Water heater update

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Trent Mason

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Trent Mason
OK folks, I am officially baffled. :confused_ The maintenance guys replaced our old water heater with a brand new one (same size, etc) and the hot water STILL runs out after two showers (10 to 15 minutes each, 20 to 30 minutes total). The tank is located in our laundry room, which is heated, so I don't think it has anything to do with the colder weather. If anyone has any ideas, I am all ears.... :help::help::help::help::help:
 

drw

Donn
Corporate Member
Trent,
I am certainly no expert, but it seems to me that you do no have sufficient capacity...you may want to try increasing the water temperature so you have to dilute it more with cold water to achieve the desired temperature and thus not run out of the hot water so quickly. (This may not be a viable alternative when smaller children are around).

Donn
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Small children & public areas need to limit water to 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding. NC Building Code for public restrooms & businesses (ADA). Commercial kitchens are permitted higher settings.
Be safe, not sorry.
I assume the maintenance crew verified you have 230 volts at the heater.
 

2slow

New User
chris
Get a bucket and time how long it takes to fill it. Do the math and see how much water you are using in 20 – 30 min. If it is a 40 gal water heater you will only get somewhere around 30 gal. If it is an older shower head you could be using all 30 gal in 20 min. I’ve seen it a few times. There just is not much to go wrong with them. I had a customer once that had a shower head that could empty the water heater in less than 10 min.
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
Get a bucket and time how long it takes to fill it. Do the math and see how much water you are using in 20 – 30 min. If it is a 40 gal water heater you will only get somewhere around 30 gal. If it is an older shower head you could be using all 30 gal in 20 min. I’ve seen it a few times. There just is not much to go wrong with them. I had a customer once that had a shower head that could empty the water heater in less than 10 min.
Chris, this is an interesting idea. For the first 8 months or so that we lived here, we never had a problem with this. We could each take a 20 minute shower with the dishwasher and washing machine running, no problem. The shower head does have a lot more pressure than your average shower head, but we have not changed it since we have lived here. It happened two months ago. All of a sudden, one day, we had to turn the temperature knob in the shower about 1/8 further than we used to to achieve the same temperature, and from there the temperature would continue to drop so we would have to keep turning it up until it just got cold. Before that, we never had a problem. Ever since, even with a new water heater, it is the same. I'm starting to think that maybe there is a clog in the pipe outside leading to the water heater or something...
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
I'm starting to think that maybe there is a clog in the pipe outside leading to the water heater or something...
Actually, a clog would probably get you MORE hot water, because that would restrict the time it takes a given amount of water to pass through the heater, allowing more heat transfer.
You may want to look into a water saver restrictor on the shower head, or the fact that the city water pressure has increased and you need a pressure regulator to slow it down.
 

2slow

New User
chris
[FONT=&quot]Trent One other thing I can think to do. Go to the water heater and turn the water off at the inlet valve (hope it has one). Then go to the shower and turn on the hot water only. You should not get anything. If you do, something is leaking through. Maybe the crossover valve in the washing machine. I have only seen this one time. Took a while to track it down. (This does not work if you have an anti scalding valve.) I really don’t think this is your problem. Just one more thing to rule out. This should only be a problem if you just used a lot of COLD water. While your at the water heater make sure they did not install it backwards. Don’t laugh. I’ve seen it more than once.:gar-Bi[/FONT]
 

2slow

New User
chris
Just thought of something. You don’t have load control from the power co do you? That can cause a problem, however it usually is only a problem in the summer in the afternoon.




I'll keep thinking about it


Chris
 

Gotcha6

Dennis
Corporate Member
Time of day usually depends on the customer to manage their energy demand. This means there would be a timer somewhere for the water heater (I had one for ~30 years in CLT). If the timer is not reset from the summer to the winter peak demand hours, you'll pay more for the power you use in both Kwh and demand factor. If there is a timer it could have also lost its correct time setting because of a power failure. These units are usually a simple mechanical time clock with setting pins for on/off.
I doubt that is the issue here, as Trent would know about the timer thingy.:wsmile:
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Two twenty minute showers at two gallons per minute equals 40 gallons. Thirty minutes time two equal equals 60 gallons. If you live in an apartment or townhouse the heater you see may not be supplying your hot water. Turn off supply to heater and see if water comes out of shower. Once in a duplex, one renter moved and had power shut off. Imediately, remaining renter complained of no hot water. Care to guess what was wrong?
 

2slow

New User
chris
Time of day usually depends on the customer to manage their energy demand. This means there would be a timer somewhere for the water heater (I had one for ~30 years in CLT). If the timer is not reset from the summer to the winter peak demand hours, you'll pay more for the power you use in both Kwh and demand factor. If there is a timer it could have also lost its correct time setting because of a power failure. These units are usually a simple mechanical time clock with setting pins for on/off.
I doubt that is the issue here, as Trent would know about the timer thingy.:wsmile:
The one I had was controlled from Duke Power. They were able to turn the water heater off or the [FONT=&quot]Condensing[/FONT] unit off at will. Needless to say I disconnected all that crap, And no I dont think this is Trent's problem. Just grasping at straws. Trying to help.
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
Last night I looked for some type of "load control" thing on the outside of the tank. I ended up finding something that just looked like a meter that measured the amount of gallons used, so I doubt that would have anything to do with it.

I also took the cover plates off and cut the top thermostat up to 150 and the bottom up to 130 (both were around 125 before). This morning, the water started off much hotter, but minute by minute it would get cooler (probably 1 or 2 degrees per minute, just like before). So I had to keep turning the knob up to maintain the same temperature. I'm working a half day today and will try to do some more trouble shooting this afternoon.

One good point that a few of you brought up was to measure the rate that the water is coming out of the shower head. I might grab a five gallon bucket, cut the shower on and see how long it takes to fill up. Then do the math and see if for some reason our water pressure has gone up and we are in fact just emptying the tank. I don't know why that would happen other than the city may have just increased the pressure. :icon_scra

More to come...
 

Glennbear

Moderator
Glenn
I have a theory based upon your description of events and my own personal experience. You mentioned a "temperature control knob", I am presuming that you have a single knob/lever shower control . I have such a control in my fairly new house and a couple months ago I noticed that I had to turn it wayyyyyyyy over to hot to get the right temp. Experimentation with switching from tub spigot to shower head and bringing the valve from stop to stop several times apparently degunked (high iron content here) the mixing valve inside the wall and now things are back to normal. You might want to check the hot water temp on another fixture to see if you are indeed running out of hot or if the problem is with the shower delivery valve. :wsmile:
 

Outa Square

New User
Al
This maybe sound like an odd question but what's the temperature of the non-heated water coming into your house? Ours, which is a municipal source varies from 38 to 60 degrees, which requires us to adjust the cold/hot water mix. The hot water side is a constant 120 degrees for us but the cold fluctuates. I drink water out of the tap and this time of the year I don't need to add any ice; but as the weather warms so does the water coming out of the tap. My parents water which is from a well and they have storage tanks in the basement to regulate pressure stays a constant 70 degrees give or take 2 degrees for seasonally fluctuations. They use less hot water than I do and they have same number of folks living there then living at my house.

Just something to think about.
 

Tiffany

New User
Tiffany
Small children & public areas need to limit water to 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding. NC Building Code for public restrooms & businesses (ADA). Commercial kitchens are permitted higher settings.
Be safe, not sorry.
I assume the maintenance crew verified you have 230 volts at the heater.
+1 on this. I had a friend who lost a child to being scalded in the bathtub. It is more serious that people realize....
 

Glennbear

Moderator
Glenn
+1 on this. I had a friend who lost a child to being scalded in the bathtub. It is more serious that people realize....
To expand upon Tiffany's thoughts, I would recommend ALL households limit temp to 120. A slip in the tub by any one of us whatever our age where the temp valve is hit on the way down could have tragic results. :wconfused: This is especially true in households with elderly residents.
 

bluedawg76

New User
Sam
after looking through this post, I'm voting for either glenbear or sealeveler- That is either a clog in the mixer at that shower or a serious leak in a hot water line that is draining your tank. easy enough to test the first by running hot water from another source like the kitchen/ bathroom sink. does this have the same short lived hot water supply? if it's a leak, that obviously all just depends on your access to the water lines. alternatively, given the amount of discharge necessary to reduce your hot water supply from the tank i.e. constantly, then certainly your water bill/meter would be telling if you had this type of leak. Good luck!

Sam
 

Trent Mason

New User
Trent Mason
OK folks. I think I may have discovered the problem (or part of the problem).

I just took a US 5 Gallon bucket, cut on the shower head at the temperature I normally start out at and after it got up to speed, I held the bucket up so that all of the water went into it. From there I timed it and the bucket was full in 1 minute and 30 seconds. :swoon:

A little bit of math:

1:30 = 90 seconds

5 gallons used in 90 seconds

50 gallon tank/5 gallons = 10 increments of 90 seconds

10 x 90 seconds = 900 seconds

900 / 60 = 15 minutes

So our shower completely empties (cycles through) all of the water heater in 15 minutes. I'm no plumber, but that seems pretty fast to me. :eusa_thin Ideas/comments are more than welcomed...
 
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