Is it time to replace the water heater?

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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Happened to me. Somebody turned down the thermostat ( or it just died of shame).
I blamed the cat.
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Its the smartest or most logical answer there is, if you Think about it, and you didnt. You didnt THINK. Weather temps have nothing to do with it unless his home is unheated. Water temps of inground pipes take months to respond. .
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wrote:

Its the smartest or most logical answer there is, if you Think about it, and you didnt. You didnt THINK. Weather temps have nothing to do with it unless his home is unheated. Water temps of inground pipes take months to respond. .
as david pointed out, the op said, and I quote, "I also seem to remember the hot water being hotter in the past".
don't bother responding.

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Was it tried, I bet not.[ Simple question, Simple conclusion, will be cheapest.] [ a new quote by me]
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Not at all, its old. Try it first and see.
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On Feb 12, 10:43am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

More info would get you a better answer
gas or electric? location? SoCal? Minnesota? age of water heater? hard water? preventative maint or complete neglect?

cheers Bob
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Fair enough. There must always be more to the story. It is a gas water heater (40 gal...I think) of builder grade. The water heater is the original from when the house was built in 2001. Ihave to admit, I have been int the house for 3 years and have not had it serviced. I live alone so there are no multiple shower issues. I don't know exactly how hard the water is here in Georgia. It's not the worst I've seen, but not the best either. After thinking about it some more, the water has been a lot hotter in the past. Enough to scold you. But now, just hot enough for a shower.
Steve
Ransley....please do not reply!

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On Feb 13, 6:03am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: Fair enough. There must always be more to the story. It is a gas water heater (40 gal...I think) of builder grade. The water heater is the original from when the house was built in 2001. Ihave to admit, I have been int the house for 3 years and have not had it serviced. I live alone so there are no multiple shower issues. I don't know exactly how hard the water is here in Georgia. It's not the worst I've seen, but not the best either. After thinking about it some more, the water has been a lot hotter in the past. Enough to scold you. But now, just hot enough for a shower.
Steve
Steve-
My best guess from your expanded description would be
attempt to flush sediment from drain valve, try this first...you might get lucky replace dip tub which I find to be a scary job since I've only done a couple (& anode while you're at it but anode replacement only extend life not improve w/h performance)
I'd bet a little more on the dip tube being the problem since the water heater behavior seems to be random / erratic.
A w/h new in 2001 isn't exactly a "oldster" but it really depends on local water chemistry. If there are older homes using the same water ask around.
The few heaters that I replaced in Orange County, SoCal were pretty old or VERY old 15, 17, 24, all over 10 years excpet ......one bad one at 3 years!
cheers Bob
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 10:43:14 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That's the symptoms mine had before it died. Get ready. You can flush it out and see if it improves.
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On Thu, 12 Feb 2009 10:43:14 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

All the time, or at its hottest.

It's not the weather.
The water sits in the heater until it gets hot, unless the family is using a lot of hot water. You don't mentino how many others use the hot water.

I've had water faucets that turn off by themselves even though they're not designed to. Maybe something has effected your thermostat, or like someone said, maybe there is an open circuit in one element.
YEAH, YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID GAS OR ELECTRIC. SOMETHING MADE ME ASSUME ELECTRIC AND i WASTED TIME WRITING SOME OF WHAT FOLLOWS. bUT i'M POSTING ANYHOE. tO HELP YOU REMEMBER NEXT TIME TO GIVE THE IMPORTANT DETAILS.
It was some trouble, but I cut my 10 year old electric water heater open after I took it out, before I threw it away.
There were almost no deposits in the bottom of the tank. Just 1/2" deep at the center of the bowl-shaped bottom, and maybe 6" in diameter, and of course at the edge the depth was almost zero. It was 6 or 7 inches from the bottom to the heating element, so at the rate I was going, I wouldn't have hit the heating element for over 100 years.
I live in Baltiomre where our water comes from 3 reservoirs that collect from the watershed of the streams they were built on, from the rain. I don't know how much would be found in a water heater in another location.
Whatever you find, you'll know for next time how great a problem sediment is.
I didn't understand the to do over turning up the thermostat. Seems like a good idea to me, although if the thermostat is erratic like you seem to say, can those things stick at the contact points, or stick open. At any rate, maybe just replace the thermostat.
A lot of water heaters have two elements and two thermostats, a cover near the top and anotehr near the bottom of the heater. If you have that, you should do some testing with a multimeter (careful, it's 220Volts) to figure out where the problem is. My previous wh had a red light that went on when the top element was running, but the new one from what seems like the same maker doesn't have this. Instead they filled the area with styrofoam for insulation.

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