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Old 02-04-2019, 09:22 AM   #226
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


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Originally Posted by stripedbass View Post
carmusic,

Are you referring to the hot water valves for the water heaters that me neighbors own?

Also, does this in any way mean that the problem could be different from the crossed pipe possibility? Or is it the same problem?

yes, with all of those pipes your hot water may come from another heater so a quick test would be to close the neighbours valve for few seconds and check if your hot water flow stops
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:58 AM   #227
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


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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?

No, if a dip tube is present and being supplied with cold water we would expect the water temperature to decrease at the drain valve by the time 3 gallons were drained. If there is cross piping and a neighbor is using your hot water tank this dip tube test remains valid. To remove all doubt of this dip tube test I would prefer the water be drained into a container to verify the amount. In my opinion it's time to begin removing all doubt. We don't want COLDIRON to go to a nursing facility without an answer.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:07 PM   #228
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


SeniorSitizen,

Thanks for explaining it to me in a way that I can easily understand.

Are you sure about 3 gallons being the amount I should test? I ask because I can easily test 3 gallons.

Anyway, I'll see what I can do.

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Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
No, if a dip tube is present and being supplied with cold water we would expect the water temperature to decrease at the drain valve by the time 3 gallons were drained. If there is cross piping and a neighbor is using your hot water tank this dip tube test remains valid. To remove all doubt of this dip tube test I would prefer the water be drained into a container to verify the amount. In my opinion it's time to begin removing all doubt. We don't want COLDIRON to go to a nursing facility without an answer.

Last edited by stripedbass; 02-04-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:20 PM   #229
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Shouldn't the trustees be more cooperative in dealing with this problem? Including giving you access to the other basement whenever you want?

What do you condominium documents say about who owns what stretch of pipe?
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:53 AM   #230
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


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Originally Posted by stripedbass View Post
SeniorSitizen,

Are you sure about 3 gallons being the amount I should test? I ask because I can easily test 3 gallons.

Anyway, I'll see what I can do.

We're attempting to remove all doubt so go ahead and drain 3 gallons at least and 4 if you like and continue to test for temperature decrease as you drain. With that amount of water being drained there should be a significant temperature reduction.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:23 PM   #231
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


To check if your hot water is being sent to a neighbor, just turn off your water heater. Whoever screams the loudest is the winner.
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Old 02-05-2019, 05:33 PM   #232
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Suggest turning off the cold inlet or hot outlet of your water heater when you are not using hot water. This would ensure that neighbors are not using your hot water and gas just in case there was a cross connection.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:06 PM   #233
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Hi folks,

Thanks for your patience.

Two days ago, I did the drain test on my water heater. Also, after getting the key to the adjacent basement from a condo trustee, I mapped out my hot water pipe in rough format while in the basement with a flashlight, pencil and notebook, then later on drew it out as neatly as I could, from the draft. I had to return to the basement one more time, to make sure I got things right. It was quite the adventure.

First, the drain test result (the pipe diagram will be in the next post).

I drained a 10-quart bucket I have three times. That equals to 7.5 gallons. 10 quarts equals 2.5 gallons, I found out after googling. The water temperature remained the same: hot but not scalding (some days earlier I had decided to change my heater temperature setting from the highest to a much lower one. It didn't make any noticeable difference for my showers and hopefully I saved a bit on gas).
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:35 PM   #234
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Now the hot water pipe diagrams.

Drawing things out made much more sense than taking photos as I did during the first go-around (many thanks for the suggestion). Also, I caught things which I definitely missed earlier. For example, the pipes going to the 3rd and 4th basements, from the main, are on their own. This makes it easier for me since I don't have to worry about them.

And from the great suggestion I got here that I photograph my diagram after drawing it, I got another idea: why not scan the diagram? Learning is a never-ending process and one thing builds on another.

Anyway, I'm attaching two diagrams. One is of the hot water pipe and how it runs in my basement. The other diagram is of the adjacent basement and shows what happens to my hot water pipe when it enters that basement. There was a surprise for me but I'm not going to mention it until I give others a chance to eyeball the diagram.

Please let me know what you think.

The condo trustee told me I could keep the key to the adjacent basement until I get my water heater situation figured out. So if you have any questions I can easily return to that basement.
Attached Thumbnails
New water heater only sending hot water for a short while-hot.water.pipe.diagram1.jpg   New water heater only sending hot water for a short while-hot.water.pipe.diagram2.jpg  

Last edited by stripedbass; 02-09-2019 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:52 AM   #235
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Next thing to try:

1. Close the valve in your hot water pipe near the wall on the neighbor's side, circled in red. Then test your hot faucets for how long the hot water lasts. Also test some cold faucets for proper operation.

New question:

2. Where do the pipes marked with the red question marks go in your basement?

(In the diagram for your side of the basement wall you show one pipe going into the neighbor's basement. In the diagram for the neighbor's side you have two pipes coming into their basement through the same opening and a third pipe coming from a second opening. Where in your basement do the second pipe and third pipe go.)
Attached Thumbnails
New water heater only sending hot water for a short while-lights83.jpg  
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-10-2019 at 10:03 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #236
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


If your drawing is correct, your hot pipe is connected to the cold water from the main with 2 shut off valves to isolate them. Make sure those 2 valves are closed.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:56 AM   #237
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Hi Allan,

In response to your post (thank you, by the way):

1) I would love to shut that valve. But before I do that I'd like to give my neighbor a heads-up, just in case the pipe the valve is connected to also goes to my neighbor's unit. Also, I had told the trustees that I was only taking photos and drawing a diagram (to show you folks) but not turning any valves. But trust me, I'm as curious as you are.

2) The pipes you marked in red: Sorry, I have very poor drawing skills. Let me explain.

The pipe on the left, that has the valve you want me to shut off, comes from the hot water outlet of my water heater. It then enters the neighboring basement. Right after it comes out of the wall, it has a T or an elbow (don't know the exact term) that goes up the ceiling (presumably to my 3rd floor condo unit). But this same pipe also continues on into the new basement which is why I have an arrow that states, "This pipe is a continuation of my hot pipe." So part of the pipe goes up and the rest of it continues into the new basement.

The pipe to the immediate right does not go into my basement or come from my basement. This is the pipe that really challenged my drawing skills! Rather, this pipe comes from the hot outlet of my neighbor's water heater. Then right before the hole in the wall it too has its own elbow or T and turns upward and enters the ceiling (I presume it goes to my neighbor's condo unit on the 3rd floor). But the way I drew it made it look like the pipe enters my basement (like I said, it does not).

The pipe to the far right goes to the cold water inlet on my water heater and the furnaces next to my heater that belong to my neighbors who live on the 2 floors below me.

By the way, I just realized that you only asked about two pipes but I gave you an explanation for all of them. Hope this does not confuse you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
Next thing to try:

1. Close the valve in your hot water pipe near the wall on the neighbor's side, circled in red. Then test your hot faucets for how long the hot water lasts. Also test some cold faucets for proper operation.

New question:

2. Where do the pipes marked with the red question marks go in your basement?

(In the diagram for your side of the basement wall you show one pipe going into the neighbor's basement. In the diagram for the neighbor's side you have two pipes coming into their basement through the same opening and a third pipe coming from a second opening. Where in your basement do the second pipe and third pipe go.)

Last edited by stripedbass; 02-10-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:13 PM   #238
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Please notice that I've added info to my previous post in case someone started responding before I was done editing.
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #239
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


I made reference to a third pipe in your lower diagram, to the right of the right pipe you last described to me, and going into another hole in the wall. Where does that third pipe (I put another red question mark next to it) go?

New question:

3. Who owns the shutoff valve that I have circled in red. Use your condominium documents to find the answer.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-10-2019 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:04 PM   #240
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Basic question to all that have responded to this or are just watching it. If you spent $1600.00 on a new water heater would you be on a DIY site or would you be looking for the plumber that installed it to come back and correct the problem?

PS: And had plenty of hot water before the replacement.
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