Re: Not enough hot water
Posted by Bud..Suncoast Plumbing Inc. on November 04, 1998 at 07:06:08:
In response to Re: Not enough hot water
Grace:--hj has made a good a great diagnosis of the problem. The inadequate drain cock at the bottom of the heater in many cases will not let the accumulated mineral crud in the bottom of your heater pass through.
If when you remove the lower element, you find large quantities of mineral deposits, do your best to remove it (I use a wet/dry shop vacuum with a small tube taped in place). I reccoment replacing the defunct element with a "Long Life" or "Sand Hog" type element. This type can be buried in this debris and still survive for years.
If you really want to put a lasting fix on your heater, change the upper element as well. The upper element doesn't have to be a "Long Life" type, but should be a Low watt density model(generally are in a folded or horseshoe pattern)
This type of element will reduce the mineral accumulation by 90+%. The upper element only comes on if you exhaust most the hot water in the tank and cause it to go into the quick recovery mode. The real work is done by the lower element.
A new 40 gallon electricwater heater in my area cost approx. $135-$145. The cost to repair your existing heater would approximate this same cost if done by a reasonable Plumber.
To fix...or...replace that is the question ???
Perhaps the heater is at the crossroads afterall?
In either event...change the elements as above, and you very well may get 20 + Years of service from the heater. Lots of luck...Bud

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