Water Heater getting colder

Old 01-16-04, 05:25 PM
Tiny Elvis
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Water Heater getting colder

My gas hot water heater is sending less hot water to my shower. I used to only turn the valve halfway to get a hot shower, now I have to turn it almost to the max within 3 minutes of starting a shower. I turned the thermostat down slightly a year ago to protect my toddler from getting accidentally burned but I don't think the problem started at that time. In any case, it's getting progressively colder. Is there anything I can do to troubleshoot it myself? Thanks!
Old 01-16-04, 06:05 PM
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Hello Tiny Elvis. Welcome to my Gas Appliances topic.

Check the temperature at a sink faucet. It has to be the single faucet type valve and not a lever type faucet or mix it valve. The temp should be about 120-140 when the tanks dial is set in the energy conservation setting.

The idea is not to automatically assume the water heaters control is defective. Shower faucet single lever mixit valves can cause the problem too. The internal cartridge will leak water internally when it becomes worn out.

At the washing machine is another good place to check hot water temp. Set the dial to hot wash, allow the water to flow for a few minutes and test the temp.

Just might be that shower faucet if it is the only place where the problem appears to be. If the temp is low at all the faucets tested, could be uninsulated pipes exposed to colder outside temps in winter times.

If all else fails, the control can be replaced. Providing the rest of the tank is not too old. After ten years not worth the expense.
Old 01-16-04, 06:17 PM
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If you are ambitious, and before you spring for new controls, check to see that the dip tube is there. (the tube inside the tank that extends near the bottom of the tank on the cold side) If it is missing or fell off the water can cycle from the cold to the hot side at the top of the tank without a chance for it to get warmed up. It happens a lot more than you think....
Old 01-16-04, 07:11 PM
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How many ways can one say dip tube.

Webrebel most likely is right on track...
Old 01-25-04, 06:12 PM
Tiny Elvis
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will go get a thermometer and check the water temp first, followed by the other ideas. It has been cold here, but I'm in Los Angeles so 'cold' is only 45 degrees. I think the heater is about 10 years old so if the simple checks don't fix it I'll just replace it. Thanks again!

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