gas fired hot water heater needs coffee?


Hi all,
i've got an older gas fired water heater in my house - came with the house, I guess it's probably about 20 years old. It works fine, but I do have one issue with it. If I am the *first* person to take a shower in the morning, I leave the valve on full hot, and I have a somewhat acceptably warm shower, but not quite as hot as I'd like. If someone else showers first, they experience this same effect, but by the time they've left the bathroom and I go in to take *my* shower, I am rewarded with steamy hotness. It's like the hot water heater will maintain a certain temperature if it sits overnight, but once someone starts drawing off hot water it heats the water up even hotter.
I tried simply increasing the temperature setting on the HWH, but that caused the pop off valve to activate a couple of times.
Any ideas if there's an easy adjustment I can make, or what the problem might be? I can't really afford to buy a new hot water heater, although I know that it's old enough that I will have to if it ever stops working for any reason.
thanks,
nate
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N8N wrote:

The gas control (thermostat) on water heaters is purposely built with a wide "differential" between on and off points.
Overnight, the tank temp drifts downward very slowly and doesn't quite trip the control on again until water is used.
There is no adjustment for this. A new control *might* cure it, but not worth investing on an old tank.
BTW, when you get a new tank installed, ask about a "thermal expansion tank". It's a small bladder tank added to the piping and will help prevent "pop-off".
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Is this really true? I have a new water heater (< 1 year) and it does the same thing. My old one did it also, but it sedimented up pretty bad. I was disappointed with the new when when there were such wide swings. BTW, the water heater 2 back in time, didn't do this!
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Art Todesco wrote:

It's a crap shoot. The controls are fairly crude mechanical devices and the tolerances quite loose.
Sorry, I don't have any "easy" answer for this. Jim
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My tank water heater did the same thing.
If I came home and saw my wife had done laundry I knew I would get a nice hot shower.
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Would better insulation on the tank help?
--
Mark Lloyd
http://notstupid.laughingsquid.com
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You can wrap the water heater with an insulation blanket...will save money and may help the temp problem. If possible do laundry or run the dishwasher later at night.

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Rotten dip tube?
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