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Old 01-24-2019, 05:04 PM   #196
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Ockham's Razor: "...is the problem-solving principle that essentially states that simpler solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones."

Simplest Causes (previously presented)

1. Cold water pipe connected to hot water pipe downstream
2. Dip tube broken (allowing cold water to bypass heating at bottom of tank)
3.

Place yer bets
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Old 01-25-2019, 11:21 AM   #197
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


After reading thru this short novel/soap opera I am inclined to place the blame on either a bad tempering valve for the toilet (probably buried in the wall if it exists) or a bad tempering/mix valve in the shower valve assembly. My thoughts on this are because of the post #56 where the Op stated that the water still flowed when the valve to the water heater was closed. If the valve, which could be on the supply or feed side of the heater, is closed no water will/should flow thru the tank. Somewhere there has to be a connection between the hot and cold and these are the two most likely spots since the washing machine was ruled out.
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Old 01-25-2019, 04:55 PM   #198
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


The problem didn't appear until after the plumber/plumbers replaced the water heater, though, and the plumber didn't say that the previous heater was hooked up backwards, so there's that to consider.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:29 AM   #199
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


It is also possible that after the plumber hooked up the new tank a piece of debris from the install may have made its way into a tempering valve, if one exists, causing it to stick open. Maybe, maybe not
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:56 PM   #200
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


SeniorSitizen,

Thanks for trying to help me.

The latest: The plumber texted me yesterday. He wanted to know whether I was available for him to swing by this coming Friday (Feb.2). I told him that I would be available if he knew for sure that he would show up. In other words, I did not want to send an email to the other 11 condo owners in my building, alerting them that my plumber would be coming and might turn off the main water shutoff for a few minutes, only for him not to show up as he did on January 22nd. Keep in mind that 4 of the 12 condo owners in my building rent their condos. So whenever there's the possibility that the water to the building may be shut off, even for just a few minutes, they have to notify their tenants.

The plumber responded that he could not guarantee that he would show up, considering the cold weather. He advised that we not plan on meeting.

This whole thing has been a big learning experience for me. As time as gone on, I've gotten a bit wiser and began to understand how a water heater works. For instance, I now see why it's important to touch the hot water pipe on my heater. I ran into a major plumber in my town today as he was having lunch. Someone pointed him out to me. I could not help but explain to him my problem.

He told me that it could be crossed pipes. But he also said that the first thing to do is run the hot water in one of my faucets until the hot water runs out and turns cold. Then rush to the water heater and touch the hot pipe. If it's hot, then it's probably not the dip tube but something else. I had already done this test but I did it again today, just to be sure. I ran my kitchen faucet till the water turned really cold. I then went to the basement and the hot water pipe at the heater was hot. And I mean hot as I could not keep my hand wrapped around the pipe for long.

1) SeniorSitizen: I have not yet done your test. You had advised me to do the following:

Do this test by touching and holding both hot and cold pipes while a second person runs maybe a gallon or two of hot water from the sink up stairs. If the hot pipe turns cold then hot again in about a minute or less, as mentioned previously several times, there is a real chance there is no dip tube delivering the cold water to the bottom of the tank where it belongs.

2) SeniorSitizen: Another test is to drain the water heater. You suggested the following:

Drain 2 - 3 of gallons from the heater drain valve and if the dip tube is present and working properly the draining water temperature will decrease drastically at some point while those 2 - 3 gallons are being drained.

This is the next test I want to do. I'll just use my fingers to sense the water temperature, unless you have another suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
He had hot water previous to heater replacement.

He now does not have hot water and hasn't for about a month.

If the dip tube is functioning as designed then the plumber did not do a simple replacement but modified some piping.

Stripe doesn't need a DIY forum, he needs an attorney.

Now my monitor is printing faint letters so I suspect that familiar ink problem.
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Old 01-30-2019, 11:55 AM   #201
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Finally did the drain test today. Being the ridiculously careful person that I am. I first took a photo of what I took to be the drain. Then I went to my local Home Depot to make sure I did not need a special tool to open the drain. No, just a screw driver, I was told.

Came back home and went to the basement with a bucket. After I turned the drain valve with my screw driver, hot water shot out, not downward but horizontally. I thought that it was going to drain downward and not have any force. I was wrong. But luckily the water heater is near a wall and at the base of the wall is a long drain filled with gravel.

Well, the other thing I expected was to get hot water then it would turn to cold. But no, it was hot and stayed hot. I emptied more than 3 gallons but it just remained hot. Finally, I decided to stop and come to report my finding here.

1) What does this mean? That the water at the bottom of the water heater is hot which means that the dip tube is working?

2) I want to point out that my shower valve is a Kohler. I just discovered this yesterday. But my kitchen sink valve is a Moen.

3) If one mixing valve is not working, would it affect the water in the other valve? For example, let us say that the shower valve is not working and this is the reason I'm getting hot water for a minute or so then it turns cold. Would this mean that the kitchen valve would perform in the same way, even if it (kitchen valve) was not defective?

Reaching out to a kind soul out there.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:33 PM   #202
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Repeat this test at random times during the day at least 3 hours apart:

Turn on the same hot faucet. Write down the time it takes for the water to get "good and hot" and write down the time the water starts to cool down. Then turn it off.

Do some of these tests with one of the valves above your water closed and with all of those valves open.

We want to find out whether your water heater is really not contributing to the mix.

Note: If you turn off one (any one) of the valves on the pipes going to your water heater and water (any temperature) keeps coming out of your hot faucets then there is definitely some kind of cross connection.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:18 PM   #203
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Hi Allan,

Thanks.

Is there a preference in terms of which valve in the basement, above my water heater, to turn off when I'm doing your test? Hot or cold? Or does it not matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Repeat this test at random times during the day at least 3 hours apart:

Turn on the same hot faucet. Write down the time it takes for the water to get "good and hot" and write down the time the water starts to cool down. Then turn it off.

Do some of these tests with one of the valves above your water closed and with all of those valves open.

We want to find out whether your water heater is really not contributing to the mix.

Note: If you turn off one (any one) of the valves on the pipes going to your water heater and water (any temperature) keeps coming out of your hot faucets then there is definitely some kind of cross connection.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:20 PM   #204
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Quote:
Originally Posted by stripedbass View Post

Well, the other thing I expected was to get hot water then it would turn to cold. But no, it was hot and stayed hot. I emptied more than 3 gallons but it just remained hot. Finally, I decided to stop and come to report my finding here.

1) What does this mean? That the water at the bottom of the water heater is hot which means that the dip tube is working?
From what you write it seems you may be confused about the dip tube function.


COPIED: QUOTE:
The dip tube is a plastic pipe that travels from the cold water inlet down to the bottom of the tank. The purpose of the dip tub is to deposit the cold water coming in to the tank at the bottom, where it is heated.
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Old 01-30-2019, 07:58 PM   #205
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


So the water to my condo unit from the water heater is coming from the top of the water heater via the hot pipe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
From what you write it seems you may be confused about the dip tube function.


COPIED: QUOTE:
The dip tube is a plastic pipe that travels from the cold water inlet down to the bottom of the tank. The purpose of the dip tub is to deposit the cold water coming in to the tank at the bottom, where it is heated.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:50 PM   #206
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


SeniorSitizen,

I finally found a diagram that made it clear to me how a water heater works. See the first diagram in the link below:

https://www.landmarkhw.com/resources...ter-works/2/12

Quote:
Originally Posted by stripedbass View Post
So the water to my condo unit from the water heater is coming from the top of the water heater via the hot pipe?
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:15 AM   #207
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Correction, which valve to turn off.

Follow a pipe out of the top of the water heater. If you come to a valve before you come to a branch (elbow) then that is a valve to turn off to conduct the test. If you come to a branch before you come to a valve then forget about that pipe and try the other pipe.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #208
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


I don't understand any valve would need to be closed to do a dip tube test by opening the heater drain valve. All that's necessary is for cold water to be supplied to the dip tube (cold water in) and determine if the hot water temperature draining at the tank bottom diminishes in temperature after draining a few gallons.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:52 PM   #209
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


And it goes on....
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:07 PM   #210
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


In your very first post, you said that the plumber couldn't figure it out, so I'm thinking he is avoiding the situation.

Time to find a new plumber. Well, unless everyone has grown to enjoy cold showers...over the past month...during winter.
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