Re: Problem with hot water supply
Posted by jeff on October 24, 2003 at 12:10:46:
In response to Re: Problem with hot water supply
: There is no "vacuum in the system". The plumber was just giving you a fancy explanation for a simple adjustment. WIthout access to the unit we cannot tell if it is a circualtion or control problem. Most other plumbers should be able to check it and find the problem, if they are familiar with indirect water heaters.

: : We recently had our oil burner replaced, as it was extremely old. Shortly afterwards (2 days or so) our hot water wasn't hot, so we placed an emergency call to the plumber, described the problem (We don't have hot water to take a bath in! HELP!) and he told us that our water heater was shot and needed to be replaced... we got a quote from him for $1500 to replace our "water heater" (had a clogged heat exchanger, he said), which we couldn't afford, as we'd just paid him $4200 for the new boiler. We called another plumber to see if we could get a better price, or a temporary fix, and he came out. He fiddled with the valves and such for a minute, drained about 3 gallons of water out of our system, and said to see what we had for hot water in 10 minutes... lo and behold, we had hot water again.. he said that he "re-established the vacuum" in our water system, and that the "water heater" was probably fine.
: : ... ... ...
: : A year later, our water isn't hot anymore, and I can't get ahold of our new plumber - he's moved to florida or something.. :-)

: : I did a looking at our "water heater", and a little research on the web, found out that we don't actually have a conventional water heater, we've got an indirect water heater, an "Amtrol Boilermate - Model "WH-7" which gets rave reviews on every website I've visited. I get the impression that it's probably fine, there's just another problem somewhere in the system, maybe the thermostat is shot or something...

: : The actual problem is kinda odd... I played with valves in the boiler-room, drained 3-4 gallons of HOT water out of the boiler(to be expected, I suppose) and we had hot water the next morning, and for about 3 days afterwards. Our hot water is again not hot, it's not even very warm, it's just not as cold as the water coming out of the cold water tap, and it doesn't last very long.. kinda makes me think that the water that is warm is just warm because it's near warm water somewhere in the system and is getting heated by proximity to other hot water, instead of on purpose.

: : I'm grasping at straws here, but I'm outta ideas.. should I replace the thermostat on the Boilermate, check (and how to check?) for "vacuum in our system", or replace the Boilermate itself?

: : Thanks for any help,
: : Les Thompson

I wouldn't think there is anything wrong with the tank if it performs well when you draw water from the boiler. I would contact Amtrol at 800-4-Amtrol for tech help. it sounds like you have a steam boiler which not very many plumbers are sharp with. goodluck

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