Low hot water output

Page 1 of 2  
I am trying to figure out why I run out of hot water for my bathtub.
Tub is from the mid 50's using a gas water heater.
I flushed out the hot water tank but it was only slightly rust colored.
Thanks, Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thermostat may be obscured by a layer of crud if the WH is fairly old. May also need a new dip tube to help it deliver just heated water. Considering the current prices on WH's it makes sense to keep it going a few more years. For now, turn up the thermostat a bit to see if that will help.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

@Andy:
Have you lived in this house long ?
Did the hot water heater used to deliver enough hot water to fill the tub in the past ?
Or is this just something you have always dealt with and are just asking now to satisfy your curiosity ?
~~ Evan
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:32:43 -0800 (PST), Andy

Maybe only a little rust came out, but you can still have several inches of sediment in the bottom of the tank reducing the heat transfer.
Not being able to see the situation and the age of the water heater, it is not possible to diagnose, but it may be time for a new one.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:32:43 -0800 (PST), Andy

How old is the hot water tank? If I had to guess, faulty part inside like the thermocouple or thermostat. I'd say if it's like 10 years old or more, probably best to just replace the hot water heater itself unless you are handy.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if the tank is more than 5 years old its probably best to just replace it with a larger tank that will be more efficent.
is it gas or electric??.
things that contribuite to this problem.........
lower incoming water temp. sludged up tank, thermostat too low, a fixture that is using more water than usual. some tanks are low BTU
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

if the tank is more than 5 years old its probably best to just replace it with a larger tank that will be more efficent. go higher BTU and larger capacity
things that contribuite to this problem.........
lower incoming water temp. sludged up tank, thermostat too low, a fixture that is using more water than usual. some tanks are low BTU .......
old tanks arent worth messing with
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks to all for the responses.
The tank was made in 1995 by Richmond.
My research shows that that model is among the ones that had defective dip tubes.
The hot water situation for the present is just an annoyance.
I will decide later if I want to replace the dip tube.
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

replace the tank its 17 years old, far past its normal life expectancy.
trying to remove dip tube will just create a leak either immediately or long term
the good news is your replacement tank will be more energy efficent
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Use to be I heard 13 to 15 years was average tho lately I was told it was like 8 (I still find this hard to believe). Either way, you are at the end of the useful life of the water heater so a replacement is in order. Now you can decide what is the best capacity, recovery time, etc... for you and as others said, you will have better efficiency so you might have a lower cost per month. I just replaced both of mine in the last year so I feel your pain.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 14 Feb 2012 05:59:25 -0800 (PST), Andy

How big is the water heater?
How big is the bathtub?
How big are you? The smaller you are, the more water it takes to fill the bathtub.
When I moved in, baths were fine. They usually take me 30 minutes.
When the first tank leaked, I said, Why do I need a 65 gallon tank when I live alone, so I think I got a 45 or 50 gallon tank. After that, I ran out of hot water frequently. Even though there was only 2 tablespoons of sediment in the bottom of the tank (I cut it open and looked.) and the dip tube looked fine.
So the next WH was 69 gallons and I haven't run out of hot water.
If your tub is from the mid-50's it's probably a lot bigger than mine, which is barely wider than I am when my arms are at my side. And which isn't long enough to suit me either. If I want to keep my legs straight, I have to sit upright.
Sme time between the 2nd WH and the 3rd, they lowered the temp at which they ship the WHs. I like that I can't possibly burn myself with all hot, but even after raising the temp twice, if I don't make the water hot enough in the first place, the hot water is not enough to raise the temperature of an almost full tub. I will probably raise the temp a thrid time. Raising the temp means it takes less hot water to fill the tub, along with more cold water. It's the simplest way to fix this. And there is a wide range between the temp it came with and a temp that is still safe for a child. I forget what the numbers are.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The one time I replaced a dip tube, this worked for me:
1) Shut off the water main, turn gas valve from middle to "warm" 2) Open the tank drain, open the upstairs faucets, and drain a gallon or so of water 3) Using tubing cutter, cut the cold water inlet tubing about 6 inches over the tank 4) Pipe wrench, gently unthread the nipple and tube from inlet side 5) Check for dip tube, didnt find one. Slip the new tube in. 6) Solder half a copper union to the nipple I just threaded out (tubing should be horizontal, balanced on a brick or something while soldering) 7) Rectoreseal the nipple, push the tubing from above out of the way, crank the threaded part back in 8) Put the other half of the union on. Guess where to cut the other piece of copper, size to fit 9) Sweat the other half the union to the copper coming from above 10) Snug down the union, turn water on, check for leaks, reset gas thermostat
Present invoice to customer. Next change out will be a lot easier, since you can just shut off the water, turn down the gas, and take it apart at the union and the threads.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Thanks to all for the responses.
The tank was made in 1995 by Richmond.
My research shows that that model is among the ones that had defective dip tubes.
The hot water situation for the present is just an annoyance.
I will decide later if I want to replace the dip tube.
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 14, 10:29am, "Stormin Mormon"

dont mess with OP tank unless he is prepared for a ;leak and a instant tank replacement.
tank is well past its service life
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 14, 10:29am, "Stormin Mormon"

Most installations don't have enough overhead to replace the dip tube without uninstalling the tank. I'd just replace the whole thing. The others are right, you mess aorund with it and it's going to leak within 2 months.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
That's what I thought. I only had about two feet. But, the dip tube came in at angle, and amazed me. "Coming in for landing....."
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Most installations don't have enough overhead to replace the dip tube without uninstalling the tank. I'd just replace the whole thing. The others are right, you mess aorund with it and it's going to leak within 2 months.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Feb 14, 5:24pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I decided that when the hot water output becomes unacceptable, I will replace it.
It has a 5 year warranty, so at 17 yrs. old, I got my money's worth.
:-)
It will be fun when I take it apart to see how it works. There might something salvageable.
Should be safer than an analog TV where I cut a wire using some work gloves. I thought that it would be O.K. being unplugged for 5 years. :-)
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

.
you will almost certinally find the tank all sluged up, and have serious trouble removing any fittings.
i generally replace my tanks at about 8 years not waiting for them to leak.
this after having a tank failure late christmas eve with family coming........ houseguests
if you take the total cost of a new tank and divide by years of service they are actually pretty cheap
your new tank will have much better insulation and save you money. why wait till the last minute? just replace it and be done with chilly baths
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Let me add OP is currently paying to heat sludge in the bottom of the tank.. thats a waste of gas
I dont like running out of hot water so I went with a 75 gallon 75,000 BTU tank
common tanks are 30 or 40 gallon 30,000 BTU
I have endless hot water. That helps when I hurt my back........
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Gel packs from the freezer are great for back pain. I put a pillow case around it.
Andy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

cold for first 24 hours to reduce swelling then hot/warm after that to promote healing.
one of my few luxuries is standing in a warm shower after a hard days work
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.