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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 04-09-2013, 04:13 PM   #46
Stewie Stewie is offline
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If it were me, I'd buy a quality standing water heater. I have a State Industries unit that was installed in 1992. It's still going strong (40 gallon, gas). They aren't one of those companies that use cheap components (like crappy dip tubes).

I'd stay away from tankless for now. Way too inconsistent as far as reliable hot water and require yearly maintenance.

Our engineering group received a white paper from a company that has developed a tankless system that will rock the world. It will be pricey, for sure.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:22 PM   #47
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Originally Posted by Stewie View Post
If it were me, I'd buy a quality standing water heater. I have a State Industries unit that was installed in 1992. It's still going strong (40 gallon, gas). They aren't one of those companies that use cheap components (like crappy dip tubes).

I'd stay away from tankless for now. Way too inconsistent as far as reliable hot water and require yearly maintenance.

Our engineering group received a white paper from a company that has developed a tankless system that will rock the world. It will be pricey, for sure.
This deffinatly applies to electric models, however Navien makes a high quality gas heater that is 99% efficient & consistantly gives you the endless supply of hot water so, even with the annual maintenance it's worth the investment. Installing a softener or descaler such as the NUVO will help keep the system running smoothly. Of course, as with anything else, as they become more popular, they will get cheaper
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:58 PM   #48
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Had to replace my hot water heater. Scale buildup was awful. Every time i would unclog my lines it would just clog right back up. I had to cut my lines and take an air compressor to them and buy a new hot water heater.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:05 PM   #49
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If you do buy a standing, buy the cheapy version (shortest warranty) and replace the anode. The only difference among same brands is the length of the sacrificial anode determines the warranty period.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:07 PM   #50
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Go Tankless.. You will not regret it..
This x 1 billion
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:08 PM   #51
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If I remember my chemistry and physics, low pressure means that either temperature is low or volume is low since Pv/T is a constant. I think this means that you either need a new hot water heater, or your hot water heater is developing an endothermic reaction that will eventually result in the development of a black hole.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #52
Dave Lane Dave Lane is offline
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Also pay a bit more to purchase from an authorized retailer, the extra hundred is worth it to make sure you're not getting a refurb or one that was reported "destroyed".
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Got another question. If you shut off water when you are gone for a few days or a week or so is the unit safe with this scenario?
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:21 PM   #53
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If I remember my chemistry and physics, low pressure means that either temperature is low or volume is low since Pv/T is a constant. I think this means that you either need a new hot water heater, or your hot water heater is developing an endothermic reaction that will eventually result in the development of a black hole.
That second possibility doesn't seem right, but I don't remember enough from my physics classes to dispute it.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #54
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Got another question. If you shut off water when you are gone for a few days or a week or so is the unit safe with this scenario?
Huh? Why would you shut off water anyways? All replacing the anode does is make it take longer for stuff to attack the tank's lining. Similar to the idea of zinc anodes on a boat/motor.
If you close off your hot lines and your heating elements fail and stay on you get a bomb. If you close the cold feed and your tank runs out of water and is still on, that's bad too.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:27 PM   #55
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That second possibility doesn't seem right, but I don't remember enough from my physics classes to dispute it.
I'm hoping it's just the hot water heater.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:32 PM   #56
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Huh? Why would you shut off water anyways?
If you close off your hot lines and your heating elements fail and stay on you get a bomb.
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You want to shut off the water to your house to prevent you coming home to a river flowing from your front door


The T&P valve prevents this from happening in ALL modern water heaters
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #57
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Our Noritz tankless has been great.

Although, if I was to get another tankless heater, it would be a Navien with built in recirc system.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #58
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Our Noritz tankless has been great.

Although, if I was to get another tankless heater, it would be a Navien with built in recirc system.
Just be aware that it requires a recirc line to function properly
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #59
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You want to shut off the water to your house to prevent you coming home to a river flowing from your front door

The T&P valve prevents this from happening in ALL modern water heaters
True, however T&P valves fail more often than elements staying on.

I've never heard of anyone shutting off their water during vacation, but I guess that makes sense. Murphy's law and what not. Good way to have a bunch of busted pipes up here in winter.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:44 PM   #60
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Just be aware that it requires a recirc line to function properly
Yeah, I am well versed in water heating.
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