For questions generally relating to the hot-water supply system of a typical residential or commercial building, primarily regarding the heating mechanism itself (a traditional hot water heater tank, tankless heaters including "point-of-use", boilers and heat exchangers, etc).

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36
votes
7answers
10k views

How can I speed up my slow hot water?

Our water heater (gas) is located in the garage. It is 25 to 30 feet away from the closest faucet, which I'm guessing is the main reason it takes so long -- a minute or longer -- to get hot water ...
17
votes
1answer
10k views

What temperature should I set my hot water heater to?

When adjusting my hot water heater, what temperature should I set it to? Is the answer different if you have: Concerns about diseases A dishwasher Young children or elderly that can be easily burned ...
17
votes
1answer
380 views

Is flushing a waterheater a good idea?

I've been told that water-heaters build up sediment at the bottom over time, and should be flushed out (ie. drained, then allowed to refill). Is there value in this exercise? Does that value exceed ...
12
votes
4answers
801 views

Which water heater types do you recommend?

I would like to upgrade my current water heater with one that Is able to produce/store more heated water so I won't run out Energy efficient Inexpensive What are the advantages/disadvantages to ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates?

I was thinking of switching over to a tankless water heater, but a friend of mine said they are not good in colder climates since the water coming in is colder and takes longer to heat. Is this a ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What caused a burn mark near my hot water pipes?

I was doing some household cleanup in the storage room where my heat tank is located when I noticed a burn mark on the wall frame near the pipe that goes from the heat tank to the shower next room. ...
9
votes
4answers
12k views

Why will my pilot light on the gas water heater not stay lit for more than 15 minutes?

The pilot light went out on my gas water heater. I followed the instructions and had it lit three times now for about 15 minutes each time but it wont stay lit. Not sure what to do at this point?
9
votes
2answers
395 views

What type/thickness of drywall should be used in water heater closet?

I have a rental house built in the 70's that had severe water damage in the small room (4x5 feet) that houses the hot water heater. The room is off of the garage. I've had the water heater replaced ...
8
votes
3answers
766 views

Are water heater blankets a good idea?

Is it a good idea to wrap a water heater in insulation? Does it lower the heating cost? Does it shorten the life of the water heater?
8
votes
1answer
154 views

How to evaluate the suitability of an electric tankless water-heater

I'm trying to evaluate if an electric tankless water-heater would be suitable for my home. There are just too many variables to consider, and I wonder if there is a mathematical approach to it. I'm ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

How does Thermal Release Device (TRD) work

Rheem hot water heaters have a device in the combustion chamber called Thermal Release Device (TRD). It contains a vial filled with liquid that seems to be mounted in a flex metal plate. It is a ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Why does my kitchen faucet have low pressure after the water heater was replaced?

I recently replaced my water heater, and since then, the water pressure for my kitchen faucet is really, really, low. None of my other faucets seem to be affected (bathroom, shower, etc.). I can't ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

What can I do about high water pressure that is causing a leak?

One of our showers has an intermittent leak, and I've figured out that it happens when the hot water heater is on. There's no expansion tank on the cold supply side for our hot water tank, so I'm ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper way to clean a cold water heater?

I have heard many times that it is good to clean your cold water heater about once a year by flushing it. I went to look online to find the proper way to do so and found many people recommending ...
6
votes
3answers
55k views

Why is my hot water running out quickly regardless of other household water usage?

I've noticed that my shower, which used to run hot water for what seemed like forever, now can only produce about 15 minutes of hot water. This doesn't appear to be related to other water usage in the ...
6
votes
3answers
24k views

What causes a water heaters relief valve to discharge water?

I have a Gas Reliance Water Heater 1212. I found recently (in winter) there is a water dip through the relief valve into a 5 gallon bucket. Sometimes, it can fill the whole bucket. Sometimes, it has ...
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Should the water heater be shut down if the water main has to be turned off?

I have a brand new AO Smith 50gal Gas water heater, today there was a pipe burst from the cold spell we're having in the states currently so I had to turn off the water to the house until the plumbers ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I troubleshoot a water-heater?

Lately our hot water has been running out very quickly, a lot quicker than it used to. I have an Whirlpool electric water heater with 2 elements with the top element has a reset switch. I followed ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is the first shower of the day is colder than the second?

Description Since I've moved into this house, I've noticed that the first shower of the day is colder than the any subsequent shower. More specifically, if no hot water has been used for a while, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the symptoms when 1 of the electric water heater elements goes kaput?

I suspect that something has gone awry with the electric water heater. We do get water that is plenty hot, but it doesn't seem to last as long as it used to. My suspicions are further aroused because ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Should I install an inline water heater for my bathroom?

It takes 3-4 minutes of the shower running before the hot water reaches my upstairs bathroom. I'd like to not have to waste all that water and time. My initial though was to install an inline water ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How to install Water Heater drain pan to sump pit?

I want to replace my electric water heater. The current water heater does not have a drain pan. I'd like to add one with my new water heater. This is all in the basement. Our basement does not ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Why won't my water heater blower shut off?

My water heater has a blower attachment that kicks on when the water heater begins to heat water and shuts off when it is done. I'm no water heater expert, but I believe that these actions are ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do I have two parallel gas pipes?

I've got a water heater and a hot water radiator furnace sitting next to each other, both on gas. The strange thing is that there are two parallel gas lines feeding each one of these which come from ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it time to replace my 20 year old water heater?

My water heater (gas) shows a date of 1991 on it, although the house was built in 1993. There is nothing wrong with it. It is a little slow to heat the water up, sometimes taking almost 5 minutes to ...
5
votes
2answers
976 views

Why does pressure relief valve state 'Not for Use with Water Heaters'?

So I replaced my 6.5 year old electric hot water (installed with house built in 06') heater and used an identical plumbing setup as my previous install. My previous (and now current) install has a ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Are hot water returns worth putting in?

Once I saw on an episode of This Old House that they were putting in hot water return lines: pipes that recirculate idle hot water back to the heater so you get hot water right away, instead of ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Why is my hot water heater making my water smell like sulfur?

I have an electric hot water heater that gives the water a sulfur smell. It is only from the hot water. I have heard that changing the anode in the unit can help. If this is the case, what material ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it OK to drill through a jack stud/full stud pair to cut a hole for water heater drain pipe?

I just had a new water heater installed in my garage. My city building / plumbing codes require that the water heater overflow drain be drained to the outside of the house. Situation: The heater ...
5
votes
4answers
512 views

Replacing a hot water heater: tank or tankless?

We've lived in this house for 20 years and the hot water heater (tank style) was 2 years old, as was the rest of the house, when we moved in. In the last year or two we've started to have occasions ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Should water heater thermostats be set to the same temperature?

Should the top and bottom water heater thermostats be set to the same temperature? I did a quick google search and saw all kinds of differing opinions. for instance, this guy seems like he knows ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Flush a gas powered water heater, not sure if it's ever been done in 15 years. Will it survive a flush?

I'm concerned that there might be seals that are bad, or corrosion keeping things waterproof. It looks great on the outside, But I don't know how efficiently it is working - I've never owned a home ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does hot water come from the faucet when only the cold water tap is on?

On occasion, when I open the cold water tap on the kitchen sink, the flow from the faucet briefly becomes warm: it starts cool, becomes warm for about 30 seconds, and then returns to the desired cold ...
5
votes
5answers
221 views

Is it possible to make my own solar water heater?

After blowing (what I consider) a lot of money on 2 residential solar water heaters, over the last 6 years, dealing with 3 set of rather expensive inner-tank replacements, evacuation pipe changes I am ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Rust spots on water heater — time to replace?

So I noticed today there's some rust spots showing up on the outside/bottom on the water heater. No more than a couple specs. Should I be worried?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Is a gas water heater safe in a bedroom?

My existing water heater is electric and is likely to need replacing soon. The heater is in a converted garage that I use as a guest room. As the house is piped for gas, I'm considering the purchase ...
4
votes
3answers
496 views

Calculate savings from/cost-effectiveness of installing a tankless hot water heater?

Following up on "Which water heater types do you recommend?" and "Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates", is there a way to calculate the point at which installing a tankless water ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Do I need to replace my hot water tank's pressure release valve?

Recently we had an extended water outage. When water came back, pressure in the lines was much higher. The hot water heater started leaking from the pressure release valve and after flipping it a ...
4
votes
2answers
883 views

How do I prevent harmonic resonance hum in PVC vent of newly installed hot water heater?

I just had a new power vented water heater installed (HTProducts Phoenix Light Duty) in our crawlspace. The contractor that put it in used part of the existing 3" concentric vent from the furnace we ...
4
votes
2answers
627 views

Should a water heater's anode be replaced?

I hear conflicting information on replacing the anode bar on a water heater or not since the water heater will be replaced anyway. Should the anode bar be periodically replaced? Why? How often?
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I install a hot water recirculation pump if I have a reverse osmosis filter?

I'm considering getting a "comfort pump" which will pump water from the hot line to the cold line under a sink so that there is no waiting for hot water, as well as saving the wasted water. My ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Should we turn our oil hot water heater off every night?

My husband and I are considering shutting off our hot water heater from 8pm to 8am every night to save on energy. Is such a time frame long enough to create a noticeable difference in our oil bill? ...
4
votes
1answer
662 views

What could cause a clicking noise in an electric water heater?

I get clicking sound from our electric water heater as well. it lasts for a while, then stops...then starts again, etc. we recently had technician out who said it needed to be cut back on the setting ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Why won't my water heater stop filling?

I noticed tonight that my water heater appears to be trying to fill with cold water, but it won't stop. I can hear water flowing through the pipe, and the overflow drain pipe (white one just above the ...
4
votes
3answers
952 views

What failure modes are there for electric water heater elements?

What would be the cause of the elements to go out in my electric water heater? My wife is convinced that it's because the water heater hasn't been drained/flushed in the past 3 years. I was also ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

Why is my new hot water heater making a clicking noise?

I have a relatively new water heater (installed by previous owner). I've only been in the house a few months and did not notice this noise until after being there a few weeks. What happens is after ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Is it possible - setting thermostat based on a seperate thermometer

I'm looking into building a solar water heater, but I'm wondering, is it possible (and what products should I be looking for) to turn on a pump when the water in the solar heating device is hotter ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Should my water heater drip constantly?

My wife was home today during a follow-up visit from the sump pump replacement we had as a result of my sump pump issue. After solving the problem, the plumber opened a the release valve from the ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Can a washer and dryer be next to a water heater?

I have a GE gas dryer (DSXH47GGWW) that is currently next to an exterior basement wall. I'd like to move it to the opposite wall (shared with the crawl space) right next to the water heater next to ...
4
votes
2answers
445 views

What's the next step in troubleshooting my electric water heater?

We have a SpaceSaver (Model number: SS012SEB15), single-element 120v/1500w hot water heater which worked great until one day it went completely cold. First thing was I tested the voltage to the ...