water heater (ruud) run's out of hot water too quick

Old 12-10-99, 08:27 PM
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this thing is new not more than a year old.
I just got this house it was allready here.
what you think ? model#p40s-3 40 gal.
seem to get hot but you can hardy take a shower it run's out...
Old 12-10-99, 10:49 PM
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Several major factors can cause the water heater to run out of hot water too fast.
Too small a tank.<Undersized for house>
Currently more occupants then prior.
Shower too far from tank.
Slow recovery from prior use.<Spaceout hot water useage 1-2 hours apart to allow for full recovery from cold water to hot water.>
Cold weather means colder water into the tank which equals a longer recovery time.
Too many appliances drawing hot water at the same time.<Washing machines and Dishwashers are both heavy draw appliances.> Therefore, delay dishwashing till later evenings or during times when the least number of occupants are at home. Wash clothes within the same time frame.
Newer tanks are energy efficient. Which means a trade off to gain better efficiency over a faster recovery time.
Hot water pipes not wraped and or exposed to cold attics or within cement floors which draw out the heat from the water much faster in winters then summers.
If the house is large and the shower is located on the opposite end, the distance maybe too far.
Another possible cause is the shower water valve itself. If it's a single handle type mixit valve, it may be defective. Easy to detect that problem if no other part of the house or another shower has your discribed problem. There you may need to change out or repair the water valve.
Based on the information you offered, these are the most likely causes for your discribed problem.
The best and least expensive solutions are:
Sing shorter songs showering.
Space out the showers between other family members. Alternate showers between some members showering in the AM and others in the PM.
All else fails or your unable to live with the conditions, you have several choices. Change out the tank to a larger one, add a circulation pump to the current tank <a rather costly option> add a second tank on the other side of the house or grin and bare it until warmer weather arrives.
Good Luck

Old 12-10-99, 11:51 PM
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well thank you for the repley. but the hot water tank is in the heated basement 10 foot from the shower and it does this first thing in the morning. after seting all night too.
there is something wrong with it and seem to be geting worst. ???
Old 12-10-99, 11:54 PM
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ps forgot we have a dual valve outlet on the shower....anymore idea ? thanks
Old 12-20-99, 01:43 AM
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Hello James:

The answer is Yes, to do I have any more ideas.

Another possiblity , however not likely, is a broken or missing dip tube.

What's that Tom? haha...I know what your now thinking...what in the @&*@ is a dip tube?

The dip tube is a piece of plastic pipe that is inserted into the water heater tank in the cold water entry side. <The cold water entry side is always on the right side.>

If that tube was not pre installed at the factory <most are> or inserted by the installer <they sometimes forget to insert it> prior to connecting the tank, this could most likely be the problem.

The dip tube lets the incoming cold water enter near the very bottom of the tank. Cold water entering closest to the bottom of the tank then serves several important purposes.

It's closest to the termostat to activate it quickly

Cold water is heavier the hot water so the entering cold water actually pushes up the hot water in to the exit side along with the water pressure.

It helps to flush sendiment from the bottom of the tank during the manual flushing cycle.

Problem is causes if it's missing. It allows the incoming cold water to go directly over to the left side where the hot water exists and dilutes the hot water very quickly.

Thus you get only a shortened period of hot water followed by only warm water soon after wards. Not too enjoyable but it sure does get one to take a quick shower and save water and money...hahaha

Anyway, best possible solution is to have your local plummer check this possible cause out for you. WHY? Because the whole tank will need to be drained and possibly removed to pull out the dip tube. If there is one there. <If not, it must be replaced.>

If there is one installed, at this point it's also a good idea to physically check it's lenght. It may be there but it's also possible it's damaged, too short.

The last remote possibilities may also need to be verified by a plummer.

Are the incoming lines attached to the water heater crossed? Are the two pipes coming out of the wall behind the water tank crossed?

Are they crossed at the shower faucet inside the walls?

Is the thermostat set correctly and working properly?

At this point, have a licsened plummer check out all these possiblities.

Good Luck again

Old 12-23-99, 08:45 PM
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tombartco hit one of the primary sources
for lack of hot water on the head,more
than likley its the dip tube.try this test.
take a 5gallon bucket and see if you can
fill it at least 5 times,turning the water
off before emptying the bucket and refilling.
a 40 gallon heater only produces 27 gallons
of hot water.so if you can fill the
bucket 5 times before the water gets cold
the heater is working properly and the
dip tube is fine.
Old 12-23-99, 10:33 PM
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meant to tell ya.
let the water start to get warm before
collecting for the test.

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