Water not hot sometimes but then normal other times

Old 05-11-19, 12:58 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SouthEast Louisiana
Posts: 294
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Water not hot sometimes but then normal other times

We have been having a problem with our hot water heater off and on where the water won't be as hot like it used to or it will be hot until it fills up half the tub and then the rest of the way it will be warm going towards cold.

One day trying to troubleshoot this I actuated a valve for a little bit but I'm not sure what that valve does and it is seen in a photo here I will post. Could I have caused a further Problem by opening the valve? That's what I wanted to know.

Anyways it looks like I can't post photos on here so the valve that I opened simply looks like some sort of small silver burping water valve with a PVC pipe attached to the side of the hot water heater. I opened it for a while and it seem to cycle water through that pipe but I don't know what that did.

Mostly I'm just curious why our young State hot water heater installed in 2016 is now not pumping hot water full time. It is a natural gas powered hot water heater. Wondering about problems with the pilot light. maybe that needs to be cleaned or something. Thanks.
Old 05-11-19, 01:59 PM
Shadeladie's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA - USA
Posts: 4,937
Received 407 Upvotes on 334 Posts
it looks like I can't post photos on here
Yes you can..................................................................

How to insert pictures
Old 05-11-19, 02:14 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,979
Received 4,152 Upvotes on 3,729 Posts
You pulled the T & P (temperature and pressure) valve.
That allowed some hot water to escape but won't help your problem.

Does your water heater have a pilot light ?
Does it have a blower fan on it ?
Is the flue/vent silver metal or white PVC pipe ?
Old 05-12-19, 10:16 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SouthEast Louisiana
Posts: 294
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
It has an auto electric pilot light.

I never thought about it having a fan but I guess it could because at times I hear it blowing a torch sound when it is trying to reheat the water however I just think that's the sound of Burning Flame. I do not believe it has a fan.

The flue vent above the hot water heater is made of metal.
Old 05-15-19, 02:36 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SouthEast Louisiana
Posts: 294
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Yaíll give up on me? Lol

Do you need photos?

what do i need to do?
Old 05-15-19, 03:59 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 15,993
Received 85 Upvotes on 77 Posts
Check the dial on the gas valve.. Whats it set to? Turn it up a bit..

Gas heaters when they first heat the water then cycle off the water will be hottest then, if you catch it on that cycle.. If its satisfied then has time too cool, and you use water then the temp will be lower somewhat.

Or you gas valve can be faulty and the t stat in it not working properly..
There is always a dip tube issue, but you would just get less gallons then what the heater is rated at..

Yes pics help..
Old 05-24-19, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4,624
Upvotes: 0
Received 296 Upvotes on 271 Posts
Make a note of where the temperature dial was set.

Very slowly turn the dial all the way up. Then very slowly turn it all the way down. Up a second time and down a second time very slowly. Then turn it slowly back to where it started.

Over the next 6 days see if this one time treatment improves the performance.

Can you predict when the water runs out, like only early in the morning when no one was using hot water all night long?
Old 07-01-19, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: usa
Posts: 17
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
broken dip tube?

i was going to post a new thread, because i had the same problem. but, i did a bit of research first. and the indications was that a faulty (or completely broken) dip tube was a likely culprit. as a new dip tube for my bradford-white hydrojet water heater was ~$30 delivered, i thought i'd try replacing that. after i got the old assembly out, there was no dip tube at all - just the coupling fitting at the top of the unit. but, in fairness, the struggle to get the thing out may have broken loose the original tube? i have no way of knowing.

to get the fitting out of the heater, i used a liberal application of a rust penetrant and tapped on the fitting w/a small maul. my pipe wrench was still not able to turn the fitting, as the fitting simply started to collapse. to prevent this, i inserted a socket wrench extension into the fitting - it was almost the same size as the i.d. of the dip tube fitting. this allowed me to get a good grip on it w/the pipe wrench w/o destroying it., and it finally broke loose.

it's been about 6 days now, and the heat is much more stable. no more semi-cold showers. so, you might want to try replacing the dip tube. if you can deal w/the hassle of actually getting the original one off! ;~)

doug s.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: