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Old 02-10-2013, 11:03 PM  
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Low Hot Water Pressure; Cold Water Fine

A few days ago it felt like someone turned our water off mid shower. Now, given that I try to make a habit of paying bills, I knew that it couldn't be due to delinquency. Oddly, the cold water isn't affected at all, but the hot water runs at about half of its old pressure Upon further Googling, it seems that when such issues arise it is often due to a blockage in the hot water heater, often due to sediment.

The question is "What do I do about it?"

My knowledge of plumbing is low, although I can at least fix a running toilet.

I've read that draining the water heater is recommended, but the success rate seems fairly low. One guy recommended putting a dime over the only running spout to create back pressure to blow out the sediment. I'd rather not turn a shower head into a mortar shell, so I'm laying myself prostrate in front of your collective home repair acumen.

Call a plumber is my first thought, but other cheaper and quicker potential fixes that don't damage the integrity of the tank or pipes would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
PaulAllen PaulAllen is offline
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Does your heater make like a knocking or banging noise when it kicks in?
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
'Hamas' Jenkins 'Hamas' Jenkins is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulAllen View Post
Does your heater make like a knocking or banging noise when it kicks in?
Nope. Sounds perfectly normal.

Heater is a Ruud 67 Gallon capacity. Manufactured in October 2004. The house is seven years old. Copper pipes.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #4
A Salt Weapon A Salt Weapon is offline
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Bypass your water heater and see if the pressure on the hot is fine. Hook the cold inlet flex up to the hot water outlet pipe.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:19 PM   #5
PaulAllen PaulAllen is offline
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I'd try flushing it out first. If that doesn't work it could be the pipes themselves but try trouble shooting the water heater first thing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #6
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I'm assuming you have already googled this topic and searched YouTube on this ? I have saved myself a lot of $$$ doing this. Both have been very good especially YouTube.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #7
AustinChief AustinChief is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
One guy recommended putting a dime over the only running spout to create back pressure to blow out the sediment.
HA! What is this supposed to accomplish??? Blocking a running tap would be exactly the same as just turning it off.

OK .. have you checked to make certain that the hot water pressure is low throughout the entire house?

Have you checked the cold line into the heater to make sure it has adequate pressure?

Those are the two easiest things to check first.. next it gets a bit more complicated. You'll want to flush it and check for sediment or bits of plastic. After that, check the dip tube and make sure it is in good shape. The dip tube is the tube INSIDE the tank that carries the water from the cold inlet to the bottom of the tank.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
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My prediction is that you'll mess around with it for a couple days and end up buying a new hot water heater.

The time for flushing is before it clogs, IMO.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
Bypass your water heater and see if the pressure on the hot is fine. Hook the cold inlet flex up to the hot water outlet pipe.
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are you suggesting he backflush the water heater? interesting idea. i guess if a chunk of sediment is blocking a line, blast it backward out the tank drain.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
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I would guess its more likely the shower valve or cartridge.....Do you have 1, 2 or 3 handles on your shower? I have dealt with many problems such as this...if your kitchen faucet still has decent hot pressure, it is most likely( 99.9%) a simple valve or cartidge issue.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nstygma View Post
are you suggesting he backflush the water heater? interesting idea. i guess if a chunk of sediment is blocking a line, blast it backward out the tank drain.
I think he's suggesting hooking the the hot water outlet the the cold water lines, then if he has decent pressure, the blockage is in his hot water lines AFTER the water heater. Saves a guy from replacing a perfectly good water heater. I could be wrong though.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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you probably did this, but take your shower head off and check the hot pressure without the head on, 1st thing....
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:39 PM   #14
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A pressure relief valve or cartridge is my bet that has gone out.

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Salt Weapon View Post
Bypass your water heater and see if the pressure on the hot is fine. Hook the cold inlet flex up to the hot water outlet pipe.
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This is good but you'll need an extra bit of tubing with two male connectors to make this happen.
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