water heater question

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I need to adjust the electric water heater thermostat. I opened the cover and made the adjustments. When I was done I put the cover back and saw the cover says "Must turn power off before adjusting thermostat settings"...oops...I didn't think of it since there seemed no risk of any contact with electrical parts. Is it possible I did any damage by doing so? I hope not.
MC
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I'd suspect a small water leak. The powdery substance may be the minerals in the water after it evaporates. Or high humidity from some place else in the basement?
Thunder
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The hot water in my recently purchased home seems to be slow in comming and does not get very hot. The water heater is gas and is about 15 years old. When I lit the pilot light, I saw a lot of debris on the burner. I brushed this off but it made no difference in the problem.
Should I replace the burner or the entire heater.
I did drain the heater, first with the water main turned off and then flushed it with the water main on. I got a lot of redish water out of the unit.
How does one know when a water heater has reached end of life, other than a complete failure?
B
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Brett Miller wrote:

Red water...not good.
Gas heater *avg* life...10 years (Yes, some last longer).
Water temp is controlled by thermostat (round knob on gas control). Turn it to higher setting.
How *long* it takes for the hot water to reach a fixture is determined by the length of piping from the heater.
If only certain fixtures experience "tepid" water temp, it is possible that there is a "cross-connection" between Hot and Cold lines (could be a single-handle faucet or a washing machine valve, for example). Don't focus on this scenario; it is rare.
Jim
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So Speedy Jim, How does one know when a water heater has reached end of life,

And, other then rust, what does the red water mean? Should I change the burner first? Should I turn the heat selector all the way up and see what the temp at the faucet is?
Thanks BM

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How hot is not very hot? The thermostat can be set very low by your standards so as not to scald. Get a thermometer and tell us just what the temperature is. Look to see what the setting is.
Slow in coming is usually a distance or pressure problem. Once the water that is in the pipe is pushed out by the water in the heater, the how water is there. Does not matter what the temperature is, it is either there or not.

As long as the flame is working properly the debris does not really matter. Chances are it may be corrossion of what is above the burner starting to corrode and flake off. If it blocks the burner, yes a problem, if it does not and the flame is the same, you get the same heat.

If the burner is working properly, that is not the proble and replacing it is a waste of money. There may be other problems though.

If there is sediment on the bottom it will retard heat transfer. Flush once in a while to prevent it.

You don't get hot water any more for one thing. Leaks is another. At 15 years it may or may not be on the way out. Some will go 20 or more. Start with the basics like the thermostat setting.
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There is only one thing to do with a 15yr old gas hot water heater, especially one that is giving any hint of problems. Replace it before it bursts a leak and you have potentially huge damage. Knowing it's 15 years old, I'd replace it even if it was still working fine. 10yrs or so is the typical life of these and they can go without warning.
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That probably depends a lot on the installation, mainaintence, and local water conditions. Replace the anode every several years may make a big difference. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=water+heater+anode
Bob
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wrote:

Your flame is fine. Doesn't have to be perfect.
What is NOT fine, is the thick layer of crud that is built up on the floor and walls inside the tank. It is like a layer of insulation and you are just wasting gas heating the crud when you are trying to heat the water.
Get rid of it now.
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I volunteered to install a water heater. No sweating of pipes needed because it is a mobile home and the plumbing is nothing more than flexible copper tubing and fittings.
I made a drawing with dimensions and headed for Sears. I ran into a problem once I started to look at the water heaters on display. They all had the hot water outlet on the top left and the cold water inlet on the top right. The water heater that I will be replacing has the cold water inlet on the bottom right of the tank. This spot on the tank usually has the drain fitting. Either this is an (1) oddball tank or (2) the cold inlet on the top is capped and someone decided to use the drain instead. I have been unable to eyeball the tank as of yet to determine which.
Is this method of supplying cold water problematic or perfectly acceptable?
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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

I don't think there is any technical reason why this won't work, other than the possibility of the incoming water stirring up more sediment from the bottom of the tank more than the water coming down out of a conventional "dip tube".
But, is there no convenient means of draining on the existing tank?
If there isn't, I suppose it's not hard to remove the fitting you describe and push the flex out of the way whenever someone feels it's time to drain it.
Jeff
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if you can pull the tube out of the cold side inlet and swap position it shoud work fine that way. lucas
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

One of us missed something, ds...
Jeff
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Jeffry Wisnia

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snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

tank
My old tank was like this; the cold inlet was integrated into the outlet. It was electric, an old rental from the local power company; I inherited it when I bought the house. I forget the brand, sorry; but I believe it was made in Canada. There was nothing to indicate that there was ever a top inlet on the unit.
It seems like a reasonable way to do it; one fewer hole in the tank and no dip tube to fall into the tank. But I wouldn't refit such a scheme onto a tank that wasn't made that way.
Chip C Toronto
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The new water heater you are looking is a "Standard" water heater. You need one that is approved for "mobile homes." I wouldn't advise changing the piping on a standard unit.
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Probably capped up top. Sounds like you might have to do some rerouting of tubing.
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Christopher A. Young
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miamicuse wrote:

I can't think of any technical reason why adjusting the thermostat could damage anything in the heater.
I think it's just the company's way of CYAing themselves in case you did touch the several wiring connection screw terminals, which on many if not all common electric water heaters are within an inch or so of the thermostat adjustment location, on both sides of it. They are usually hidden by fiberglass insulation which isn't very hard to push aside and be touched with a finger or a screwdriver. (If you're a clutz that is, which I know your not, since you were still concious and could key in your post after you completed the job. <G>)
BTW, care to share the derivation of your screen name with me? I trust it's not what it brings to my prurient mind, because the only meanings I know for a word pronounced "cooze" aren't very polite.
Happy Holidays,
Jeff
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: miamicuse wrote: : > I need to adjust the electric water heater thermostat. I opened the cover : > and made the adjustments. When I was done I put the cover back and saw the : > cover says "Must turn power off before adjusting thermostat : > settings"...oops...I didn't think of it since there seemed no risk of any : > contact with electrical parts. Is it possible I did any damage by doing so? : > I hope not. : > : > MC : > : > : : I can't think of any technical reason why adjusting the thermostat could : damage anything in the heater. : : I think it's just the company's way of CYAing themselves in case you : did touch the several wiring connection screw terminals, which on many : if not all common electric water heaters are within an inch or so of the : thermostat adjustment location, on both sides of it. They are usually : hidden by fiberglass insulation which isn't very hard to push aside and : be touched with a finger or a screwdriver. (If you're a clutz that is, : which I know your not, since you were still concious and could key in : your post after you completed the job. <G>) : : BTW, care to share the derivation of your screen name with me? I trust : it's not what it brings to my prurient mind, because the only meanings I : know for a word pronounced "cooze" aren't very polite. : : Happy Holidays, : : Jeff : : -- : Jeffry Wisnia : : (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE) : : "Truth exists; only falsehood has to be invented."
Depending, it's also possible that the new settings didn't take effect yet. Sometimes the electronic controls can require sort of a "boot" in order to re-read settings, thus the powerdown requirement to set it. I've only seen that on top of the line stuff though; I'm more inclined to think it was safety as mentioned, but figured it couldn't hurt to mention the re-read issue. If it seems like the change didn't happen though, try a power down/power up first to see if it kicks in the new setting.
Pop
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You mean "cuse"? "Cuse" stands for Syracuse.
MC
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miamicuse wrote:

Well, 'ya forced me into this so:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cooze
Happy Holidays and No Offense Intended,
Jeff
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