Just bought house and water heater problems


Problem with 2003 Rheem Natural Gas Water Heater 40-gallon
Symptoms: 1. Dripping water from t&p valve 2. Hear air hissing from t&p valve, 3. Low water pressure from hot water heater (cold water pressure is fine into the water heater - has been checked) 4. Tonight air was causing the hot water to sputter through the pipes/faucet 5. Hear gurgling and popping noises from water heater when it is heating water
I am going to flush the water heater later today, but I don't know if that is going to increase the hot water pressure. I finally got the t&p valve to quit leaking and I don't hear air hissing from it anymore. I also turned the water heater temperature down to 120 - it was set at 140.
What else should I do or look for? With the move, I don't really want to have to call a plumber if it is possible for me to do the work myself.
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i usually turn the hot watr faucets on til the air is all out
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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sometimes with water heaters it just easier faster and better to replace. did you get a home warranty?
if a tank flood can do damage i would opt for replacement
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

First thing I'd check is if it's installed correctly. The only way I can think of for air to remain trapped for long in a water heater would be if the cold and hot lines going into it were reversed. Otherwise, air goes to the top and should exit the system quickly when you draw water.
And even if he didn't get a warranty on the home, there surely still a warranty on a 2003 WH.
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CJ wrote:

All those things taken into consideration together would lead me to believe the heater is close to the end if its life. It may be set too hot the water pressure may be too high (well or city water?) it likely has a lot of scale inside the TP valve may be weak (if it stays good, that is not likely). Flushing may help, but somehow I have my doubts. It is likely a little late for that.
It sounds like you live in an area where the water is hard on heaters. Check with neighbors and see what kind of life they are getting on their water heaters.
The low pressure on hot water is likely due to the scale. Washers and some other appliances often have their own filter or screen that may be cleaned to restore flow. It is also possible the there is a serious build up in the pipes. If that happened since 2003 you are in serious need of water conditioning equipment. A local plumber should be able to make some suggestions. He may even be able to clean out the pipes.
BTW again check with your neighbors as they are likely to have many of the same problems if it is water related. It is especially useful if you are in a recent development as everyone will be having the same problems at the same time so checking with them can be very useful and can help you find a good honest inexpensive plumber.
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Joseph Meehan

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5. Hear gurgling and popping noises from water heater when it is heating water
Ths scale build up on the bottom of the tank, call the tank manufacturer with the model and serial number, they can probablt give you a idea of the tanks age.
But at this point your better off replacing it.
Owning a home means stuff breaks constantly:(
Did you have a home inspection before purchase?
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

OP: Problem with 2003 Rheem Natural Gas Water Heater 40-gallon
Likely it is about 3 - 4 years old. :-)

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Joseph Meehan

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5. Hear gurgling and popping noises from water heater when it is heating water
Ths scale build up on the bottom of the tank, call the tank manufacturer with the model and serial number, they can probablt give you a idea of the tanks age.
But at this point your better off replacing it.
Owning a home means stuff breaks constantly:(
Did you have a home inspection before purchase?
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Any chance the supply lines are reversed? The fittings are marked H and C. Sometimes the markings aren't all that visible.
Is the hot water line 3/4" (measures about 7/8" diameter)?
There is probably a valve on the cold water supply, near the WH. Do you know that it is opening properly and has full flow.? One way to test is put a garden hose on the drain fitting. Flow in the garden hose should be about the same as if it was connected elsewhere. Good flow would eliminate supply issues. You don't need the garden hose if the heater is somewhere that doesn't mind getting wet.
With the water supply turned off, and the emergency valve open, see if there is decent gravity flow out of the drain valve. If not, there is likely a lot of sediment in the bottom, which would account for the hissing noises.
The WH is not old enough to have normal sediment issues, but large amounts of sediment could have occurred with unusual rust problems in the water system or even within the property.
Bill

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yeah what kind of water lines? galvanized would explain this pretty simply. the tank sediment and the lines clogged.
if you have galvanized its past time to replace it.
also check faucet aerators, they can and do clog.
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Just discovered that I have that "wonderful" grey pipe everyone is talking about. The problem is thermal expansion. I talked to a neighbor this morning and she said that the average life of a water heater in the mountains is 6 years due to the hard water and how cold the water gets in the winter.
I turned the temperature down and the sputtering has stopped, the t&p valve is not leaking or hissing anymore.
There is a lot of sediment built up in this water heater. There is no water softener.
So if I can limp along until January when I get my income tax refund, I will be getting a new water heater, thermal expansion tank, and water softening system.
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CJ wrote:

you WILL be needing to replace the galvanined pipe, all of it eventually.
the steel pipe rusts INSIDE and eventually clogs, it happens a little faster in hot water lines but eventually cold will clog too. trouble is it will also LEAK, here a leak there a leak pretty soon you will tire of this and ruined stuff from leaks and break down and get it all replaced.
no doubt the former owner knew about this was it disclosed at the time of purchase?
I would get some estimates NOW for replumbing probably with PEX its cheap and effective, can be DIY if you have a knowledgable friend.
I assume you didnt have a home inspector?
sorry for the bad news:(
how many stories is your home? one story makes water line replacement much easier.
some people replace all the basement lines first then move upstairs as money permits. but PEX is easy tpo run and really cheap.
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I called the inspector this a.m. and he said that there was no way to determine if the water heater had any issues since we bought it in the summer and if it had thermal expansion problems, they wouldn't turn up until it gets cold.
I intended to replumb the whole house next summer, I guess it will be moved up to a spring project.
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CJ wrote:

had he informed you of the galvanized pipes?
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CJ wrote:

had he informed you of the galvanized pipes?
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If I were you I wouldnt disturb ANYTHING till the complete replumbing.
Messing with stuff like a softener may cause a cascade failure of leaks.
Think of your water system like a badly cracked dish. even touching it may make it fall apart:(
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I will wait then. I don't want to crack it even further. Thanks for the help.
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CJ wrote:

glad to be of help, if your going to be away awhile like on vacation turn the main valve off so you dont returen home to a flood. although most galavanized leaks are small the rust tends to clog themselves.
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