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  1. #1
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    Default Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Have a curious problem happen in my own personal home and so far have not figured it out. I have been out of town so tomorrow when I return I will attempt to sort this out, but so far I am stumped.

    Here is the situation:

    Plumber comes to my house to do remodel of upstairs bathroom including tub plumbing fixtures. Plumber turns off house water to make new tub spout, shower head and tub handle changes. Plumber finishes work, turns house water back on, and departs. When the plumber leaves, I go to take a shower. Water in my shower never really gets hot, just slightly warm, about 90 degrees I estimate. I did not think anything further about it. Next morning in shower, same problem. I go to kitchen sink and turned on hot water. Water flowed for 8 minutes and only got "warm". (Before the plumber made the tub fixture changes, the water was very hot). I then go and check both water heaters. They had not been touched. They were set to "Warm" and this setting had been producing hot water in excess of 130 degrees previous to the plumbers visit. I then confirmed both water heaters had flame and set the temperature control to "High" and heard the familar "poof" of the flame igniting. Satisfied both water heaters were operating, I then set the control back to "Warm" and left town for the weekend. Today (Sunday) I got a call from my son who said the water was "barely warm" in the house and had been ever since I left. I then told him over the phone to go to the water heaters and turn both controls to about 1/2 past warm and call me in two hours. He just called and said the water is "barely warm". I then got in touch with the plumber (that I have known for years) and he told me all he did was turn off the house water, make the fixture changes and then turn the house water back on. The plumber is right, because I was with him when he did it. So anyway, I am headed home now to try and figure this one out. Any help appreciated. PS, read below on my water heater normal configuration.

    Thanks, Gene

    Background on House and Water heater: Slab home built in 1994 with two side-by-side normally functioning gas water heaters each 2 years old. Both water heaters typically produce 135 degree water at the kitchen sink with the temperature control set to "Warm". (My desired temperature setting) Normally it takes about 20 seconds of running the hot water to get full temperature at the spout. Both water heaters are plumbed in what I would call a "parallel configuration" (to borrow an electrical term), meaning they are not plumbed where one water heater feeds into the other.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Mesa AZ
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Have a curious problem happen in my own personal home and so far have not figured it out. I have been out of town so tomorrow when I return I will attempt to sort this out, but so far I am stumped.

    Here is the situation:

    Plumber comes to my house to do remodel of upstairs bathroom including tub plumbing fixtures. Plumber turns off house water to make new tub spout, shower head and tub handle changes. Plumber finishes work, turns house water back on, and departs. When the plumber leaves, I go to take a shower. Water in my shower never really gets hot, just slightly warm, about 90 degrees I estimate. I did not think anything further about it. Next morning in shower, same problem. I go to kitchen sink and turned on hot water. Water flowed for 8 minutes and only got "warm". (Before the plumber made the tub fixture changes, the water was very hot). I then go and check both water heaters. They had not been touched. They were set to "Warm" and this setting had been producing hot water in excess of 130 degrees previous to the plumbers visit. I then confirmed both water heaters had flame and set the temperature control to "High" and heard the familar "poof" of the flame igniting. Satisfied both water heaters were operating, I then set the control back to "Warm" and left town for the weekend. Today (Sunday) I got a call from my son who said the water was "barely warm" in the house and had been ever since I left. I then told him over the phone to go to the water heaters and turn both controls to about 1/2 past warm and call me in two hours. He just called and said the water is "barely warm". I then got in touch with the plumber (that I have known for years) and he told me all he did was turn off the house water, make the fixture changes and then turn the house water back on. The plumber is right, because I was with him when he did it. So anyway, I am headed home now to try and figure this one out. Any help appreciated. PS, read below on my water heater normal configuration.

    Thanks, Gene

    Background on House and Water heater: Slab home built in 1994 with two side-by-side normally functioning gas water heaters each 2 years old. Both water heaters typically produce 135 degree water at the kitchen sink with the temperature control set to "Warm". (My desired temperature setting) Normally it takes about 20 seconds of running the hot water to get full temperature at the spout. Both water heaters are plumbed in what I would call a "parallel configuration" (to borrow an electrical term), meaning they are not plumbed where one water heater feeds into the other.
    Could it be hi- tech faucets with setting on the faucets to control the amount of hot water, and cold water is mixing with the hot?

    Phoenix AZ Resale Home, Mobile Home, New Home Warranty Inspections. ASHI Certified Inspector #206929 Arizona Certified Inspector # 38440
    www.inspectaz.com

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    McKinney Texas
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Hi Dan. No, just regular every day tub fixtures by Delta. Also, the whole house is affected by lack of hot water, not just the new tub.


  4. #4
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    I just posted a rather long post but lost it out in cyber space.
    Ignore the fact that the plumber was there and start from simple to complex.
    Try tripping the TPR valve levers for a few seconds each and feeling of the discharge lines to rule out a heater malfunction. Of course we know they may not reseat and might continue to drip but you needed to do the annual test anyway, right?
    I suspect you either have a heater off or have isolation valves and a valve was moved when the water was turned off so that you have half hot water and half cold water feeding your hot water supply to the house. So pictures of the valve arrangement and heaters would be nice.
    Any chance you have a tempering valve?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Hi Jim, yes you are right in that I should ignore the plumber being there, it was my first reaction, a "cause and effect" sort of thought. I now think the plumber being there probably had nothing to do with it, and it was just an odd coincidence. Both water heaters are functioning (or at least appear to be) and no tempering valve installed. I am suspecting maybe the thermostat on one of water heaters is getting flaky? Anyway I appreciate your thoughts.


  6. #6
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    Mar 2007
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    Plano, Texas
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    I learned that tip (ignore the client or any other history) back in my younger days when servicing A/C. Form your own opinion of what is wrong by collecting the facts. Chances are that at least one of the things you have been told by the client or the history don't have any relevance to the problem at hand and if they do, you will connect the dots anyway.
    Good luck.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  7. #7
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    Dec 2009
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    Florida
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    552

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Just a thought---did you test the temperature of the water in the tank(s) when you changed the setting back to the "normal setting"? A temperature reading from the drain on the tank is the quick way to determine if its the tank or not.

    Based upon you saying two tanks, I would probably eliminate the tanks as the cause---one tank I would take a hard look. I would look at the valve(s) to the tank(s).

    I disagree with the suggestion to ignore the fact that a plumber was there prior to the problem. From my years of troubleshooting experience, when I go onto a site that has an issue---I always ask "Has anyone been here doing something (anything) or what was changed prior to the problem." You would be surprised at the answers and how much time it saves you reinventing the wheel.

    It also helps if you try to duplicate the steps taken to do the work. What was touched in what area, or what do you think was touched? What do you think wasn't---then check this. You may have an "Ah." moment. Did you do anything while the water was off?

    If the tanks check out---then things point towards the bathroom. As the fixtures are new, and no piping was installed(?) to create a "cross-piping" effect, maybe one of the devices is defective, or installed incorrectly.

    You didn't say anything about the cold water---have you run this for 8 minutes---did it stay cold and you eliminated this as a problem? This would eliminate any "cross-piping" (someone tell me if this is the right name for this).

    Just some thoughts.


  8. #8
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    nj
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene South View Post
    Have a curious problem happen in my own personal home and so far have not figured it out. I have been out of town so tomorrow when I return I will attempt to sort this out, but so far I am stumped.

    Here is the situation:

    Plumber comes to my house to do remodel of upstairs bathroom including tub plumbing fixtures. Plumber turns off house water to make new tub spout, shower head and tub handle changes. Plumber finishes work, turns house water back on, and departs. When the plumber leaves, I go to take a shower. Water in my shower never really gets hot, just slightly warm, about 90 degrees I estimate. I did not think anything further about it. Next morning in shower, same problem. I go to kitchen sink and turned on hot water. Water flowed for 8 minutes and only got "warm". (Before the plumber made the tub fixture changes, the water was very hot). I then go and check both water heaters. They had not been touched. They were set to "Warm" and this setting had been producing hot water in excess of 130 degrees previous to the plumbers visit. I then confirmed both water heaters had flame and set the temperature control to "High" and heard the familar "poof" of the flame igniting. Satisfied both water heaters were operating, I then set the control back to "Warm" and left town for the weekend. Today (Sunday) I got a call from my son who said the water was "barely warm" in the house and had been ever since I left. I then told him over the phone to go to the water heaters and turn both controls to about 1/2 past warm and call me in two hours. He just called and said the water is "barely warm". I then got in touch with the plumber (that I have known for years) and he told me all he did was turn off the house water, make the fixture changes and then turn the house water back on. The plumber is right, because I was with him when he did it. So anyway, I am headed home now to try and figure this one out. Any help appreciated. PS, read below on my water heater normal configuration.

    Thanks, Gene

    Background on House and Water heater: Slab home built in 1994 with two side-by-side normally functioning gas water heaters each 2 years old. Both water heaters typically produce 135 degree water at the kitchen sink with the temperature control set to "Warm". (My desired temperature setting) Normally it takes about 20 seconds of running the hot water to get full temperature at the spout. Both water heaters are plumbed in what I would call a "parallel configuration" (to borrow an electrical term), meaning they are not plumbed where one water heater feeds into the other.

    Is the tub remodel complete? If not and it is still in the rough-in stage, check to see if the plumber installed the cartridge in the valve body. Not all shower\tub diverter valves come with a cartridge. If there is not one there you get a cross connection situation (hot mixing with cold) giving you lukewarm water in other fixtures throughout the house.

    EDIT\
    I just wanted to add if it's a Delta rough-in kit with a separate trim package, your plumber probably did not install the isolator plug that comes with the rough-in kit.

    Or the catridge could be defective or installed incorrectly. To eliminate the valve from the equation, shut off the water to the remodeled tub only. Some new valves have a shutoff built right into the diverter.

    Last edited by Mark Haft; 04-12-2010 at 07:41 AM. Reason: Added more info

  9. #9
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    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    It sounds like one heater is not functioning and you are mixing water from a good tank and a bad tank.

    If you can isolate one tank by turning off the supply to it, you should be able to determine which tank is faulty.


  10. #10
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Since the heaters a plumbed in parallel I would valve off the cold to each heater so you are using only one heater at a time and see if the problem goes away. You could also have dip tube problem that is allowing cold water to enter the top of one of the heaters and is going directly out of the top of the heater.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Omaha
    Posts
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Just feel the output pipe from each heater. They should both be hot. If heater 1 feeds heater 2 and heater 2's output is colder then you know the problem.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    A friend had the same issue...lukewarm water everywhere after the tub/shower faucet was repaired. It was a cross connection due to an improper cartridge being installed.


  13. #13

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    first thing i would check would be the new fixture, like mark Haft said


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    McKinney Texas
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    475

    Default PROBLEM SOLVED.... Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Problem solved !!!!! It was due to the plumber leaving the cartridge out of the new bathtube single handle valve, allowing the hot and cold household water to mix together. As soon as the cartridge was installed,....presto! Hot water at all house fixtures.

    Thanks to all you guys who provided input and suggestions.

    Gene


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
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    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Hi (all) &

    Congrats !

    Had to be something like that...

    Now - cannot wait to hear the Plumber's 'defensive' resonse to what you found !


    CHEERS !

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  16. #16
    Joshua Hardesty's Avatar
    Joshua Hardesty Guest

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn Duxbury View Post
    Hi (all) &

    Congrats !

    Had to be something like that...

    Now - cannot wait to hear the Plumber's 'defensive' resonse to what you found !


    CHEERS !
    Delta's rough-in valves aren't shipped with a cartridge anymore, just a dummy plug, because their valve bodies are universal and the cartridge depends on the trim selected, so, you don't get the cartridge until you get the trim. Which is fine when doing a new house, a tad annoying when changing one valve in an existing home, when the homeowners haven't selected the trim they want yet. It's an easy fix, and an easy oversight.


  17. #17

    Default Re: Curious and odd hot water problem, seeing advice

    If anyone orders a Hansgrohe pressure balance valve you will get a Delta rough in. very disappointed when you spend good money for a great product

    We always install their thermo balance valve and love them, one of my customers ordered the pressure balance valve on line, when i saw that valve i told her to contact the suppler. Hansgrohe and Delta are owned by a parent company and inter change parts for their cheeper line

    beware of companies that do this,

    American Standard =Porcher
    Moen= Show House
    Delta= Hansgrohe

    a pig is a pig no madder how you dress it


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