Low volume on hot water

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Footman_75, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Hot water volume in one of my rental properties has dropped significantly. Has affected all units. However all valves are full open. Also, meter not moving, so no leak. Any thoughts?

    As a workaround, I've cranked the temperature on the water heater so that tenants can create volume by mixing with cold water, but I don't like this for 2 reasons: 1) possibility of scalding and 2) it's kind of wasteful.

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,412
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    What year was the home built? Could it be the pipe nipples at the water heater? Sometimes those can either close off, or if you have a check valve, it can malfunction.
    If the pipes are galvanized, the hot will close off sooner then the cold, but normally it's a little sporadic until it all closes down. On a repipe, I always recommend replacing the hot and cold together, or you wind up with too much hot and not enough cold to balance it down.

    If it's on lav or kitchen faucets, and the pipe in the wall is galvanized, it can be the nipple that the shutoff is threaded onto. Where the brass meets the steel, it can close off. Sometimes replacing the shutoffs with new nipples is a temporary fix until the home is repiped.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    If you've raised the WH temp above 120-degrees, you really should install a tempering valve. WHere I live, they are required, regardless of the temp you set the WH, and are a good idea, regardless.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    There is no way for us to diagnose it based on your description. It could be a corroded pipe, a broken valve, or something else but we would have to be there and test it ourselves.
  5. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    This is helpful info. House is 100+ yrs old but all visible piping in basement is copper. What has me is that all 4 units experience the problem. Even the laundry basin, where the supply lines are visible right from the meter all the way to the faucet, has low pressure.

    I may have the water heater inspected.

    Thanks.
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,183
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Some water heaters have heat traps that can stick from sediment. The result is reduced flow.
  7. Footman_75

    Footman_75 Renovating

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Good to know. Sounds like my next step is to have the heater inspected.
    Thanks again to all for the input.
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