Water not as hot as it used to be

pjmysticNovember 5, 2013

I have a Rheem Powervent Model # 42VP40FW gas water heater. 40 gallons, 40,000 BTU's and it is 4 years old.

Over the last couple of months the water doesn't get near as hot as it used to be. For example, my shower today I had to put it all the way to the hottest setting as did my wife (in our other shower). The water in both instances would be getting cooler relatively quickly even though it was set at the hottest setting. Both showers were in the 10 minute range or so.

Last weekend I flushed the water heater and very little sediment came out, maybe about 2 seconds worth. I used the method where you leave the gas and water on and hooked up a hose and let it run into a sink for probably 20 minutes or so.

A couple of weeks ago I turned the heat setting up 1 setting on the water heater but nothing has changed.

Is it ok to turn the heat up another level on the water heater? Should that be necessary? I'm guessing we're probably to the point where we need to hire a professional to come look at it but thought I would check for opinions here first.

Thanks in advance.

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How is the temp and for how long at laundry and kitchen?
Is the water hot enough in shower for first 2 minutes?

I don't believe this is caused by sediment but your flush method does little good. Next time turn control to pilot and completely empty the tank. Leave the drain open and open supply valve. The inrush of water hitting bottom of empty tank will dislodge sediment and suspend it in water long enough to be flushed out.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 11:42AM
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Thanks for the response. It doesn't take more than the usual amount of time (mabye 20 seconds or so) for the water to warm up in the shower. However, I have to turn it all the way on hot when I turn it on for that to happen. If I set it at the formerly regular setting (which used to be slightly in the red) it never gets warm enough to shower.

That's a good question on the kitchen/laundry. I checked last week and it seemed that all of the sinks would warm up enough for it to burn my hand if I left it under the tap (which definitely isn't the case in the shower). However, a second test of that this weekend and it didn't seem like the faucets were getting all that warm now either. I could leave my hand under it without it ever burning my hand.
I'm honestly not sure on the laundry, haven't checked it.

Tonight, I will try your method of flushing it as well.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 12:07PM
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In view of no desisive information on those two questions,I can only offer;
If there is a child under 10,an elderly or disabled person in the home,have a professional to look at it. If not,
make certain there is a T&P valve installed and that it isn't stuck,then turn the tempature control up. If that dosn't help,the control is likly defective. I don't consider gas heater repair a good idea,heater replacment is preferred.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 5:44PM
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UPDATE: My water heater was still under warranty so I called in a pro and they replaced the thermostat on the water heater and the dip tube inside was broken off so it was replaced. All is well again EXCEPT one thing which leads to an new/updated question:

All faucets are now back to normal except our 2 upstairs showers. Both still aren't hot enough. We have the same Delta faucet in each shower. It has the handle to turn on the water and the separate slider to adjust the temperature. I took off the front cap and adjusted the limit stop to get more hot water and nothing has changed. I actually increased it as far as it would go (counterclockwise) but the temperature just isn't near as hot as it should be. Both were installed at the same time when we built the house in 2002 and both get a lot of use.

Any ideas what I should do next? Thanks

This post was edited by pjmystic on Thu, Nov 14, 13 at 13:08

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 12:59PM
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You hired a plumber then alowed him to leave before all this had been completly addressed???

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 10:15PM
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I did.

I figured this one out though. Delta sent me new cartridges for each of them (free). I replaced them but still wasn't getting enough hot water. As it turned out, there was some sediment built up behind the handle that was stopping it from turning all the way to the hot side. Once I scraped that off, we were able to turn it fully hot and shower is all good again.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 11:28AM
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