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Old 11-10-2013, 08:53 PM   #1
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Water Heater Problems

Went out this past weekend and we had hot water for just a few seconds everytime we tried it then it went cold. The heater is gas only, and it came on just fine and shut off after a while, like normal. The water that came out hot was really hot and then went away.

Last week I blew the lines out for sub freezing weather like I have many times before - the hot water heater worked perfectly the last time out a month or so ago.

Therefore I am thinking I had some debris in a line somewhere but not sure what to do about it. The lack of hot water was the same everywhere - sink, shower, kitchen sink, so I am thinking the problem is in the plumbing near the heater (see photo below of the plumbing. However, the pressure was just fine - the water was just cold. I am not sure how this is plumbed so I am hopeful that when no water is coming out of the heater you get the cold water only somehow?

The plumbing is connected with what appears to be some sort of clamp that is not reusable - I can take all this apart, but not sure about how to re-clamp everthing - where can I get these clamps or can I use something else?

Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:58 PM   #2
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Could the WH bypass be open or partially open?
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Old 11-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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I dont see how - I had actually never taken the panel off before so I had not touched any of the valves. I wouldnt think the air pressuer (25 psi or so) would have been enought to turn one of them, would it? I just drained the water heater at the anode rod, put it back in and then blew the lines out....thanks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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When you say "went away" do you mean it got cold or stopped flowing?
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:54 PM   #5
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Sorry. Meaning it got cold, had good pressure, just cold water only.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:02 PM   #6
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How long was it before the water went from hot to cold? Gradual or pretty quickly?
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archham View Post
I just drained the water heater at the anode rod, put it back in and then blew the lines out....thanks.
Something else you might check:

In your winterization/draining water process, did you happen to open/turn on the hot/cold indoor shower or outdoor shower valves (but leave the shower sprayer head itself turned off)?

This also allows the cold water to mix in with the hot water, as another member had the same problem.

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Old 11-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #8
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It looks to me like you have a 2 valve system. The bottom valve (at the T) should rotate (handle vertical) to bypass the water heater via the vertical pipe and the upper valve at the outlet (HOT) should be closed to winterize.

The upper valve should be open and the lower valve should be rotated so the handle is horizontal to allow cold water to enter the water heater so it can fill and get hot.

IF the water heater was in bypass and you turned on the AC power to the water heater, you could burn out the heating element in seconds and could need replacement. The high limit thermostat could also need to be reset.

Gas operation would also shut down due to the opening of the high limit thermostat. It is reset (after water is actually IN the heater ) by opening the outside metal panel and finding the rubber covered reset buttons and pressing gently. They should move inwards if the bellows is open.

It should also look like the "new" thermostat and not like any of the other photos of bad ones. The left on is the AC electric thermostat and the right one is for the gas system. THEY ARE NOT interchangeable.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:17 AM   #9
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Great info, Lou. It may help others in the future. However, the OP stated his water heater was gas only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archham View Post
The heater is gas only, and it came on just fine and shut off after a while, like normal. The water that came out hot was really hot and then went away.
That's why I was leaning towards what you taught me about the outdoor shower valves being on.... which I thought he may have turned on while draining the water out during the winterization process.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
Great info, Lou. It may help others in the future. However, the OP stated his water heater was gas only.



That's why I was leaning towards what you taught me about the outdoor shower valves being on.... which I thought he may have turned on while draining the water out during the winterization process.
Upon rereading the post I agree it sounds like "crosstalk" between the hot and cold water lines.

The outside or inside shower faucets should be checked for being open and the wand closed.
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