hot water heater problems

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  #1  
Old 02-19-00, 12:30 AM
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We built a new house about 5 years ago. We installed two 50 gallon water heaters (natural gas). Each heater has a recirc. pump for instant hot water. Several months ago hot water slowly began to disappear from the faucets. In troubleshooting the system I found:
1. no obstruction in the pipes. I hooked up a cold water line to the hot water plumbing pipes and water flowed freely to all fixtures.
2. thermostat working: there is hot water in the tank. you can get hot water from the drain faucet at the bottom of the tank.
3. no water,hot or otherwise, comes out of the hot water outlet at the top of the tank. I've disconnected the hot water plumbing from the hot water outlet at the top of the tank and turned the cold water inlet valve back on. no water comes out of the hot water outlet at the top of the tank.
4. these water heaters had defective dip tubes. a plumber came out and says he replaced the dip tubes but that the original dip tubes looked ok and were not damaged. the lack of hot water persists.
it would seem from my diagnostics that there is some obstruction to hot water outflow from the water heater tank. What would cause this? Is this a fixable problem or should i just go get two new water heaters? is this a defect in manufacture? in 30 years and several houses(some of them quite old) i've never had a water heater failure. is there something about our use of these heaters that has caused premature failure? what could we do differently?
any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 02-20-00, 08:41 PM
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THIS IS AN ODD PROBLEM YOU HAVE,
ONE THING I CAN THINK OF IS ,YOU COULD HAVE ALOT OF LIME OR SOME OTHER MINERAL IN HIGH
QUANTATY IN THE SYSTEM, (ARE YOU ON A WELL?)
WHEN YOU REMOVE THE HOT WATER OUTLET PIPE
FROM THE TOP OF THE HEATER ARE YOU UNSCREWING THE PIPE OUT OF THE HEATER TO WHERE YOU CAN SEE DOWN INSIDE IT ? THER COULD
BE AN ACCELERATED BUILD UP BLOCKING THE OUTLET,YOUR HOT WATER DOES TRAVEL ATLEAST
5-6 FEET PER SECOND,AS OPPOSED TO NO RE-CIRC
ABOUT 2-3 FEET PER SECOND,YOU HAVE MORE VELOCITY WHICH CAN DISTRIBUTE THESE KIND OF BUILD UP'S MORE QUICKLY.AND MORE WEAR AND TEAR ON THE PLUMBING,WHAT KIND OF WATER PIPING DO YOU HAVE ? ALSO I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THE DIP TUBES ARE HOLDING UP UNDER THE INCREASED VELOCITY.

[This message has been edited by GARPLUMCO (edited February 20, 2000).]
 
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