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Old 03-05-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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hot water cools fast


I recently noticed a weird trend: when I turn on the shower, it is hot first but then water starts dropping in temperature pretty quickly so that every 30 seconds or so I need to adjust the shower to raise the temperature. This started happening a few days ago -- about the time we started our kitchen remodeling when we demolished everything and, among other things, disconnected the old sink and the dishwasher. I am wondering if this has something to do with the problem. By the way, it has never happened before, i.e. unless several people were taking a shower before me for extended periods of time, temperature would not drop at all. Also, I tried raising the temp setting on the boiler. This gave the expected result: while the water would be hotter initially, it would steel get cooler. The same thing happens in all two of the three showers we have in the house, and we don't use the 3rd one. What's happening? Thanks much!

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Old 03-05-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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hot water cools fast


There is a cold water tube in a WH that directs water towards the bottom of the tank
That way you get the most heated water 1st
The cold water is heated by the bottom element

Sounds like your tube broke & cold water is mixing near the top w/hot water

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Old 03-05-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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hot water cools fast


What you have described here is similar to an electric water heater with a burned-out lower element.

You mentioned "boiler" --> do you have a gas- or oil-fired boiler that also heats your house?
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsparky View Post
What you have described here is similar to an electric water heater with a burned-out lower element.

You mentioned "boiler" --> do you have a gas- or oil-fired boiler that also heats your house?
Well, both my furnace and my water heater are gas. Not sure what you mean by "boiler that also heats your house", though.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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hot water cools fast


There was a period in time (1990-1995 I think) when every water heater manufacturer bought their dip tubes from the same supplier. The dip tube attaches to the cold water inlet and delivers the cold water to the bottom of the water heater. After a few years, these particular dip tubes deteriorated, and they either broke off completely, or they crumbled into little pieces of plastic that tended to plug up every screen and aerator in the house. As scuba-dave said, it sounds like your dip tube has broken off.

My water heater suffered from this just last year, and since it was made in 1995, we just replaced it. Home Depot does have replacement dip tubes, but I don't know how difficult they might be to replace.

The dip tube can also be damaged if too much heat is applied to the inlet connection when the water heater is installed.

There was a big class-action lawsuit over this, but the time limit to file a claim has expired. Of course the lawyers got millions, and the people affected by the problem got a T-shirt.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:14 PM   #6
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hot water cools fast


The heater is Whirlpool model # BFG2J5040T3NOV

This site: http://www.whirlpoolwaterheaters.com...ct.aspx?id=116 states that it has a 12 year warranty, and it's only a few years old (definitely less than 12, I don't remember when we installed it but it has ANS number ending with 2004, if it means anything). Could this be covered by the warranty?
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:35 AM   #7
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hot water cools fast


The electronic control panel on our electric water heater at our cabin failed after about 5 years. We just called the service number and they were able to look the warranty up based on the serial number. They shipped a new control board via FedEx.

Try giving them a call.
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Old 03-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #8
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hot water cools fast


I called Whirlpool. They asked me whether I ever drained and flushed the water heater, which I never did. The heater was installed in 2007. I have two questions:
1. Could this be the cause if the dropping temperature?
2. I looked in the manual for instructions on how to drain and flush. It requires turning gas off and then turning it back on. Since I've never done it, I am a bit nervous. I can call a plumber, of course. But is it possible to flush and drain without turning the gas off?

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