Lately my hot water cools down before I'm finished showering. It never
used to do this. Wondering if it is a symptom of a fading element. The
heater is a 30gal Ruud Pacemaker Ruudglass but can only estimate age
to be approx. 30yrs.
A tankless heater will be its replacement. Is it time??
If you got 30 years out of an electric water heater, you got your money's
worth. It is time. I don't know about an electric tankless as a replacement
though, I'd probably stick with something similar to what you have
I wanted tankless to replace mine. You need a big power feed to do it. If
you replace with another regular one, get a good one, put a catch pan, an
earthquake strap, use flex hoses with threaded connectors, and put a
blanket. The savings will pile up.
Assuming you have an electric water heater, yes. Failure of the lower element
can lead to limited hot water quantity. Failure of the upper element can lead to
long recovery times. If you aren't up to checking the element continuity
yourself, you can have a plumber stop by.
Not if you are concerned about economics and performance. The most inexpensive
solution will be to replace the heater with a modern unit.
Electric? probably one of 2 bad elements or just a bad thermostat,
there are 2. Can you go gas its usualy 20-50% cheaper to run, an
electric tankless big enough for a house may need its own 100+ amp
circuit and special wiring. Did you try adjustng the upper and lower
thermostat or test it with a meter
Others have commented well on tankless.
If you tinker at all, I'd recomend tinker unless you're extremely
pressed for time.
It has a drain spout? Get a pan, drain some to get a handle on sediment.
If it has an anode rod, I'd carefully finesse it out for inspection.
While it's a good candidate for immediate replacement, you don't really
know what the current problem is. It's possible you could get another
5+ years of use from it. Unless it's extremely inefficient energy-wise,
I'd guess it's worth investigating.
"Law Without Equity Is No Law At All. It Is A Form Of Jungle Rule."
Just make sure you have a "cap" that fits the thread on the valve to
seal it off if it doesn't close properly. And if it doesn't - don't
try to REPLACE the leaking valve - just get fittings to put a second
valve in series with the defective one. Attempting to remove the
original drain valve UWSUALLY proved futile.
When I drain sediment from a water heater I GENERALLY use a garden
hose to direct the sediment/water either to a drain or outside - so a
small leak when shut off can be temorarily dealt with by sticking the
end of the hose down the drain.
On Sat, 26 Dec 2009 22:34:51 -0500, email@example.com wrote:
I have nasty water and scale is a regular thing. I figured out on
about my second water heater that the drain valve they use will screw
up right away and probably won't pass the big chunks anyway. I put in
a short 3/4" pipe nipple and a gate valve before I even installed the
next new one. You screw in a 3/4 to hose adapter on the output side.
A gate valve opens to the full pipe size and you can take it apart
easily if it cruds up, but that hasn't happened.
I've read of recommendations for changing the drain valve to a metal one, but I
have also heard that the valves can be difficult to impossible to remove after
the unit has any age on it. If the valve stem breaks off, can the remaining
fragments be coaxed out, or is the water heater toast?
I managed to get the valve out of my old one but I think I was just
lucky. I put in a nipple and gate valve in a brand new one last time.
If your old valve is leaking you can just get a hose thread cap for
I prefer a ball valve over a gate valve. It seems that every gate valve
I've ever come across will leak. On every hot water circulating system
I've ever repaired or installed, I will use ball valves.
On Sat, 26 Dec 2009 14:26:51 -0600, Puddin' Man wrote:
My situation on a 12yo tank (after consulting here and getting some good
Both heater elements checked good on a meter (about 13ohms across
terminals, nothing between terminals and tank)
Lower element jammed in solid; even with something like 6' of
breaker bar on it, it still wouldn't come out.
Tank very badly silted up; lower element completely buried.
Lower thermostat showing severe signs of overheating (to the point
that contacts were sticking). Presumably due to lower element
running almost constantly and never tripping the thermostat, but
just creating a local hot spot on the tank body.
... the thing was, the drain valve is a completely stupid design that just
can't allow larger bits of sediment out - so with it fully open clear
water would come out even if there was a whole pile of sediment in there.
Looking at new designs, they seem to be no different, so are prone to
gradual build-up in the same way.
Anyway, I pulled the upper element (that one would come out) and could
then get a bent bit of bar inside to dislodge sediment from above. I took
the drain valve (just the handle and valve stem, not the body) off and
could then get a bit of bar inside that way and drag sediment out. With
some poking around (and a lot of patience) I got a few buckets worth of
sediment out of the thing.
It's been working fine ever since (after replacing the lower thermostat) -
but one day that lower element will die and then it'll be new tank time
because there's no way I can replace it.
If the OP has a couple of hours to kill then they might try the same - but
I'd question how close a 30yo tank is to just rusting out anyway...
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