Water Heater Working Sporadically

Old 01-04-20, 07:14 PM
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Water Heater Working Sporadically

We think we've got a problem with our water heater. It is 12 years old, and it was in our house when we bought it 6 months ago, and this problem has been going on since we bought the house last summer.

The water heater is in the garage (in case it matters).

Some days the whole family can take baths or showers all within the same hour and everyone has nice, hot water.

Other days, like today, I can fill a garden tub when no one else has run hot water and only get tepid water.

At the end of my bath, I ran a little water again, and it was very hot.

This bathroom I speak of is the master bath, and it is at the opposite end of the house from the water heater. (There is a hall bath that backs up to the master bath. It has the same problem.)

At times, I can run water and leave it running (sorry conservationists) while I brush my teeth and wash my face, and the water never gets hot.

The kitchen is the closest water source to the water heater. Sometimes the water is hot quickly, and other times it takes a little bit, but not as long as in the bathrooms.

Thank you for any help and information you can give. It is much appreciated.
Old 01-04-20, 08:47 PM
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#1, Is it gas or electric?
#2, How big's the tank?
When the last time anyone's drained any water out of the bottom of the tank to flush out any sediment out of the bottom of the tank?
At 12 years your on borrowed time for a replacement.
Old 01-04-20, 09:47 PM
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It's a 50 gallon gas water heater, and we don't know when sediment was last cleaned out....if ever.
We can research how to do that. Any tips?

The truth sets us free, but we didn't want to hear that the water heater may be near the end of its life. 😭

Thank you for the reply.
Old 01-05-20, 07:23 AM
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It could be something as simple as the thermostat going bad.

Next time that you have tepid water coming out, run the hot/warm water for a bit and go down and check the tank.
1) Is the pipe heading out of the tank hot? It should be hot to the touch
2) Can you hear the burner running? If you look through the little glass window at the bottom of the tank, you should see a big blue flame reheating the water.

But I agree, 12 years is a pretty good run for a water heater.

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