Re: Problem with Reliance 8 40 NKRT970 D 40 gal gas self cleaning water heater
Posted by Bud...Suncoast Plumbing on December 18, 1999 at 20:11:35:
In response to Re: Problem with Reliance 8 40 NKRT970 D 40 gal gas self cleaning water heater
Dave:--In todays market there are some things that are facts of life. It has been my experience over the years that the following statement is quite accurate.
Don't look for textbook performance from a mass produced consumer item that has been targeted for low end and bottom dollar sales.
In the case of your gas water heater...the DOE has mandated that the water temperature should not be any hotter than the setting at the factory 120 degrees F.
The manufacturer of the thermostat (White Rogers
..Honeywell..Johnson..American Controls) supply a pretty darn good piece of equipment, it can cycle a million times with little or no problems. It is not a labratory grade thermostat that can control temperature to within 1 degree plus or minus of the indicated setting. The spread between cycle on and cycle off may be as much as 20 degrees.
That differance or spread in on/off operation can be a real problem if the desired temperature is at say...120 degrees, that spread would allow the
tank temperature to drop to 100 Degrees before it would cycle back on.
If the thermostat was set to 130 degrees, it would cycle on at 110 degrees. If after some enligtened manipulation of the thermostatic control, it should be possible to get the setting to "bracket" a 125 degree setting. This would place the 20 degree spread across the 125 mark (or 10 degrees on either side of the 125 mark) This would give an operational curve that would approximate an on cycle at 115 degrees and off at 135 degrees.
Now I'm not suggesting for one moment that you attempt to circumvent, or run afoul of the law. This ruling by that bunch of nitwits in Washington (DOE) has in essence determined that you are no longer smart enough to adjust the water heater in your own home for satisfactory operation.
Are these highly paid folks in Washington aware that we are smart enough to pump dangerous gasoline at self serve gas stations...we also drive potentially lethal automobiles up and down the highways etc. etc....They should be smart enough to figure out that the tax payers of this Country are looking for more enlightened agendas than screwing around with our bath water.
If you really want a demonstration of civics in action, write a letter to the Department of Energy and ask what can be done about you problem with insufficient hot water for your needs. You may also ask them if they are experiencing similar
problems with their water heaters.
The eight year warranty may be only for the tank against leaks during that period...get it out and find out.
In the mean time...sneak down to the water heater in the dead of night, and tweak the thermostat setting as I have proposed above. My lips are sealed, I'll never tell a soul.
Lots of luck..and be careful...This message will self destruct in five seconds..f-i-z-z-t-t

I am a licensed general contractor in NM and an engineer. I have a problem with the above mentioned water heater.
: Thermostat is set to 120 deg F. Customer complained that the water heater tank seemed to be cool
: in the morning so that the first shower or bath is not real hot. I have access to monitoring equipment so I instrumented the
: water heater collecting data minute-by-minute on tank temp at top of tank, outlet water temp during a hot water
: draw, and stack temp to indicate when gas flame is one.
: The customer is right. The tank warms to near 120 deg when there have been draws, but overnight cools down
: to near 105 degs. During the night the thermostat never came on to heat the tank back to 120 deg.
: So at 105, this is relatively cool. I also notice that sometimes the thermostat will kick off before the tank has
: reached its top temp. I could email to you the data if you'd like to see it.
: What do you think is going on here--a malfuncting thermostat? Or is this something peculiar with self-cleaning
: tanks? I have tried to talk to a "supposed" engineer at the toll-free phone line (800-365-5031). He was
: totally useless and just claimed there was nothing wrong. I have an 8 year warranty on this 2 year old jewel.
: I could use any ideas from you based on your experience.

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