Hot Water Problem


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Old 12-15-07, 08:45 AM
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Hot Water Problem

Lately during the morning shower the water temp has started to get cooler. The second person into the shower has to turn up the water temp even furthur.

I have drained the water heater to remove any sediment build up. Last night the plumber was here and checked the water heater. He said that both elements and thermostats were working properly. He said that the heater ( U.S. Craftmaster electric 50 Gallon 6 years old) appeared to be in good shape and that he doubted the dip tube was the problem. Stated that he had not seen a broken dip tube in this new a heater.

He said that he felt that it was the control in the shower. Claimed that he had run into some of the Moen single handle shower controls that had created this problem.

I would appreciate a second opinion on this. As we are on a fixed income the $ 135 quoted to replace the shower control would put a dent in our money.
 
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Old 12-15-07, 06:28 PM
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Welcome to the forums! With that diagnosis, you can either replace the cartridge, which is considerably less than the $135. You stated it was a single control, is it a pull and turn, or is it a ccw cold to hot unit?
 
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Old 12-16-07, 09:01 AM
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Hot Water Problem

It is a pull and turn type I think, at least when you pull it out to start the shower the temp is preset. Not one of those where you have to go thru cold to hot like most of the Motels have.

I wonder if this is the problem though. This morning after I showered I went to the kitchen sink and ran the hot water on full hot. The water was just warm. Now how can a shower valve affect a 50 gallon water heater to change the temp that much?
 
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Old 12-16-07, 09:06 AM
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Many Moen fixtures have a lifetime warranty.
 
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Old 12-16-07, 09:29 AM
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Hot water

Hi
My first thought would still be one of the elements. How hard is the water in your area? That or the dip tube. The shower faucet won't affect anything except the mix of hot and cold at the showerhead. Unless you are taking 60 minute showers, its either build up in the heater tank, bad thermostats/elements, or the diptube.

I've had gas for so long, its hard to remember, but how about turning one element at a time off and seeing what that does?

If you have a multimeter, you could disconnect the elements and assuming (yes, i know, i know...) they are the same, compare the readings to tell you if one is bad or not.
 
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Old 12-16-07, 03:48 PM
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Hot Water Problem

The water is very hard in our area. Lime builds up so fast in our coffee pot I have to clean it every 30 days or it totally clogs.

As far as checking with multimeters, etc.... You are talking to the biggest klutz in the midwest.. As a young fellow I thought I was pretty handy. When I became a homeowner I quickly found out that there was no minor problem that I could not turn into a total **** up.

I do agree that I cannot see how a shower handle (mixer) replacement could possibly solve this problem.
 
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Old 12-16-07, 10:07 PM
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Did you check your hot water line for a leak? Does your plumbing run under a slab?

How far is the hot water heater from the shower? If it is a long way, and your hot water is instantly hot when you open the valve, then you have a leak in your hot water line.
 
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Old 12-17-07, 06:14 AM
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Hot Water Problem

No, The hot water is not instantly or even quickly on. Takes about a minute or maybe less to get hot water. We have a crawl space and not a slab.

I hade a brain cramp about 3 AM, I woke up wondering... If one of the heating elements were coated with lime thereby reducing its heating ability.... would a multimeter show this? I mean it seems the element would still be working and drawing power but just not really heating the water like it should..

I guess by now I am just grasping at straws. I just don't see how changing the shower handle (valve) relates to having the water temp in the heater dropping so much in a 5 minute shower. And as I said after I have taken the short shower and go to another faucet the hot water temp has dropped to the point where it just seems warm not really hot.

Comments please...
 
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Old 12-17-07, 07:24 AM
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no hot water

Hi Again

The reason i asked about the hard water... it will corrode the elements much quicker. And as i said, I don't remember what a good or bad reading would be. But heres what i would do. Get the info for the elements, go to a home store or hardware store, take readings on the exact same kind, then go read yours. If one is way off, then likely that is the problem. You'd have to disconnect the wires, remember.

Even easier, if your elements are exactly the same, read them both. If they read way different, you know you need one. Normally i believe its the bottom element that goes first.

Do your elements screw in, (large hex shaped base), or bolt
in (square base with screw heads). If they screw in, make sure to buy an element wrench when yer at the store.

I remember my Dad, having to pull the bottom element every season and scrape clumps and lumps of lime and calcium out of the bottom of the heater. We were on well water, and until they got a softener it was an ongoing thing. Prob replaced 2-3 elements too.

Also, hate to say it, but it could be the diptube, sounds exactly like the symptoms for that. The hard water can affect them too.

So, I hope you feel up to checking these things out,
otherwise, yer looking at another plumber call
 
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Old 12-17-07, 07:51 AM
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Hot Water Problem

Yeah, thanks for the information... it really seems to me to be some type of water heater problem so I am going to bite the bullet and drain the tank. The elements are the screw in type so thanks for warning me that I will need a special wrench.

How do I check the dip tube? As long as I am going to court disaster by pulling the lower element I may as well go all the way and check it.
 
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Old 12-17-07, 05:12 PM
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Hot water

AHH the dip tube....ok the dip tube is in the cold water inlet fitting. So if you have to replace it, yes... you have to disconnect the inlet pipe and nipple. If you are lucky, and have a flex line or a union, it's not too bad...otherwise....yech!

you may..just may be able to get a look at the bottom of the dip tube up thru the element opening, but you'll have to be pretty flexible i think.

http://thehomeinspector.com/Clients/DipTube2.html

Thats a link so you can see how the diptube works.

Good luck
 
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Old 12-18-07, 07:06 AM
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Thank's so much for the link. Lots of interesting reading there. Even though my heater is newer than those mentioned (6 years old) the problems mentioned sure sound like mine.

Wow... an avacodo green water heater??? those must be old ones.
 
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Old 01-16-08, 12:29 PM
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Hot Water Problem

Just a follow up on this problem.... Yesterday morning after I had finished my shower we suddenly had no hot water. No, not cold water from the hot water side just NO WATER coming out of the hot water side on any fixture in the house. Something was obviously plugged solid.

I turned off cold water inlet to the water heater and started to drain the unit. Very little water was coming out if the drain valve. Someone suggested that I turn the cold water inlet to perhaps put some pressure on it to start it running faster.

When I turned on the cold supply I realized I could not hear any water coming into the heater. I turned it off, unscrewed the cold water inlet and after several trys I managed to pull the Dip Tube out. It was PLUGGED SOLID for about 10 inches with calcium. What a jam up..

I cleared the dip tube out with a dowel rod and re installed..No more hot water problems. All is working perfectly now.

Thanks Gunguy45 for the link on Water Heater and dip tube maintenance it really helped.
 
 

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