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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, 05:49 PM   #61
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewie View Post
I'd stay away from tankless for now. Way too inconsistent as far as reliable hot water and require yearly maintenance.
This is bull crap. Gas tankless are completely reliable, extremely efficient, and DO NOT require annual maintenance.

It is "recommended" to flush the heat exchanger yearly with vinegar to remove scale build up, but absolutely NOT required.
Warranties are still valid without doing this.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:01 PM   #62
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We had our heat exchanger flushed a bit more than 1 year after purchase. There was no scale build up yet. Our water isn't terribly hard though (7 grains / gallon) and it's just the wife and I in the house.

Large families with heavy usage and hard water would be advised to have the heat exchanger flushed annually.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:15 PM   #63
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
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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If you don't follow the maintenance instructions from the manufacurer, then yes, they can fail. In 22 years of plumbing, I can honestly say that I've NEVER seen an exploded water heater. I've have seen the aftermath of burst pipes too many times to count
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #64
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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I don't have anywhere near 22yrs plumbing but I have never seen an exploded w/h either. I have come across a dozen or so failed t&p. Tankless just use a pressure relief w/o temp valve, so I guess in theory a person could accidentally put one in a standing w/h.
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:32 PM   #65
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Hey Hamas did you experience any shrinkage?
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:33 PM   #66
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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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.
Sounds like the hot & cold lines were reversed which is the only way sediment from the bottom of the tank could be pushed into the hot supply. If so, the fix is only temporary. When the sediment starts to build up again, it will start happening again
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #67
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
I don't have anywhere near 22yrs plumbing but I have never seen an exploded w/h either. I have come across a dozen or so failed t&p. Tankless just use a pressure relief w/o temp valve, so I guess in theory a person could accidentally put one in a standing w/h.
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Never seen a pressure only relief valve either. Every tankless heater I've ever installed comes with a T&P valve

When a T&P fails, most times it starts to leak eventhough the WH is working as it should. When elements go bad they tend to super heat the water then blow out causing less or no hot water. 99% of the time the water does'nt get hot enough to set the T&P off

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #68
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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I'll take a closer look tomorrow, but I'm 90% sure they are only pressure, they install directly into the piping (I put isolation valves in and install the PRV into them).
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:09 PM   #69
Flachief58 Flachief58 is offline
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Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
I'll take a closer look tomorrow, but I'm 90% sure they are only pressure, they install directly into the piping (I put isolation valves in and install the PRV into them).
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Did some research and found that there are pressure only relief valves, my bad. It's code to have T&P valves here which is why I have not seen any of them.
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