06:21PM | 01/31/99
I have a Sears hot water tank (40 gal.), maybe 5-6 years old. I sometimes get all the hot water I need. Other times it starts out hot but then quickly goes luke warm even if we haven't used any hot water all day. The gas burner is working and the temperatur control is set near its highest point ( between A andB. Why isn't there 40 gallons of hot water in the tank when we've been gone all day.


03:25PM | 02/01/99
I'll lead you into two possibilities: thermostat or chemical buildup.
By your explanation, while you are away the water is cooling down in the tank. The thermostat is designed to sense this drop in temperature and fire the burners to bring the water back up to the desired setting. For one of the reasons, the thermostat is not sensing this slight drop in temperature.
As you use the hot water, very cold water is introduced into the tank. The thermostat is able to pick up this drastic drop in temperature and fires the burners.
Which answer? Try draining a gallon of water from the drain on the tank and see if anything shows. Remove the thermostat and examine the sensor end for blockage or buildup. Since the tank has used only 1/2 of its lifespan, I would replace the thermostat if it is bad.
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