Plumber question re: Hot Water Heater and flow

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by jay42, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    I have a roughly 10 year old GE hot water heater. The hot water flow is noticeably lower than the cold water flow. When we bought the house, I didn't like it, so I had the pressure regulator replaced and had the city test the street pressure. They said it was in spec, but wouldn't give me a number. After the regulator, my water pressure is about 60 PSI, which I think is about right (Y/N ?). Neighbors have no similar issues.

    Can I get a plumber to test and debug my hot water lines? Is it most likely the fill tube on the current heater and I may as well replace the whole thing?

    I like to know why things are wrong and replacing a hot water heater only to find out that I still have low hot pressure would be a painful learning experience. I'm guessing $700 to $1,000 painful.
     
  2. taez555

    taez555 Member

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    I give it 3 posts.

    :munch
     
  3. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

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    I have the same problem, so I'm hoping for some answers from TGP plumbers, too. (I hope they're not all out doing free plumbing work) My hot water pressure is low, and getting lower, too....
     
  4. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    You could shunt the cold water line that feeds into the heater and bypass the tank entirely. This would tell you immediately if the tank is the problem. Most likely it is if all your hot water taps are slow.
     
  5. PBC

    PBC Member

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    yup, I'm fighting the urge as I type this...
     
  6. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    I was sort of thinking that. Is HD going to have a "jumper" like that?

    The trigger this morning was that there wasn't enough pressure for the bathtub shower to stay in the shower mode. (pull up, not a nice switch)
     
  7. saltydogg

    saltydogg Rock & Roll Enthusiast Gold Supporting Member

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    The pressure on the hot-water side is always lower, as the water heater itself is a big flow-restrictor.
     
  8. mango

    mango Member

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    Going by that,I'd guess the problem is not in your taps .
     
  9. TRTrex

    TRTrex Member

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    Has the hot water heater every been drained/flushed?
     
  10. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    Not by me. I've had it since 2009. It was made in 2005. I thought flushing was about clean water, not flow...hmm. I've got good service out of a few over a lifetime, without ever doing that.

    And I do see how everything connects. I can use the existing hoses....duh.
     
  11. saltydogg

    saltydogg Rock & Roll Enthusiast Gold Supporting Member

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    Draining/flushing won't help the pressure issue.

    60psi is standard operating pressure in most areas with City-water. Most faucets are designed around 60psi.
     
  12. TRTrex

    TRTrex Member

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    I read it as the 60 psi was from the main, and not the pressure after the water heater.

    OP -- do you know the pressure of the cold line (( at a faucet )) and then the pressure, from the same faucet, of the hot?

    If the water heater has never been flushed, some of that sediment could be getting into the pipes and reducing the pressure.

    How old is the house? What type of pipes?
     
  13. explorer rob

    explorer rob TGP=Tickoff Great Players

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    What type of piping do you have and how old?
     
  14. mango

    mango Member

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    Good question,old galvanized pipes can close up with rust .
    I replaced some in my first house that were more than 3/4 clogged .
     
  15. explorer rob

    explorer rob TGP=Tickoff Great Players

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    Purchase a test gauge that connects to a hose bib downstream of the pressure reducing valve to measure house pressure. The pressure reducing valve (PRV) is adjustable but you'll need the gauge to measure house pressure. Also, ensure that the relief valve works and is sized properly. This valve is similiar to the one on the heater, but set lower to protect the house piping from bursting.
     
  16. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker WHO DAT!! Gold Supporting Member

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    This. Is it hard piped, or do you have flexes on it?
     
  17. Fishyfishfish

    Fishyfishfish Member

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    Sedimentary dear Watson. Every hot valve in the house? Bypass heater and see what's up.
     
  18. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    I have a gauge and it's reading 50 PSI from a garden bib. I'd used the one near the sprinklers for 60. Need to recheck that.

    To test this safely, I suppose I would want to turn the heater to Vacation and wait a couple hours? I don't know of a way to test pressure from a faucet, outside of disconnecting it and going below into the head bumping zone.

    There are 1" and 3/4" pressure hoses on the Hot and Cold sides respectively. The ins and outs to the wall are copper, 0.62" diameter.

    I have to do something, but I'll be back in a couple hours. Thanks for the help. I think I can handle the testing myself.
     
  19. nailbender

    nailbender Member

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    What kind of lines and how old is the plumbing?I've seen 3/4" lines in old house that were limed and corroded so bad the they had a 1d of 1/8" or so.
    Forget checking the hose bib.Check the pressure coming out of the water heater.That will narrow it down to the HWH,lines or fixture.
     
  20. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker WHO DAT!! Gold Supporting Member

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    Not sure why they would have went up to 1". Both are usually 3/4". [esp with 3/4" copper out of wall]

    Are you sure it's not 3/4" and 1/2"? That would explain it.

    How about a pic?
     

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