11:32AM | 09/26/04
Member Since: 09/25/04
6 lifetime posts

I am new here. I did read many old posts but didn't see my exact problem listed. I have an 8 year old electric hot water heater that is giving me trouble. I should say that we have 2 seperate taps in the for hot water and one for cold. When you start a shower the water mix is about 50:50 (hot-cold) and the mixture is hot enough and the pressure is good enough to take a decent shower. But, then after about 30- 45 seconds the water begins to get I have to turn the cold water off a little so the hot to cold ratio is now maybe 60:40. I have to keep turning down the cold water every 30-60 seconds to keep the water temp at an acceptable level. By the end of the shower the water is maybe 95% from the hot tap and only 5% from the cold tap. But by constantly lowering the cold water (out of neccessity) the pressure coming out of the shower is too low. I read other posts about dip tube failure and maybe this is a possibility for me. But, the thing is if the dip tube failed why can I still get hot water near the end of the shower by completely turning off the cold tap. The pressure will be way too low but it will still be hot. What I need is a fix to get a 50-50 mix of hot and cold water for acceptable temp and pressure for the whole shower. Any thoughts are much appreciated.



12:41PM | 09/26/04
Your hot washer is old and swells as it gets hotter. This cuts off the flow of hot water the same as if you were turning the handle off. Replace the washer and you should be good.


04:17PM | 09/26/04
Member Since: 09/25/04
6 lifetime posts
Hi LonnythePlumber,

Thanks for the suggestion, it makes sense. I am not that handy, just so I am clear on what to do:

1. Are you talking about replacing the washer on the hot water side of the heater where the hot water pipe exists the heater? I do not have a hot water shutoff valve near the heater...but there is a hot water shutoff valve maybe 15 feet from the heater. Which one of these do I replace the washer on or do I replace washers on both of them?

2. Can this job be done by an average homeowner or should a plumber be called?

Thanks for bearing with my questions.



06:11PM | 09/26/04
Sorry I meant the washer in your tub/shower faucet. Not at the heater.

The water to the house needs to be shut off, the handle on the faucet removed, the escutcheon removed and then the stem needs to be removed. Sometimes this takes a set of deep set sockets known as tub wrenches. These reach back into the wall to remove the stem body.

You should also check the seat the washer goes against to make sure it is not getting a groove. When you reassemble you have two sets of threads. The stem should remain free moving while you tighten the stem body.

You can review some faucet repair videos however this is not always something a homeowner can do and you can end up not being able to get it back together and not being able to turn your water back on.
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