Is it time to replace the water heater?

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About 1 out of every 4 or 5 showers is lukewarm at best. When I get hot showers they are fine (temp + time). I have tried to pay attention to weather temperatures to determine if it might be a factor. But, a warmer day does not always mean a hot shower. I also seem to remember the hot water being hotter in the past. Is it possible that my water heater is dying a slow death?
Steve
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On Feb 12, 1:43 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Buildup in the bottom of the tank is keeping the thermostat from accurately reading the temperature of the water and heating it back up when it cools off.
Had the same problem with mine. It was gas so there was no cleaning it out. It was also 30 years old and on borrowed time. I replaced it. Nice hot showers first time every time.
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On Feb 12, 1:50 pm, snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Could be that, could be a heating element is out, could be a thermostat is bad, could be your kids are taking too many showers before you do. With so little info, who knows?
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 10:50:10 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

Is the cold water in pipe warm? If so your dip tube may need replacing.
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Are dip tubes normally replaceable? Mine is shot and a plumber told me I had to replace the whole heater to solve the problem. I sure would like to just replace one part.
EJ in NJ
Jesse wrote:

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Theoretically, yes. In practice... how lucky do you feel?
Personally I wouldn't attempt the job before determining that my checking account and/or credit card could cover the speedy installation of a new water heater if things went bad.
nate
(been lucky on a few jobs like that.)
Ernie Willson wrote:

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They are replaceable, available at a hardware store for about $5.
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 17:59:04 -0500, Ernie Willson

lie. Shame on him. Dip tubes are EASILY replaceable. While doing it, you may wish to replace the anode rod too. And by all means, if you have one of those stupid plastic drain valves in the bottom of the tank, rip it out and put in a new brass drain valve while you are at it. All this can be done without soldering now with the available compression fittings and flexible hoses. Bubba

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Very true, but a threaded connection of 10-15 years might require some large tools and a helper to break loose. I did do all of this stuff, as well as replacing the T/P valve, to an 18 year old water heater but needed a 3/4" drive breaker bar and a helper to get the anode rod out (my 1/2" drive breaker bar was flexing alarmingly, and I didn't feel like testing it to failure.) My basin wrench was showing similar signs of abuse after removing the drain valve. This is why in my previous post I suggested not attempting this unless one could comfortably replace the heater on short notice. I got lucky, but I knew I was taking a risk.
That said, my heater should be good for another 5-6 years now, and when it eventually dies I'll be able to transfer the brass ball-type drain valve over to its replacement, making preventative flushing much easier and less risky.
nate
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wrote:

the bottom - called a "turbulator" and you won't get deposits in the bottom neerly as quickly.
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I am with the plumber on this by the time you replace the dip tube, anode/s and flush the tank likely requiring a new drain valve... If your paying the plumber you will hate him if it leaks or fails to heat well or starts leaking in the next year.
will have paid plumber a lot.
better to replace tank its a guaranteed fix
If your doing all this DIY its still marginal but parts arent that costly. so your only out your time and not X hours of labor at what 80 bucks a hour?
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Really easy task. You need another plumber, if that's the advice he gave you. I got mine for around $12-15 from a plumbing specialty store. I have never seen them at the big box hardware stores.
JK
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Gas or electricity? E.g. gas burner jets may require periodical cleaning, heating electrodes (usually two) of elec. heaters can be replaced when they wear out (are masked by mineral deposits.)
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On Feb 12, 12:43 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Oh gee, a queston, why not turn up the temperature and see what happens. Answer, it will get hotter, you should be happier.
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wrote:

Oh gee, a queston, why not turn up the temperature and see what happens. Answer, it will get hotter, you should be happier.
wow, that's a dumb answer.
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On 2/12/2009 1:19 PM Joe spake thus:

What do you expect from "ransley"? He's an idiot.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Huh? The water's not hot enough. There's a thermostat available.
What's the most sensible first step?
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On 2/12/2009 4:08 PM HeyBub spake thus:

OP says: "I also seem to remember the hot water being hotter in the past." Didja miss that?
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

No, I didn't. But thanks for asking.
Shall I take from your declining to answer the question: "What's the most sensible first step?" that in no case should one check the thermostat?
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On 2/12/2009 8:40 PM HeyBub spake thus:

No, you're right there. Guess it's possible that someone might have turned down the control.
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