03:02PM | 10/29/06
Member Since: 10/28/06
2 lifetime posts
I have a Bradford White Gas hot water heater that vents directly through a wall-- model TTW1, 50 gallon tank. It's just about 11 years old. It has been working just fine, however, within the last month or two, it seems like the hot water is hotter at the beginning of a shower than at the end. In fact, once the hot water starts running, you can turn the valve to the hottest setting and it is no hotter than the warm setting. It doesn't run out of warm water but it is definitely not as hot as it used to be. I did a thermometer test. The hot water on the first floor coming from a faucet without an aerator is at about 120 degrees and cools within 5 minutes to about 110. On the second floor out of a faucet with an aerator, it will run at 115 degrees then drop off to about 105 after about 5 minutes. The thermostat on the heater has not been adjusted in 10 years. Is the heater starting to go or do I have a part failure that can be repaired? I don't relish the idea of total replacement since these direct vent models are a lot more expensive to replace than a conventional hot water heater. Any help would be appreciatated.


06:26AM | 10/30/06
Member Since: 03/08/06
192 lifetime posts
I have this same problem. The previous owner of my house bought the cheapest Kenmore water heater he could find. I don't think it even has a zinc rod.

I think the problem is the plastic dip tube. It is supposed to put the cold water at the bottom of the tank but if it is broken or leaking, it dump in the fresh cold water closer to the outlet piping, making your water colder.

I am scared to open mine to check it. This is my first home. I better before winter gets here and I have to drive across town with a water heater hanging out of my Beetle's hatchback. freezing me.


11:09AM | 10/30/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1449 lifetime posts
11 years old Replace it as I bet the T&P has not been tested

Considering the heater has a guarantee of 10 years better off replacing it


12:59PM | 11/01/06
Member Since: 10/28/06
2 lifetime posts
Thanks but not what I was hoping to hear. However, I do understand the logic. By the way, what is "T&P"?


02:27PM | 11/01/06
Member Since: 01/24/06
1449 lifetime posts
A T&P is the only protection on a domestic water heater. It stands for Temperature and Pressure relief valve.

If you want a crash course in ASME code keep reading

The domestic water heater has operating controls and no safety controls.

It has a built in aqua stat that opens a valve to allow either gas flow or electric to come on and heat the water once the stat is satisfied it is supposed to shut down

BUT in case of a failure it can create dangerous high pressures and temperatures and the relief valve opens to allow cooler water to enter thus reducing the pressure / temperature.

Normally these devices are set for 150 PSI or 210 degrees as the real danger is steam building up as steam can be compressed and water not as drastically.

Ever pop a balloon makes a heck of a noise now remember water balloons they sort of plop open harmlessly.

This is why this only safety device supposed to be checked and replaced periodically not installed and forgotten Any more questions feel free to ask. Sylvan Tieger


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