Water heater not heating


  #1  
Old 01-24-09, 07:07 PM
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Water heater not heating

Hello all!

I have a Rheem 41V50 that is 8-10 years old. This evening my wife was drawing a bath for our son and there was no hot water. I checked the water heater and everything seemed normal. Burners lit, no leaks etc., however the hot water pipe was barely warm. The thermostat was set about midway and I turned it up all the way to see if this would change anything. It did. I now have hot water. I turned the thermostat back down to the position it was in originally. Does anyone know what could have caused this problem? I'm thinking that this will happen again and I'd like to take care of it now before it gets worse.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 01-24-09, 08:33 PM
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Several possibilities but at 8-10 years old you are at the end of the average gas water heater's lifespan. That doesn't mean it will fail tomorrow but it does mean you should carefully weigh the cost of fixing the old heater vs. buying a new one.

What is the "quality" of your water and is it city water or from a well? If you have poor quality water (high in mineral content) it may be insulating the temperature probe of the control valve. It could also be that the control has "taken a set" to the temperature you normally have used and requires a greater change of temperature (internally) to operate. Try setting the control knob just slightly higher than you have had it in the past.
 
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Old 01-24-09, 08:44 PM
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Thanks, Furd. Yeah I figure I'll need to replace it soon, just wanted to try to ward off a serious problem before it got that way.

My water supply is lousy. It's well water from a community well. Very hard water. Worst I've ever seen. I suspected that this would be the cause of not only this but other problems as well.

Do you know of any filters I could put on the main line in to clean it up?

Thanks again.
 
  #4  
Old 01-24-09, 09:06 PM
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"Hard" water needs to be softened in an ion exchange water softener, no getting around that. If this water heater has been on hard water all its life and never flushed it is likely it has a huge amount of calcium (what makes the water hard) coating the central flue and the temperature probe. Probably a lot in the bottom also, maybe even so much as to plug the drain valve.

I'm afraid you're going to have to bite the bullet sooner than later, my friend.
 
 

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