Water comes out very hot from cold side of faucet.

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  #1  
Old 01-15-03, 06:23 AM
cardbord
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Water comes out very hot from cold side of faucet.

When I turn on the cold water tap on virtually any faucet/shower in the house I get immediate very hot water. After I let it run for 15 to 30 seconds it cools down as expected. Can this probelm be tracked down and fixed without major renovations? This is a 40 gal. gas water heater about 10 to 20 years old.

Of course, as expected, the outside hydrants are not a problem.
 
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Old 01-15-03, 07:07 AM
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You have any recirc pumps on the hot water line?



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Old 01-15-03, 09:05 AM
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Not that I know of. It appears to be a simple gas water heater hookup.

Is there something that would be obvious if I were looking for a recirculating pump?
 
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Old 01-15-03, 09:29 AM
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I had a similar problem at my house, the cold water supply ran close to the flue for the furnace, so in the winter when the furnace runs more often it would heat the pipe. I did a little re-plumbing to move the pipe away.
 
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Old 01-15-03, 12:00 PM
cardbord
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This happens all year around. The closest a pipe it to the furnace is about one foot away.

This happens on faucets with one on-off valve as well as separate valves. If water is somehow siphoning into the cold water line from the hot water then it must be happening around the water heater. Therefore if there are no other valves or devices that could route the water from the water heater other then pipes, then it must be the way the pipes are plumbed. Does this sound like it could be true?
 
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Old 01-15-03, 07:05 PM
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What type of water connection do you use for your washing machine? And do you have any Moen single handle faucets in the house? I think they can malfunction in a similar way.
 
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Old 01-16-03, 01:09 PM
cardbord
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Thanks, I will check on the moen single handle faucets.

Last night I looked at the plumbing to the water heater. I am attempting to attach a drawing (gif) of my plumbing in regard to the water heater input.

I am wondering if the pipe routing might be the problem.
 
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Old 01-17-03, 07:08 AM
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It looks right to me.

 
  #9  
Old 01-17-03, 11:27 AM
brickeyee
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Is there a check valve in that water softener? The expanding water in the water heater has to go somewhere...
 
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Old 01-17-03, 12:56 PM
edbreyer
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A few thoughts/ideas:

1) As mentioned by a previous poster - worn out single handle faucets are notorious for allowing water to bypass at the valve body and get into the other supply line. Try turning off the valves to all the single handle faucets before going to bed and see if the problem is gone in the morning. If it's gone then you know one of them is to blame and use the process of elimination to find the culprit. Of course, you may not have valves to turn off a single handled shower faucet.

2) Do the same thing described above to your washing machine to see if it's the cause.

3) Do you have a heat trap installed in the cold water inlet of the hot water heater?

4) Check to see if the cold water pipe into the heater is hot all the way back to where the incoming cold pipe branches to feed the heater and the cold water lines. If it is hot, then maybe the heat trap will help or maybe (I'll defer to a pro on this) a check valve on the cold water line just before the heater will help. Or, maybe you can reconfigure the plumbing slightly so there is a longer run of pipe between the heater and the Tee (where the cold water pipe splits to feed the heater and the cold water faucets.

Let us know what you discover!
 
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Old 01-17-03, 01:48 PM
brickeyee
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You cannot put a check valve on the cold inlet of the water heater without providing an expansion tank between the check valve and the water heater. Typically when the water in the heater expands, it pushes back into the cold supply line. If a check valve is present, you will need an expansion tank to relieve the pressure. Does the hot water from the cold faucet come out unusually fast and then the flow decrease? This would occur if the pressure in the system was being driven up by expnading water against a check valve.
 
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Old 01-17-03, 03:02 PM
edbreyer
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Brickeyee...

I know this is a little off this post's topic - but I've always wondered what circumstances necessitate the installation of an expansion tank for a domestic hot water heater. I've never seen one in homes I've owned or that my friends have owned but I know they're out there.

Also, are there any symptoms of excessive pressure that you can describe to me - that would necessitate a pressure reducing valve?

I've noticed a soft rattle near my hot water heater whenever a hot water valve is turned off. It's not loud or violent - almost like a bubbling sound. I thought it might be a pressure issue, but just today I read that sometimes the heat-trap nipples installed in water heaters have a little flow ball that can sometimes rattle. When I read this - it seemed to be a plausible explination for the type of sound I'm hearing. Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 01-17-03, 03:21 PM
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Only time an expansion tank is needed is, is if the water supply system is on a closed system.

I.E. if you have a backflow device and PRV valve installed, this will cause a closed system.

If you take a shower and the water stings then that is an indication of high water pressure.

The rattle noise is that little ball inside the nipples on ther water heater.
 
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Old 01-18-03, 05:32 AM
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I would explore the faucets first. As I suggested previously, Moen single handle faucets have, in my experience, caused this problem many times. If it is hot water gravitating up the cold water supply to the heater, you can make a simple heat trap by repiping the inlet with pipe and elbows to make a 12" trap in the line. Because I am not good with graphics, I'll describe it. It should look like the letter N but the angle isn't necessary. The hot water will not want to go back down the trap leg so convection will stop there. If there is a defective faucet somewhere or a cross-connection, it will still circulate though.
 
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Old 04-11-03, 11:48 AM
cardbord
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Smile Problem Solved

The problem was with the upstairs MOEN single lever faucet cartridge.

It had pitted and was allowing hot water to seep to the cold water side, which affected most of the other faucets in the house.

I thank KFIELD for the suggestions in solvining this issue.
 
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