Delay in getting hot water


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Old 05-08-10, 09:29 AM
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Delay in getting hot water

Hi, I have a gas water heater. I recently drained and refilled the tank as a preventive measure. Ever since then, it takes a very long time to get hot water at the opposite side of the house. I have a recirculating pump which I had not previously used (I only had a small delay in getting hot water before). I plugged in the recirculating pump, but it makes no difference; it still takes a very long time to get hot water at the other side of the house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 05-08-10, 12:54 PM
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Has the flow rate changed? It almost sounds as though you have a restriction in the line.
 
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Old 05-08-10, 01:04 PM
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No, the flow rate seems the same.
 
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Old 05-08-10, 01:53 PM
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You may have cold water getting onto the hot water line through a mixing valve.

Turn the water off at the hot water tank and see if you still get water coming out of the hot water line.
 
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Old 05-08-10, 02:48 PM
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I shut off the cold water in to the water heater and opened a hot water faucet. There was a slow flow of water for about a minute, after which there was no more water coming out. It doesn't look like cold water is getting mixed in.
 
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Old 05-12-10, 08:00 AM
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Actually, you don't want to "drain" a hot water tank in most cases. You want to "flush" the tank to remove accumulated debris at the bottom of the tank.

This involves attaching a hose to the drain valve and opening the drain valve **** to allow water to come out of the tank at maximum velocity, which will hopefully entrain as much debris as possible and carry it out of the tank. I've had tank where the water needed to run twenty minutes or more before it ran clear.

If you drained the tank, it's fairly likely that when you refilled the tank some of that debris became entrained in the water carried to your troublesome faucet, partially plugging it up.

I'd take any aerator on the faucet off to inspect and clean it, and check the water flow from the faucet when it does not have the aerator on it. Allow the water to flow out at maximum velocity for a while to carry off any debris that might be in the pipes.

That this happened right after you drained the tank makes this kind of debris problem a pretty good probability.
 
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Old 05-15-10, 09:08 AM
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Thank you for your reply, SeattlePioneer. I flushed the tank per your instruction, and checked the faucets' screens for debris, but they were clean. The problem still persists! Faucets closer to the water heater have warm water sooner than those on the other side of the house (as suspected), but they all have a much longer delay before hot water flows through them. Interestingly enough, turning the recirculating pump on or off appears to have no difference in the delay (I've checked the two valves on both sides of the circulating pump to be sure they're open). Puzzling!
 
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Old 05-15-10, 07:34 PM
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Well, I'm out of good ideas.

I suppose it's possible that the inlet water pressure is inadequate for some reason. Have you checked to be sure the valves are all open?

I'd be inclined to open the piping at the inlet and outlet side of the water heater to see if the unobstructed water flow and pressure seems good on both sides, and that it doesn't decline on the hot water side.
 
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Old 05-15-10, 08:32 PM
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It would be easy to connect a hose to the drain valve and turn it on to check water flow through the hose, and see if opening the drain valve significantly affect water flow at other parts of the house.

You are looking for something that doesn't make sense.
 
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Old 05-19-10, 04:16 PM
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You have a recirc. system and everything was working fine before you drain the WH. (No delay in getting hot water to the other end of the house.) Since draining the WH you are waiting a long time to get hot water to the other end of the house. That tells me that you probably have debris caught in one of the check valves or in the pump of the recirc. system and it's not working.

How is the pump for the recirc. system controlled? Is it on a timer? Is it on all the time? Or are there timers or switches that you can turn it off and on with?

Do this. Turn the pump off, however you have to do that and leave it off for 10 or 12 hours (as in overnight) so the return line cools. Without using any hot water, turn the pump back on and in about 3 to 5 minutes feel the return line around the WH. It will get very warm if the recirc. pump is working. IF that doesn't happen, start with the pump and figure out what is working or what is clogged. (The only restrictions in the line will be the pump and one or two check valves. Those are the only places where the line might be clogged.)
 
 

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