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Old 02-13-2019, 06:59 PM   #271
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Unless you turned down the temp of your water heater, your bill must be very high and your neighbor's water/electric/hot water bill is probably lower - maybe even a *lot* lower.

Looks like the connection of your hot water output to their water heater's cold water supply is in the other owner's basement room. if so, looks like your plumber may be off the hook.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:43 PM   #272
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Yes, there is a 3rd valve. In fact, because it looks like it's in good shape, I was at first going to suggest to you that maybe this is valve I should shut.

However, after looking at it today, I realized that its location is after the hot pipe makes a T to come up to my condo when moving in the same direction as the cold water coming from the Main (in other words, the cold water would be coming from behind the camera and moving forward).

The other thing is if I shut that valve I would not be able to get hot water since my water heater is on the other side of the wall.

The attached photo shows the valve I'm talking about. It's the green one on the left.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
You have a photo of the wall opening B viewed from the other (neighbor's) basement. In it I see a blue pipe with a tag hanging down (ignore that for now) and to the left is what I take it is your copper hot pipe. Deep in the hole B I see a green lever handle on your hot pipe. Is this a third valve?
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New water heater only sending hot water for a short while-hot.water.pipe.diagram8.jpg  

Last edited by stripedbass; 02-13-2019 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:48 PM   #273
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


OT: Turn off your own water heater cold supply shutoff or turn off your hot outlet using the fourth valve, in your own basement, when you are not using the hot water. Then your hot water will not drift over to your neighbor's water heater to become preheated new water for him when he uses hot water.

Or, after you conduct the tests I described and you found that that indeed fixed the problem then the valve I suggested will stop this drift provided the valve stays closed.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-13-2019 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:50 PM   #274
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


so is it working ok now?
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Old 02-22-2019, 02:54 PM   #275
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Repeating @carmusic request, can the op or anyone who helped on this thread give a summary as to what was or wasn't found for a solution. I followed for awhile but burned out.

Thanks,
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:18 PM   #276
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


There hasn't been one and until a professional is called it I doubt there will be.


I keep reading, hoping for a solution but it just keeps going in circles.


It is OTOH a great example of why you should never buy a condo conversion unit.
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:39 PM   #277
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Thanks Colbyt, I sensed that from the last few posts.
Did anyone ever look at the dip tube??
Did the original plumber ever come back and if so what was his excuse?

The wife inherited a condo in FL and it had problems. Only info we could get from that association were the bills. Sold it and glad.

Bud
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:26 PM   #278
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Did anyone ever look at the dip tube??

Bud
To the best of my knowledge the dip tube was never actually examined. A few posts pack he had drained a few gallons from the drain valve to test for dip tube function and the water temperature never decreased as it normally would in a tank of this type. I dropped out during the piping schematic discussion. To me it seemed as if some went east some went west and some went over the cuckoo's nest.
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Old 02-22-2019, 04:46 PM   #279
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Hi Folks,

The reason I did not respond earlier is that I simply did not have anything new to report. That was until today.

On February 14 (Valentine's Day), I informed the condo trustees in my building, via an email, of what I had found. All they knew before this was that my water heater was not giving me steady hot water, and that I requested the key for the adjacent basement to get some info on the piping and take some photographs.

I therefore described the help I got from all of you in this forum. I brought them up to speed on the crossed pipes situation. I pointed out that things were pointing to this being the likely problem.

I then informed them that the next step was to shut off the valve that Allan and I zeroed in on and see what happens. And I pointed out, as Allan suggested, that we should have a trustee present when we shut the valve off.

This past Monday I got a response from the trustees. Since last year we had a pipe burst on us and the newly installed shutoffs did not stop the water from gushing out like crazy until we shut off the building's main, the trustees wanted the condo association's plumbing company to swing by to examine the shutoff manifold. And while at it they could look at my water heater situation. They said that if the problem with my heater was the result of the pipes in the common area the association would pay for it. But if it turned out that the problem was with my heater then I would be responsible. Fair enough.

On Wednesday I informed my plumber that the condo association's plumbing company planned to visit our building, and they would examine my water heater situation. If the problem was with the common area pipes the association would pay for it. But if the problem turned out to be with the heater then I would pay for it but expect to be reimbursed by my plumber. I was doing all this communication via text messages.

The plumber responded immediately. He did not want the condo association's plumbing company to touch his work. He also said that he was going to schedule an inspection with my town's plumbing inspector (I had spoken with the inspector a while back and he told me that he was waiting for my plumber's call).

Anyway, the inspection was this morning. The installation work was approved. I asked the inspector whether his approval meant that the water heater's dip tube and things like that were fine. He said no. He explained that the inspection examined things like the flue size, whether there was a carbon monoxide detector close by, the connections to the Hot outlet and Cold inlet and so forth.

Up to this point I had not mentioned to the plumber or the inspector about the connection between my heater's hot water pipe and my neighbor's heater's cold water pipe. I pointed this out to them. And I explained that there was a shutoff valve between the two pipes. The inspector said that that could be the source of my problem right there. My plumber was not only surprised but he had an embarrassed look on his face. He said we go over to the adjacent basement to examine the valve.

When we got to the adjacent basement, I showed the plumber how my hot water pipe ran from my basement to the one we were now in, and how it went to my neighbor's water heater's cold water inlet on the one hand, and the building's main on the other hand. I told him that I had not touched the valve because it had a slight leak. He grabbed it immediately and shut it. He said that we go to my condo unit and check the water.

When we got to my unit and turned on the hot water it took like less than a minute before the hot water arrived. And for the first time since my water heater got installed, the hot water did not run out after a minute. It actually got hotter and kept coming! He then turned on the cold water and it came without any problem.

The inspector and plumber advised that I keep the valve in the basement shut unless I learn from my neighbor that it has affected her water situation.

The plumber sheepishly said that he regretted that it had taken this long to solve the problem. He said that he would recommend cutting the pipe so that there's absolutely no connection between the two crossed pipes. He said that he could do it but he would understand if I did not want him to do the job. I told him and the inspector (before he left. He left before my plumber. He said he had to run along as he had a lot to do) that my deep gratitude was to my friends on this forum.

Anyway, I sent an email to the trustees and my neighbor to inform them of the development. I have not yet heard back from the trustees. But my neighbor has already emailed back. She's happy that I now have hot water. But she won't be able to check whether the valve that was shut has affected her water situation in any way until around Sunday because she's away. She also cautions that "before any pipes are disconnected we should make sure that cold water line isn't feeding an outside hose or some other element we haven't considered." It's good advice.

However, in terms of her unit, I cannot see how she would be affected since there are 3 pipes in the basement that go up to our two units: There's a pipe for her hot water; there's a pipe for my hot water; and there's a pipe for the cold water that she and I share. But given the fact that our building is very old, there's the possibility that the valve we closed today actually affects something important. We'll just have to wait and see.

But at least we have now narrowed the possibilities quite a bit! Don't you think?

I'm bowing to Allan and all the other Good Samaritans on this forum. I don't even know how to begin to thank you all.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:21 PM   #280
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


My question is who opened the valve?

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Old 02-22-2019, 06:08 PM   #281
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


rjniles,

I wish I knew the answer to your question.

You have to realize that this problem was never on my radar. I never knew that there was a valve in the adjacent basement that had serious implications for my hot water.

Also, I now have to wonder whether my previous water heater was simply able to overcome the problem of having the valve open. Or whether the opening of the valve happened on the same day that I got my new water heater. You have to remember that I did not have a problem with my hot water before I got the new heater.

It's all quite strange if you stop to think about it.

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My question is who opened the valve?

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Old 02-22-2019, 07:16 PM   #282
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


Time to get a big tag with wire tie on it reading do not open this valve for any reason without contacting stripedbass Ha Ha in condo # with floor number.

Or get a valve lock to put on it.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:57 PM   #283
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


I gotta ask-- is this your first hot shower since Christmas?
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:05 PM   #284
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


All those other old valves should be replaced while he's disconnecting that pipe/valve.

Thinking this thread should be pinned as a warning to others.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:46 AM   #285
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Re: New water heater only sending hot water for a short while


It might be time to tag or label the various pipes.

A label identifying the OP's hot water line as it passes into the neighboring basement should be placed between the green lever handled valve deep in the hole ("B" in some of the diagrams" and the tee with the line going up into the ceiling.

Labels stuck to the pipes are better than hang tags since arrows showing the water flow will help.

The pipe section extending beyond the OP's hot supply into the ceiling and over to the red handled valve in the neighbor's basement has no correct water flow and therefore should not have an arrow marking.

A tag may be placed near the round red handle valve might be labeled "This pipe section should be removed".

How are the apartment units numbered? The appropriate numbers should go on the labels or tags.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-23-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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