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Old 02-10-2013, 11:03 PM  
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Low Hot Water Pressure; Cold Water Fine

A few days ago it felt like someone turned our water off mid shower. Now, given that I try to make a habit of paying bills, I knew that it couldn't be due to delinquency. Oddly, the cold water isn't affected at all, but the hot water runs at about half of its old pressure Upon further Googling, it seems that when such issues arise it is often due to a blockage in the hot water heater, often due to sediment.

The question is "What do I do about it?"

My knowledge of plumbing is low, although I can at least fix a running toilet.

I've read that draining the water heater is recommended, but the success rate seems fairly low. One guy recommended putting a dime over the only running spout to create back pressure to blow out the sediment. I'd rather not turn a shower head into a mortar shell, so I'm laying myself prostrate in front of your collective home repair acumen.

Call a plumber is my first thought, but other cheaper and quicker potential fixes that don't damage the integrity of the tank or pipes would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:46 PM   #16
WildTurkey WildTurkey is offline
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Sounds like sediment build up to me. Not much you can do at this point but attempt to flush it out. If that fails you might be looking at having to buy a new one. 8-10 years is usually about the time the anode rods start to fully dissolve which will quickly cause that sediment to build up.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:47 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Pawnmower View Post
you probably did this, but take your shower head off and check the hot pressure without the head on, 1st thing....
yeah, if the pressure returns with the head off and you still have pressure issues elsewhere in the house then you have sediment that has lodged in all of your various outlets. This can be a one time deal or it can be a disintegrating dip tube. You can clean out each outlet (the little screen on faucets and such) and hope the problem is gone but if it's the dip tube it will come back eventually.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:54 PM   #18
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:58 PM   #19
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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I think he's suggesting hooking the the hot water outlet the the cold water lines, then if he has decent pressure, the blockage is in his hot water lines AFTER the water heater. Saves a guy from replacing a perfectly good water heater. I could be wrong though.
Close, bypass the water heater and it will tell you if its the pipes, connect your city pressure cold line to your domestic hot side, run the faucet. It will blast cold water through your hot lines if you have full pressure then the problem lies in you water heater. You can also try to blast the hot outlet of the water heater but that really won't do anything.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:00 AM   #20
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Sadly now a days even top of the line water heaters rarely make it 10 years. If you do end up getting a new one I'd definitely get a plumber out there to give you an estimate on a tankless system.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:03 AM   #21
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If you're only experiencing this at the shower, then it's the probably the shower valve and you'll likely have to replace it. This was a common problem at a property I used to work at.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:09 AM   #22
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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I obviously wasn't clear enough. I noticed it first in the shower, but it is systemic throughout the house. Kitchen faucets, tub spigots, shower heads all blast cold water, but hot water just seeps out, barely enough to initiate the shower head.

The tank was built at the same time as the house. I'm assuming that it's just a builder grade quality. I've never ****ed with this except to light a pilot, so I'm out of my element, but I can try a few of these suggestions on Tuesday.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:22 AM   #23
Chocolate Hog Chocolate Hog is offline
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The hamas I know would have tried fixing it while drunk.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:25 AM   #24
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Originally Posted by Bo's Pelini View Post
The hamas I know would have tried fixing it while drunk.
I did that with a bike once. I just ended up taking it apart piece by piece, spray painting each piece black, and then throwing the pieces into the woods behind my apartment.
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:27 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
I did that with a bike once. I just ended up taking it apart piece by piece, spray painting each piece black, and then throwing the pieces into the woods behind my apartment.
Did that fix the problem?
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #26
AustinChief AustinChief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
I obviously wasn't clear enough. I noticed it first in the shower, but it is systemic throughout the house. Kitchen faucets, tub spigots, shower heads all blast cold water, but hot water just seeps out, barely enough to initiate the shower head.

The tank was built at the same time as the house. I'm assuming that it's just a builder grade quality. I've never ****ed with this except to light a pilot, so I'm out of my element, but I can try a few of these suggestions on Tuesday.

Thanks guys.
ok, it still could be sediment that came from the tank and now is blocking each outlet. Easy check for that is to just remove the shower head (super easy) and see if the pressure returns at that one spot. Assuming it doesn't, my next step would be to shut off the cold water into the tank, disconnect it and put it in a pitcher, turn it back on and see if the cold water coming in to the tank has pressure. If so, you pretty much know the problem is in the tank.

OH, one last thing. When you flush the tank just connect a hose to the tank then run it to a drain/sink but I would recommend putting a fine strainer in the sink so that if there is sediment you can see exactly what it is. Will make the next steps much easier if you know.

And of course you should shut off the gas to the heater to be safe.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:04 AM   #27
Holladay Holladay is offline
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thinking that there is a black spray painted bike in the hot water heater??
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:47 PM   #28
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Any list of trouble shooting (before calling a plumber) on a Water Heater that goes cold quickly?
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Old 04-09-2013, 02:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
I obviously wasn't clear enough. I noticed it first in the shower, but it is systemic throughout the house. Kitchen faucets, tub spigots, shower heads all blast cold water, but hot water just seeps out, barely enough to initiate the shower head.

The tank was built at the same time as the house. I'm assuming that it's just a builder grade quality. I've never ****ed with this except to light a pilot, so I'm out of my element, but I can try a few of these suggestions on Tuesday.

Thanks guys.
It sounds like you need a new hot water heater. The sediment slowly fills up the bottom of the tank. Over time, you'll find less hot water available and the need to turn up the gas in order to properly heat the water.

A soft-water system can reduce the amount of minerals in your water line making the amount of sediment and build up much less over time. I've looked into a system but it's not feasible due to the placement of the hot water heater.

For what it's worth, I've been through two 60 gallon hot water heaters in less than 10 years. The water is that bad out here.

Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:00 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud View Post
It sounds like you need a new hot water heater. The sediment slowly fills up the bottom of the tank. Over time, you'll find less hot water available and the need to turn up the gas in order to properly heat the water.

A soft-water system can reduce the amount of minerals in your water line making the amount of sediment and build up much less over time. I've looked into a system but it's not feasible due to the placement of the hot water heater.

For what it's worth, I've been through two 60 gallon hot water heaters in less than 10 years. The water is that bad out here.

Good luck!
I started draining and flushing mine once a year and it seemed to help a lot. It's going on 10 years on the current tank, despite our really hard water.
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