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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My neighbor and I live in a small 2 apartment building and share the hot water heater and was working fine up till about 6 months ago and since then we have noticed a slow and steady drop in pressure. Its so bad now that the hot water is almost a trickle and also will literally stop running at all for a few seconds every few minutes and then start back up with the typical low pressure.

Twice we have tried draining the tank and its always clear. Also a friend was saying that since the water is flowing from the drain valve properly that its not a problem with the tank itself (not sure how true this is).

I guess my big question is... what on earth would be causing the pressure to be so low and also why would it stop and start every so often? Cold water pressure is fine. Its a standard water heater... not sure how old.
 

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Old steel pipes?
Old gate style shut off valves?
 
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first thing i would try is take off the aerators from faucets and flush out the lines. do the same with shower heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If we sat around waiting on the landlord to either fix/replace/research the issue we would end up smelling like 10 day old trash sitting out in the dead of summer. I been here for a year and still cooking out of counter-top griddle cause he hasn't replaced the broken stove and walking around on concrete floors just as long cause he never replaced the wet moldy carpeting after a flood.
 

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If we sat around waiting on the landlord to either fix/replace/research the issue we would end up smelling like 10 day old trash sitting out in the dead of summer. I been here for a year and still cooking out of counter-top griddle cause he hasn't replaced the broken stove and walking around on concrete floors just as long cause he never replaced the wet moldy carpeting after a flood.
How do you put up with such a landlord? Bargain rent or stuck on lease contract for a while?
 

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If the drain cock works--turn it on---if it blasts out water--you have good pressure to the tank---if it runs slow----the problem is at or before the tank----

Let us know----
 

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Could be a gunked-up energy-saving device on the hot water output at the top of the tank. Little marble that's supposed to keep the hot water in the tank until called for. Should be easy to close the cold side cutoff valve, disconnect the pipe to the hot side, dig the marble out, and throw it away.
 

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Slightly increased energy (gas or electric) costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I will have my neighbor take a look and see if this is on there or not... crossing fingers this could be it... cause Im dying for a nice hot shower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Haven't been able to get the neighbor over here since he is so busy with work. But I took a pic of the top of the water heater and Im thinking there isn't a heat trap as it looks like standard pipe coming out the top... though the right side (assuming its the hot) looks rather messy like its been leaking or something... where as the left side looks crystal clean.

http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/3957/69464798.jpg

Any thoughts? I guess I could try this myself if I had a clue what to do if someone would be willing to give me a step by step.
 

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Those steel nipples may still contain flaps or marbles. The energy-saving ones sometimes look just like normal nipples.

If it were me, I'd go buy a pair of water heater dielectric unions. (Ones without energy saving devices.) Then I'd replace those two steel nipples between the tank and the flex copper, with the new dielectrics.

Usually the right one is cold and the left is hot, though. That right-hand copper flex looks like it has been leaking, so you might pick up one new copper flex also. Measure the old so you get the right length (typically 18 or 24 inches).

You'll need a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench. The crescent to get the nuts from the flex copper off the nipples, and the pipe wrench to get the steel nipples out of the tank.

Once those steel nipples are out, you can look in them to see if there's a restriction. The corrosion you see on the outside may just be the tip if the iceberg, there may be a whole lot more on the inside.

Also look down inside the tank with a flashlight with the nipples off. Sometimes, the anode rod is part of the hot side connection. If so, the rod may have fallen apart and clogged up the works. Hopefully that's not the case, as you may find it difficult to get the old one out in order to install a new one.

When you put everything back together, use 4-5 wraps of teflon tape on each connection and don't crank them down super tight. If it seeps water you can nip it up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Appreciate the quick response... was wondering if I need to turn off the gas or can I keep that on and just kill the cold water coming in since Im not draining?
 

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Appreciate the quick response... was wondering if I need to turn off the gas or can I keep that on and just kill the cold water coming in since Im not draining?
You can keep the gas valve on and kill the cold, but turn the thermostat to "Vacation" (or as low as it goes) so it doesn't fire while you're working.
 
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