A water heater question…

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    • #276192
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I have tried everything I can think of to figure out what is wrong with my hot water heater.

      Here is the symptoms:

      The water is definitely plenty hot, but I have to constantly adjust the temperature in the shower, to keep it at at that comfortable temperature, because it keeps getting steadily colder from the very beginning of the shower. Also, it runs out of hot water much quicker than it should. I have to really hurry to get my hair washed and clean up, because the hot water runs out quick and has to be adjusted to keep it hot THROUGHOUT my shower. I live alone and I’m very reasonable about how long I take a shower for, yet I cannot hardly even finish when I am really hurrying.

      My water heater is a 50 gallon Reliance 501 electric unit.

      I have installed two new lifetime warranty elements, and I have checked to see that the thermostats are receiving 240 volts, which they are. I have turned down the bottom thermostat to the minimum temperature to make sure that it is functioning properly, which it is. The upper thermostat is non-adjustable.

      Since the bottom thermostat works, the elements are new, and yet I have the indetical problem I have had since I moved into this house, what could it be?

      I don’t really know how to check the upper thermostat to make sure that it is functioning. Does it sound like it might be out from the symptoms I have described? If so, how do I test it? I did test to make sure that 240 volts is getting to it, but I don’t know how test the thermostat itself.

      If anyone could help me, I thank you.

    • #293601
      Retired plbg1
      Participant

      Sounds like the refill tube is gone are top el. isnt woking right.

    • #293602
      johnws
      Participant

      Firstly a couple of questions:
      Is there a pressure reducing valve installed? If so does it reduce the water pressure to both the water heater and cold supply? Does the problem occur ONLY at the shower? Is there excessive water loss at the T&P drain?
      The symptoms you suggest seems like the water pressure to the shower mixer is unbalanced. If you have an adjustable shower rose/handpiece make sure it is not at its finest setting as it may backpressure the hot supply.
      It would also be worth checking the volume of water you are getting by running the shower into a bucket for 15 seconds then work out the volume of water collected and multiply by 4 which will give you the litres or gallons per minute flow rate.
      Check these and let us know.
      Best of luck.

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