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Old 05-18-2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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Low Hot Water Pressure


We have been living in our house for almost 10 years now, it had dual tanks when we bought the place.The house is now 19 years old, so not too old.

Slowly the hot water has lost pressure and has brought me to my breaking point when it takes me a half hour to shower.

I did some research on this already and I found a site that had simple household maintenance tips and one FAQ suggested that if our water source is hard there may be mineral buildup in the line. We live next to the mountains and there is a large iron count in our water. Being close to he mountains it only makes sense that here are probably other scaling minerals as well so this is a possibillity.

It was suggested that I purge my tanks for sediment in the bottom as well.

While I was refilling the tanks I had noticed that the first tank filled in about 5 min. Once it was full I heard a bang or loud click. I dont know if it was just the water smacking the top of the tank or if theres some kind of flow check valve or something.

The second tank took almost 3 hours to fill.

My uneducated diagnosis tells me that assuming its free flow from tank to tank, the blockage or buildup is in the pipe that connects tank #1 to tank #2

I will just mention that there is no valve or shutoff in the pipe that connects the tanks so if there is a flow check valve its an internal valve.
I will need to figure out how to replace the valve if one exists.

In the instance that there is no flow check I have enough knowledge to solder copper pipes so I can separate the piping that connects the tanks for service.
My hope is thats where the blockage is.

As a final solution I can simply drain the slow filling tank and plug the fast filling tank into the main feed.

To all the plumbers on here does this sound about right?

Any advice is welcome and thanx in advance
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:46 PM   #2
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No it does not sound right.
There is no internal flow check.
Why do you even have two tanks?
What type pipes do you have? Any steel plumbing?
19 Year old water heaters?
A water heater should take min. to fill not hours.
Picture of your set up may help.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
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P Marge.... You likely do have restrixted flow somewhere in your tank setups..... but just to clarrify.... did you really mean you have low hot water PRESSURE or a low flowing RATE.

I bet you meant low flow rate and static hot pressure is same as cold water pressure.

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Old 05-18-2015, 11:35 PM   #4
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Do you know if your tanks are pumbed in series or parallel?
If in series I suspect that you have a plugged hot nipple (the left one) at the top of the first tank- possibly the second tank
Some tanks have ball checks in the nipples- they can fail in the closed position and cause restriction. The nipple can be replaced, but after 19 years it may be hard to unthread.
But I'm curious to know how you determined that the first tank filled in 5 minutes....
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:47 PM   #5
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@joecaption...
"Why do you even have two tanks?"
I dont know, they were there when we bought. One thing about that is we NEVER run out of hot water

"What type pipes do you have? Any steel plumbing?"
Copper from the main to the tank. Copper connecting the tanks, Pex throughout the house.

"19 Year old water heaters?"
I cant say for sure. the house is 19, the heaters were here when we bought 9-10 years ago.

"A water heater should take min. to fill not hours."
Agreed!
The first tank filled fast, I will assume theres no blockage in it.
Once it was full the second tank took forever.

The tank on the right is attached to the MAIN. Tank to the left is OUTPUT.

================================================== =


@MTN REMODEL LLC...

"I bet you meant low flow rate and static hot pressure is same as cold water pressure."
Im not sure |I follow exactly what youre saying but the symptoms are...
Fast burst of water pressure (hot water only) then slows to a little better than a trickle in 5-10 seconds. *all hot water taps act the same.

The cold water has great pressure always and constant in all taps.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:52 PM   #6
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@TheEplumber. I knew the first tank filled faster simply from hearing the flow as I waited. Once the main(first tank) was full I could hear it then start to fill the second.
Also my water meter is beside the tanks and the dial slowed to a crawl.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:56 PM   #7
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Connecting pipe
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:58 PM   #8
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Top view
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:01 AM   #9
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Dielectric valve possibly?
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:17 AM   #10
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Do you have the HW issue at all fixtures? I believe you only mentioned the shower. If that is the only fixture affected then a blockage is at the shower valve. But I suspect it affects the whole house?

You don't appear to have the heat sink nipples I mentioned but you still have restriction from mineral build up at the heaters outlet. The only way to verify this is to remove the piping from the outlets and take a look for corrosion.

Another possibility is a bad dip tube in the second heater. Its hangs inside the tank at the CW inlet.

3rd possibility is a partially closed valve somewhere after the water leaves the tanks.

Unfortunately you need to remove pipes to check the first 2 possibilities.
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Old 05-19-2015, 08:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Marage View Post
I did some research on this already and I found a site that had simple household maintenance tips and one FAQ suggested that if our water source is hard there may be mineral buildup in the line. We live next to the mountains and there is a large iron count in our water. Being close to he mountains it only makes sense that here are probably other scaling minerals as well so this is a possibillity.

It was suggested that I purge my tanks for sediment in the bottom as well.
I agree. That would be a good place to start. Go from there. Just a suggestion.

As you found out in your research, low hot water pressure can be caused by sediment, rust, calcium deposits or other debris in the plumbing lines or faucets. Of course there could be other problems as mentioned in post 4, have to troubleshoot a little more.

Follow eplumbers advice.
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon
I agree. That would be a good place to start. Go from there. Just a suggestion. As you found out in your research, low hot water pressure can be caused by sediment, rust, calcium deposits or other debris in the plumbing lines or faucets. Of course there could be other problems as mentioned in post 4, have to troubleshoot a little more. Follow eplumbers advice.
Thanx jmon, I forgot to mention that I did this already
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:36 AM   #13
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@TheEplumber. It happens at all hot water taps.

I will try to get at the pipes tonight but I work long days so I may not be able to get to it as soo as I like.
I'm just trying to eliminate possibilities before I start tearing things apart. I will begin with your suggestion as I believe the blockage is in the connector pipe from tank to tank.

Thanx again for everyone's help and I will return with my prognosis.
Cheers :D
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:48 AM   #14
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Quick comment. You say the second tank fills slower, it will if you don't have a tap open to bleed the air as it fills.
I assume you know this but I had to say it....
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:37 PM   #15
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I did but thanx for the suggestion anyway
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