Latest Discussions : Plumbing

zettie

10:37AM | 04/30/03
Member Since: 04/29/03
2 lifetime posts
My landlord just put in a brand new hot water heater and I am still getting 10 minute showers. I know the problem is not the hot water heater, because I can run the kitchen faucet for 30 minutes and the water stays scalding hot. It is not the shower head, either, because we've tried just running the tub faucet and it goes ice cold after 10 minutes. What could it be, where should we look?? We're going crazy!

Jim D

12:36AM | 05/01/03
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Zettie - hi, the only suggestion I can offer immediately is to double-check the thermostat settings on the hot water heater. The upper thermostat (if the unit has an upper and lower thermostat) should be set a little higher than the lower one. When the units ship from the factory, many times they're set at the same settings. The upper thermostat keeps the upper 2/3 or so of the hot water tank hot, so if it's not staying on to heat the water, then the lower thermostat is doing all the work and it'd take it much longer to heat the entire tank.

Comparing the kitchen faucet to the shower and tub faucets isn't really an accurate test. Your kitchen faucet doesn't have the same water flow rate as the other two.

One last thought...as someone posted in here recently - when the new heater was installed, do you know if it was totally full of water before it was turned on? If not, it's possible the upper heating element (accessible by the upper thermostat) was damaged. The heating element can be checked by turning off the power to the heater, then using an ohmmeter to check the element. A good element will have a small amount of resistance - a bad one will have a lot (near the high end of the scale).

I hope this is helpful - regards! Jim D/Heathsville, VA

zettie

05:30AM | 05/01/03
Member Since: 04/29/03
2 lifetime posts
Thanks Jim!

I will print this and hand it right to my landlord. Keep your fingers crossed!

Zettie

Lawrence

02:38PM | 05/01/03
Member Since: 11/14/00
333 lifetime posts
quote:
Comparing the kitchen faucet to the shower and tub faucets isn't really an accurate test. Your kitchen faucet doesn't have the same water flow rate as the other two.

That is the answer. You drain the heater much faster in the shower/tub than the kitchen faucet. Indeed, the tub faucet generally has the fastest flow of them all.

You can install a shower valve to turn off/reduce the water flow when you are not using it during your shower, instead of letting the hot water run idly down the drain.

What are you doing in the shower that takes longer than 10 minutes?

rpxlpx

06:22AM | 05/02/03
Member Since: 03/13/00
1674 lifetime posts
If the upper thermostat is set higher than the lower one, then the upper one will do all the heating, and the amount of hot water in the tank at any given time will be much less than the tank's water capacity.
That would make you run out of hot water sooner during a LONG shower. So set the lower thermostat higher, not the upper.
Of course, this is all about electric water heaters. If you have gas, then "never mind".



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