+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Ok, I just read all the old questions on this forum about water heaters going back to early 2012, and don't feel any nearer to an answer. Many of them have elements of my problem, but none address all the issues I'm having, and there are parts of my issue that nobody has talked about.

    My problem is that only AFTER flushing the heater, I run out of hot water much too quickly in the shower. I have to keep turning the (Moen, I think) single handle valve more and more towards "hot" until by the 15-minute mark, it's barely lukewarm.

    We have a municipal well in our town and there's some iron in the water, based on the light orange staining I see on stuff. The plumbing in the house is all copper, but I haven't looked at the intake side of the meter to see what kind of pipe that is. Could be cast iron. The house dates to 1956.

    This is how it started: Four days ago I decided it was time to flush the sediment out of my 50-gallon Richmond 12-year-warranty gas water heater. Nothing was wrong, I just hadn't done it for a year, and had a day off, so I went for it.

    1. I shut off the cold water feed to the heater and 2. set the gas valve on it to "PILOT." 3. I put a short hose (clothes washer hot water hose) on the water heater drain and ran it to a cast iron pump. 4. The output side of the pump went up an over the partition to the laundry sink so I could watch what was coming out.

    5. I also stuck a bucket under pressure relief / overflow pipe that's connected to the pressure relief valve on top of the WH. (That pipe goes down the side of the WH and ends maybe 14" above the floor.) 6. I turned the lever on that valve and balanced it carefully so it would stay open. A trickle came out but then stopped. 7. I fired up the pump and water started coming out the end of the long hose into the sink. I could feel air being drawn into the relief pipe.

    I really didn't see to much crud in the discharge in the sink, but I 8. let the tank go empty, shut off the pump, and 9. turned on the cold water feed again. When water started coming out the relief pipe, 10. I let it run into the bucket briefly, then shut that off.

    11. Then I went back to step 6 and repeated the pump and flush. I think I then did steps 6 - 10 a third time too.

    12. I let the tank fill again and when it was full, switched the control to normal again. The burner switched on immediately.

    I am the first one up most mornings, certainly this week, and take the first shower. No one else is up while I'm in the shower. Since that drain and flush, the water gradually gets cooler until after 17-18 minutes, I have it cranked all the way over. I know, I take way long showers. But we've had people take two and even three showers, one after the other, and if they're all short (10-15 minutes), we don't run out of hot water.

    The shower valve is some sort of anti-scald type, but it hasn't been touched or tampered with. After getting out of the shower this morning, I ran hot water in the sink in the same room as the shower. It would normally be too how to hold your hand in, but it isn't now. I ran it for two full minutes and it was warm to hot, but nowhere near as hot as it used to be.

    As suggested here, I will turn off the hot water valve at the WH and see if there's any flow available from the hot water tap at any sink or the shower. But I don't think there's any sort of recycle or mixing valve anywhere, except in the shower. I had that shower wall torn apart 4 years ago and my friend the master plumber (since retired) came and installed the shower valve. I saw the plumbing, and there's nothing tricky in there at all, no cross connection, just straight hot-to-hot, cold-to-cold, and the pipe from the valve to the spout and shower head.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,722

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    I wonder if the dip tube on the cold water inlet broke off. If so the cold water is mixing at the top of the tank not near the bottom and that could be why the water gets cold quickly.
    If so a replacement heater is required. I don't think the dip tube can be repaired.
    I've only flushed my water heater from the hose outlet when the power or gas was turned off. Maybe the pump stressed the innards enough for the dip tube to break. You didn't say how old it was, but maybe you can get a new one under warranty. Pro-rated and labor not included of course.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,762

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Richmond is made by Rheem/Ruud.

    How old is your water heater? What does your plumber friend say?

    Take a look at the pictures in this web site: oconomowocplumbing.com.

    There could be a few things wrong with your water heater. Besides what ed21 mentioned above:

    1. Take a look at your thermostat sensor - it could be corroded, leading to the heater malfunctioning.

    2. Take a look at your hot water outlet at the top of the heater, it could be partially clogged.

    All plumbers will tell you to flush the water heater once a year, but will also tell you not to touch it IF YOU DIDN'T FLUSH IT FOR 2-3-4 OR SO YEARS from the time you installed it.

    Post your findings here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Have you checked the gas flame after you turned the gas back on. Maybe the problem is with the gas and not the plumbing. If something is restricting the gas, you would have very little recovery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by ed21 View Post
    I wonder if the dip tube on the cold water inlet broke off. If so the cold water is mixing at the top of the tank not near the bottom and that could be why the water gets cold quickly.
    If so a replacement heater is required. I don't think the dip tube can be repaired.
    I've only flushed my water heater from the hose outlet when the power or gas was turned off. Maybe the pump stressed the innards enough for the dip tube to break. You didn't say how old it was, but maybe you can get a new one under warranty. Pro-rated and labor not included of course.
    I suppose it's possible the dip tube could break due to turbulence when draining. But I didn't have the intake valve open while pumping the water out the bottom. Still, it's possible, I guess. The dip tube is plastic, usually, right? And attached to the cold water intake right?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by keith3267 View Post
    Have you checked the gas flame after you turned the gas back on. Maybe the problem is with the gas and not the plumbing. If something is restricting the gas, you would have very little recovery.
    As soon as I turned the control from "PILOT" to "NORMAL" I heard it go shhhfoom, followed by the familiar burner sound. After use up most of the hot water and go down there immediately after (in my bathrobe, NOT a pretty sight) the burner is running, and sounding just like I'm used to. Last night when I got home from work, no one had used hot water for hours, and it was silent. I bumped the thermostat up just a tiny bit from the setting it was on. Sure enought, shhhfooom.

    Think I should try to get a look at the flame? I think there's a sight glass I can look through if I take the metal shield off. Not sure what it should look like.

    Think I should turn it off and relight the pilot? It's got a piezo-electric "clicker" igniter to use to light the pilot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    Richmond is made by Rheem/Ruud.

    How old is your water heater? What does your plumber friend say?

    Take a look at the pictures in this web site: oconomowocplumbing.com.

    There could be a few things wrong with your water heater. Besides what ed21 mentioned above:

    1. Take a look at your thermostat sensor - it could be corroded, leading to the heater malfunctioning.

    2. Take a look at your hot water outlet at the top of the heater, it could be partially clogged.

    All plumbers will tell you to flush the water heater once a year, but will also tell you not to touch it IF YOU DIDN'T FLUSH IT FOR 2-3-4 OR SO YEARS from the time you installed it.

    Post your findings here.
    I looked at the website. Are you referring to this article: http://www.oconomowocplumbing.com/de...-water-heater/ ?

    I suspect the thermostat and sensor are ok, because it acts like a stat should. If the water is hot, the burner doesn't run. If I use up the hot water and go downstairs to the heater, the burner is obviously running- I can hear it. IT sounds like it always does.

    How do I look at the hot water outlet? Should I take apart the isolation fitting (the one that keeps heat from the heater from transmitting to the pipe) and look inside, and clean off any crud I might find?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    The flame should be blue, that's about all I can tell you. I was just thinking that for some reason, when you turned off the gas and turned it back on, if the handle slipped out of position, the ball valve may not open completely so you may be getting a flame, just not as much of a flame as you got before. This was just an idea.

    A broken inlet tube is also a possibility and the older the water heater, the more likely it is.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Ok, here's the details about the unit itself:
    It's a Richmond 12GR50-40F gas water heater, manufactured 03/2011, purchased 01/21/2012 and installed a week later.

    It's pretty new to have so much trouble.

    I have another question: Some instructions I've seen on the web say that you have to shut the gas off and wait for the water to cool down.

    I didn't do that; I switched the gas control to PILOT and only gave it about a half-hour to cool, maybe less. The water I pumped out was still plenty hot.

    Does that matter?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,762

    Default Re: Limited hot water AFTER flushing water heater

    Quote Originally Posted by diytom View Post
    Ok, here's the details about the unit itself:
    It's a Richmond 12GR50-40F gas water heater, manufactured 03/2011, purchased 01/21/2012 and installed a week later.

    It's pretty new to have so much trouble.

    I have another question: Some instructions I've seen on the web say that you have to shut the gas off and wait for the water to cool down.

    I didn't do that; I switched the gas control to PILOT and only gave it about a half-hour to cool, maybe less. The water I pumped out was still plenty hot.

    Does that matter?

    Call the toll free number on the unit and complain. It should be covered under the warranty. Remember that their warranty only covers parts, not labor.

    To check the hot water outlet on top of the water heater: remove the flex connector and peek inside. Tell us what you see.

    Another possibility is low gas pressure. Could be a defective gas valve (its part of the thermostat). You may need to hold your ground with Richmond. Water heater companies are not very responsive to customers.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •