Gas Water Heater – poor output

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    • #274710
      Alan Michael Kauffman

      I have a Reliance 850NKRT 50gal natural gas water heater. It can go warm to cold after only a few minutes use – but not all the time. Seems to happen mostly fof the mornings first shower(s. Also, at all times it doesn’t seem to put out the same level of heat for its setting as when it was new. I have turned it up to make it a bit better, but this tends to trigger the pressure/heat release valve even though it’s not turned up as high as it can go. I’ve replaced the release valve but it still leaks frequently. The tank was purchased about 2yrs ago (1999) so I don’t think the plastic drip-tube issue is the likely problem. However, the symptoms sure sound like it could be a drip-tube type of problem. We don’t have particularly hard water here so I don’t think it’s a sediment accumulation. I figure its got to be either the drip-tube or the gas control valve. I’m very handy mechanically, know how to work safely with gas, and have all the tools, so I could probably fix it if I had the parts (assuming the drip-tube is replaceable – it that’s it). Any advice on how to accurately diagnose the problem and then deal with Reliance? It’s still under its 8yr parts warranty.
      Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it.

    • #290260

      When was the last time this tank was flushed out to prevent sediment build up on the inside bottom and thus robbing you of BTU input?

    • #290261
      Bob Lake

      Hope this isn’t a re-post but I don’t see my earlier response on the board yet. Anyway..
      Thanks for the advice. I’ll give it a try since the heater hasn’t been flushed in the two years it’s been in service. I didn’t know that was recommended but I see it is now after exploring this and other sites. However, I am wondering whether sediment could explain all the symptoms I note. Also It did drain well when I changed the relief valve. I didn’t notice any sediment then.
      Any other thoughts on how to proceede if there is no evidence of sediment?
      Thanks again

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