Hot Water Plumbing Problems

Hey there. So we have an old home (1902) that is 3 stories. We currently have a tenant in our ground floor apartment. She just informed me that she is unable to get the hot water to come out of the bathroom sink tap. She could let it run and run and it will not get hot at the sink tap. Her kitchen sink tap works fine. Our kitchen sink tap works fine. Our 3rd floor bathroom sink gets hot pretty quickly but our 2nd floor bathroom sink tap has the same problem that out tenant does... Our 2nd floor bathroom sink hot water has NEVER gotten hot (unless I take a shower in there beforehand) and we've just learned to live with it, since our primary bathroom is on the 3rd floor... Anyway, this is a new problem ( we think) for our ground floor bathroom sink as our previous two tenants never mentioned it.
We have a tank (blech) water heater 80 gal on the ground level of the house, so her bathroom is actually the closest to the source of hot water.
We can't figure this out.
Any ideas oh plumbing gifted folks out there? Thanks!
-- daniel hudson
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On Jul 2, 12:24 am, daniel hudson <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot] com> wrote:

Dan-
I you trying to diagnose this from afar? Have you visited the unit to see the problem first hand?
Did she used to get hot water & now it no longer works?
Is she turning on the cold? Is it a single handle faucet & the supply line are reversed?
Seems pretty hard to get flow through the faucet via the "hot" valve & never get hot water.
cheers Bob
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On Jul 2, 2:24 am, daniel hudson <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote:

Is it a 2 pipe HW system with return for a circulator pump. I have one and cold will only come out if pipes are corodded shut and water is comming through the return. If you have 2 pipe HW do you have a pump.
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what are the water lines made of? any chance they are galvanized?
the landlord and tenant live in the same building......
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On Jul 2, 2:24 am, daniel hudson <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote:

Are all valves in basement open, it could be back feeding through the return, I had that happen after doing plumbing on 2 pipe HW we forgot to open all basement supply valves. HW corrodes pipes shut 100x faster than cold water, the hotter the water the faster they corrode shut.
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daniel hudson wrote:

The only way that can happen is water from the cold side is entering the hot water pipe after the tank. Some moron must have screwed up the plumbing under the 1st and 2nd floor bathroom sinks by connecting the hot and cold together. Since cold has a little higher pressure than hot you get cold.
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I think that "an old home (1902)" equals corrosion -- in the pipes and in the valves.
Maybe one of the pipes is so corroded that it is virtually completely clogged. Same for a valve.
Or, maybe there is a valve turned off somewhere that is hard to locate.
Seems like you should be able to turn on the hot water at one or two sources near the problem sinks (such as a nearby tub) and then trace where the pipes are hot by feeling them. My guess is that you'll find a point where a hot water pipe branches off and should be hot but isn't. The corrosion clog or corroded valve is probably somewhere nearby.
"daniel hudson" <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote in message

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On Jul 2, 2:24 am, daniel hudson <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote:

How long have you had the house? Have you had a chance to inspect the little nooks and crannies? I ask because, I liv in an old house, and after being there a while, we realized it had 2 separate hot water heaters. A big gas one for the main part of the house and a small electric one the runs a couple of bathrooms. I might not have noticed so soon, (it was well hidden) but the gas was off one morning, and there was still ample hot water in that part of the house.
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daniel hudson wrote:

Turn OFF the hot water at the water heater.
Turn ON the hot water tap at the problem sink.
What happens?
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If the faucet is a single handle with ball valve, check that the shaft attached to the ball has not become a little loose, such that when the handle is turned left, the ball remains stationary.
On Thu, 02 Jul 2009 02:24:09 -0500, daniel hudson <hudson[dot]daniel4[at]gmail[dot]com> wrote:>Hey there.

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