in it?


IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE A CARTRIDGE PROBLEM
IT COULD JUST BE CAUSED MY RUNNING THE FAUCET IN A WARM OR NEUTRAL POSITION
CAUSING COLD WATER TO RUN BACK DOWN THE HOT WATER PIPE INTO THE WATER HEATER

THATS WHY I RECOMMENDED HAVING A PLUMBER CHECK THIS OUT,
BUT YOU DID THE RIGHT THING TO TURN OFF THE ANGLE STOPS UNDER THE SINK

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PLUMB ANY PIPE, SNAKE ANY DRAIN, MAKE COLD WATER BOIL ON A FREEZING DAY
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