40 Gall Gas Water Heater Problems

Old 02-06-09, 12:13 PM
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40 Gall Gas Water Heater Problems

We have a gas powered, 40 gallon water heater under 5 years old. Our hot water does not last at all. As soon as we hop in the shower, we have to continually crank up the heat, still it is gone in under 10 minutes. I will admit that I am not sure what our current showerhead's flow is, but even when we had a low flow showerhead (I believe 3 gall.) the water didn't last any longer than 10 min. We didn't have this problem with our last ancient heater. A plumber mentioned to us that she wasn't sure whether the pipes were plumbed correctly (cold fitted to hot and vice versa). We have no idea how these are supposed to be plumbed, or what markings we should look for. If anyone has any advice about how to figure this out WITHOUT calling a plumber, I'd appreciate it. And additional information about what we can do to maximze our heater's function is invited. Thanks!
Old 02-06-09, 01:56 PM
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Look at the top of your water heater, where the two water connections are attached. Usually stamped in the top of the steel shell, you will see "hot" and "cold" near where the water lines are attached to the heater. The cold inlet line should be plumbed to the "cold" inlet and the hot water exit line should be plumbed to the "hot" port in the water heater. Turn on the hot water for a minute or so in a sink or bathtub, then while the water is running, put your hands (carefully) on the pipes. You should easily then be able to tell which lines are actually cold and hot water, so make sure they are connected to the proper indicated cold/hot on the heater.

Generally speaking, on MOST gas hot water heaters, the "hot" side is to the left and the "cold" is to the right, when you face the front of the water heater (the side with the brand name label and the gas control).

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