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Subject: Plumbing Puzzle

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Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-10-2018 at 13:16:13 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Plumbing Puzzle
  • Wife took a fast shower last evening. Ran out of hot water! Went to the sink a few minutes later and had hot water there! Mixing valve on the shower? Ideas?

    Thanks,

    Jack

    Steve N Mi    Posted 06-12-2018 at 16:28:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • I got it, I got it! Jack, your wife misses you and has come up with a pretty good way to get you back home ahead of schedule.

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-12-2018 at 17:13:03 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • Nice try Steve! We will have been married 66 years in 10 days.

    Actually there is no schedule however it has changed as my second son's mother-in-law just passed away so I expect to go to the funeral.

    Jack

    steveVa    Posted 06-10-2018 at 14:01:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • Water Heaters can recover rather quickly, even when there is one element burned out. Then you get less then half of the normal hot water, depending on which element burned out and if their temperature controls are set the same.
    Questions are: How big and how old is the water heater?
    How old is the Valve on the shower?
    Did anyone else take a shower or run the dish washer or cloths washer before her? Are you on a well?
    My Guesses would be in this order: 1. One element in the water heater is burned out and it is only heating the water in the top of the tank. 2. The temperature controls that turn on the heating elements have gone bad. 3.The balancing valve in the shower got stuck when someone flushed a toilet while the shower was going. 4. The Dishwasher or cloths washer filled at the same time she was in the shower.

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-10-2018 at 14:27:49 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • Thanks Steve,

    I should have supplied more information!

    Natural Gas water heater on city water. I installed but it may be 20 years old. Not new at any rate. 40 Gallon.

    I also installed the shower but that probably was closer to 28 years ago.

    I'm at the farm so she is there alone. Laundry day is Saturday. But it would have been done long before she took the shower.

    Since I've only been down here four days and she ran the dishwasher the day before I left, I doubt it is any where close to being run again.

    Looks like ruling out the electric water heater pretty well leaves us down to the shower valve.

    steveVa    Posted 06-10-2018 at 18:10:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • If the shower valve is 28 years old it is probably not the balancing valve type so it should not change the water temp while water is set and running. If it is a gas heater then you have a thermocouple that is possibly going bad. You may have a temp balancing valve down at the water heater where the hot water comes out of the heater. That could be going bad or just need a good cleaning. Some you can take apart.
    The big question now is will it do that again..?

    Jack - Iowa    Posted 06-10-2018 at 18:52:40 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Plumbing Puzzle
  • Thanks Steve,

    To the best of my knowledge there is no temp balancing valve at the heater. As I said I installed the heater some years ago and know I did not add such a thing at that time. I would not be surprised you are correct the thermocouple may be going bad. WE will wait and see on your last statement! Would prefer it happen when I am there.

    Jack

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