Why is my bathtub water running feebly/slowly?


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Old 10-17-21, 03:54 PM
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Why is my bathtub water running feebly/slowly?

Hello. Please see this short video. The water from my bathtub faucet is running feebly/slowly. Also, the water doesn't get hot when I take a shower. What is causing this? I can post more videos/pictures if you need them. Thank you!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obtDk2uSvr0
 
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Old 10-17-21, 04:29 PM
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It could be a couple of things,
How old is your hot water tank?
What brand is the faucet?
Are you getting full hot water from other faucets?
If your tank is ok and your getting hot water from other faucets, then I suspect the valve cartridge may be bad and need replacement.
 
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Old 10-17-21, 06:20 PM
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How old is your hot water tank?



The water heater was built in October of 2006.



What brand is the faucet?



American standard



Are you getting full hot water from other faucets?



No. You have to run the water for a while in the kitchen and bathroom sinks before it gets “hot.” I use hot loosely because it’s more like warm water.



If your tank is ok and your getting hot water from other faucets, then I suspect the valve cartridge may be bad and need replacement.
 
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Old 10-17-21, 06:43 PM
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When you say you need to run it awhile to get hot water, just how long do you mean? Remember, you need to flush out the cold water sitting in the pipes. How far away is the nearest faucet from the tank?
Most likely you're due for a new hot water tank. What temp do you have the tank set for?
Have you ever drained a gal of water from the valve at the bottom of the tank? Does it flow freely? if not it's most likely filled with sentiment.
 
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Old 10-17-21, 07:35 PM
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The kitchen faucet is 12 feet away from the heater. It takes the water 15 seconds to get hot.

The bathroom faucet is 18 feet away from the heater. It takes 25 seconds to get hot.

I don't know what the temp is set for. I've never done that. I can ask about that tomorrow.

No, I've never drained anything from this or any other heater.

*** Here's what it looks like:



 

Last edited by TonySexton; 10-17-21 at 07:51 PM. Reason: add pic
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Old 10-18-21, 04:45 AM
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Water coming from the faucet slowly and not hot water are two separate issues. If you have good water flow elsewhere in the house then it's likely a clogged cartridge or aerator screen in the bathroom. A lack of hot water is often a bad thermostat or burned out heating element in the water heater though sometimes it can be a clogged hot water line.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 04:52 AM
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I concur with PD. The time for hot water coming from the other faucets seems reasonable. Assuming the flow from those faucets is full. Start with a new cartridge. I don't believe the tub spout has any kind of strainer to be cleaned.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 06:11 AM
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OK. How do I look at the water heater to see if the water temperature is set high enough? Please see photo above. Also, I went to the circuit panel and turned off the breaker that is labeled water heater. But I still got hot water after I turned it off, and the water heater was still making a "gas" noise. So instructions on how to insure that I am cutting the power to this thing so I won't get electrocuted would be great.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 06:29 AM
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Of course you're still getting hot water. It's full of hot water. And yes it will make noise. Moving water always makes noise.
First off you don't need to turn off the power. Turn it back on. So you have an electric water heater. There should be a dial indicator that you can use to set the temperature, Typically it may be listed as Vac, Lo, Med. Hi. It most likely set to Med. Try raising it to hi.
Take a picture of the control or temperature knob.

Edit...My bad. You should turn off the power before trying to adjust temp. Some newer units have electronic exposed adjustments. Older units do not and you must remove the cover plates on both the top and bottom thermostats.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 10-18-21 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 10-18-21, 07:00 AM
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Do I need to remove those covers? I don't see any temperature knobs. They have screws holding them on.

And, I know you said what you said, but the water heater has an electrical connection coming from the top. Just don't want to get shocked while working on this thing. They way I look at it is better safe than sorry, right?
 
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Old 10-18-21, 07:09 AM
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True. There should be some kind if temperature control on your heater. What is the model number?
I'm not as familiar with electric heaters as I have more experience with gas fired units. Perhaps one of our experts more familiar with electric heater of this particular model might chime in.
However, I don't think your immediate tub problem is with the heater. I think it's a cartridge problem as concerning the flow problem.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 07:20 AM
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Tony. dis-regard my info about turning off the electric for the water heater.
Look at this video"

how to adjust temperature on electric hot water tank - Google Search
 
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Old 10-18-21, 09:03 AM
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AO Smith Model Number: ECLN 40 200. Please see photo for added info.


 
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Old 10-18-21, 10:45 AM
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I think this is your tank operators manual

185762-002 PRESS READY.indd (hotwater.com)
 
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Old 10-18-21, 10:54 AM
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See page 13 of above reference manual. TURN OFF THE POWER!
 
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Old 10-18-21, 11:43 AM
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How can I tell if the water heater's power is truly off though? The guide to the breaker box clearly states that breakers five and seven (double-pole breaker) correspond to the water heater. But, unlike other appliances that you can turn on and off, it's unclear whether the water heater is off or on, even after turning off the breaker.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 11:45 AM
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Turning off the breaker will prevent power going to the water heater. That is the only source of power to the heater.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 12:52 PM
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I never rely on how breakers are labeled. I always check with a meter to insure the power is off before sticking my tongue on bare wires. If you don't have a multi meter it is a VERY helpful tool when dealing with electrical things. Or, you can just turn off all the double pole (240v) circuit breakers as one of them will be for the water heater. This leaves the lighting circuits hot so you can see what you are doing.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 01:32 PM
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I never rely on how breakers are labeled. I always check with a meter to insure the power is off before sticking my tongue on bare wires. If you don't have a multi meter it is a VERY helpful tool when dealing with electrical things. Or, you can just turn off all the double pole (240v) circuit breakers as one of them will be for the water heater. This leaves the lighting circuits hot so you can see what you are doing.

I like this workaround! I turned off all the other double poles and could test whether they cut power to those appliances. So, by process of elimination, we know that the one that the diagram labels as water heater does in fact control the water heater.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 01:34 PM
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Still curious as to how you would the multimeter to verify that the water heater has no power.
 
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Old 10-18-21, 01:47 PM
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Tony, If you're not familiar with using a meter and touching possible live terminals, I would not even try. You have determined the heater is off. Now make your temp adjustments. Watch that the upper thermostat is not higher than the lower one. I think. Check it out on that video.
 
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Old 04-17-22, 07:07 PM
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I know this is kind of late, but thanks guys. The water is noticeably hotter at 125 degrees F. I may take it up a little more, but this is good for now.
 

Last edited by TonySexton; 04-17-22 at 07:08 PM. Reason: add detail
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Old 01-08-23, 10:27 AM
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Okay. You said that it could be a "clogged cartridge or aerator screen." I have to do something; elsewise I'm going to lose all water pressure in the bathtub and shower.

Do I need to call a plumber? Also, maintenance here at my condo building is recommending for me to get a new hot water heater. Would I need a plumber for that too?

Thank you!
 
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Old 01-08-23, 05:05 PM
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Depends on locale codes. More and more communities are not allowing individuals to install their own water heaters.
 
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Old 01-10-23, 06:16 PM
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I won't do it alone. I am willing to hire someone.

I just want to sound reasonably informed when I call.

Also, it would be helpful to know whether I need to call a plumber, a company that specializes in hot water heaters, or both.

I also want to know what I'm looking at price-wise. New hot water heater installed and fixing that slowly running water.

Thank you!!!
 
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Old 01-10-23, 07:41 PM
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A licensed plumber should suffice. Not knowing your local area, I would guesstimate about $1000
 
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Old 01-14-23, 10:35 AM
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Norm, do you have any strategies for getting a good deal on a water heater? Is there something a should tell the plumber to make it more likely that he'll recommend a fairly priced water heater?
 
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Old 01-14-23, 12:38 PM
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Will your plumber let you buy the heater (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) and will he do the install? Or does he insist you buy from him?
I don't care what others think, whatever brand is on "sale" will do the job. Yes, A.O. Smith is a good brand but not the where with all. Understand you get at best 7 to 10 years life. That is considered average. You may very well get more, but don't count on it.
If your plumber won't give you as good a price as the big box stores, then find another plumber.
That's my opinion. I'm sure others will not agree.
 
 

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