Erratic hot water

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by whoppr, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. whoppr

    whoppr New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hi there....


    I was hoping to get some help troubleshooting a hot water problem... I have an oil fired hot water tank that has been giving me problems. My problem is that the hot water throughout the house has been really erratic.. It will be piping hot and then slowly cool. I thought it might be something in the tank like a dip tube if there is one, but the tank is virtually brand new... It failed about a year ago and was replaced... Up until a few weeks ago the hot water has been really reliable...

    I thought that it might be a failed tempering valve so I bought a repair kit.. The valve is made by Watts regulator. I was able to replace the thermostat and guts in this valve and it seems better however Im only getting water that is warm not hot. To compenstate I have the temper valve turned all the way up as well as the tank....

    Help.. I have pictures of the setup but Im not if and how I can post them. Most of it I can figure out like the cold and hot going into the temper valve but there are some pipes that I simply dont understand..

    Other things I can share that might give insight... The pipe coming out of the tank is REALLY hot so I dont think its the burner... The other thing is several weeks ago I was working on one of the faucets in the house replacing a cartridge so I had the whole house shut off which might have kicked up sediment. Lastly the pressure to the house seems fine on both hot and cold. Its hard to tell since the shutoff for the hot is after the temper valve so if I were having pressure problems coming out of the tank I wouldnt know.. I tested the pressure by turning off the cold supply under a faucet and turning on just the hot and it seemed fine..


    Thanks in advance... Im really at a loss.

    Whoppr
  2. daveydo

    daveydo New Member

    Messages:
    36
    I'd first check to see that there is fire in the firebox. If you can make the heater run ( run hot water till it comes on, maybe) open the sight hole to the firebox. you should see flame. If not, your fuel line may be air locked. if so, you need to bleed the oil line at the burner.
    Did you run out of oil lately?
  3. whoppr

    whoppr New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hi there...

    Yes there is enough oil... I actually had checked that and forgot to mention...Thanks for mentioning though...

    Is there any easy way to attach pictures to a post?

    whoppr
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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  5. breplum

    breplum Member

    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Do I presume that you are talking about all the hot water at every outlet, not just a shower valve? If you are talking about just shower valves, many pressure balancing valves are easily fouled by sediment or a particle. Beyond that, it seems like the tempering valve is not behaving.
  6. LonnythePlumber

    LonnythePlumber Plumber, Contractor, Attorney

    Messages:
    319
    Location:
    Wichita, Kansas
    Dip Tube

    I would still check the dip tube. Even if the heater is only a year old the tube can come loose on some models. When the water turns cold at the hot outlet is the hot pipe from the heater also cooled down?
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