Electric Hot Water Heater - No hot water pressure

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Old 08-10-19, 06:59 AM
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Electric Hot Water Heater - No hot water pressure

So last night it started. I turn on the hot water and at first its fine....then it fizzles out to low maybe half the pressure of normal. I replaced an element 1.5 yrs ago. It's a bradford white from June 2003. So it is 16 yrs old. I was going to completely drain it following the websites instructions on how to de air and drain a tank.

Anyone have any ideas? From what I have heard is if its over 10-12 yrs old you got your use from it and it's time for a new one but man I would think these should last 15-20 yrs.


Model number is MI50S6DS13(second letter capital i )
 
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Old 08-10-19, 07:14 AM
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Do you have this problem at all the fixtures in the house or is it just one?

It's probably not a water heater problem. I suspect a restriction (partial clog) somewhere in your hot water piping. Often a chunk of mineral deposit from the water heater can find it's way out into the piping. Usually it gets caught at a shut off valve or fitting along the way.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 07:35 AM
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It's at all faucets. When I turn the hot water on in the basement sink next to the tank there is a loud water pipe noise. I believe coming from the hot side right above the tank. I'm going to drain the water and see what happens after wards. Rather not spend $400 today so I wanna try everything. Both elements have continuity which I know would affect pressure but checked them while I had panels off. Wires are tight etc. Just eliminating everything I can.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 07:59 AM
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So I just drained about 30 gallons. The first two bucket fulls had white sediment in it. But it cleared up since. But then I go and turn that faucet on after I did drain that much and there is air in the line still. I left the cold water on as instructions said while I was draining water from the bottom of the tank.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 09:28 AM
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Draining the sediment from the heater won't help the clog in your piping. It's good preventive maintenance though.

Start at your water heater and follow the piping. Do you have any shutoff valves? If so remove the aerator from a faucet and turn it on full hot. Then go to the shutoff valve and open and close it several times. If the clog is there hopefully cycling the valve will chew up the debris and flush it out the open faucet.

If you don't have a shutoff in the hot line somewhere then it's largely a bug hunt. You have to turn off the water, cut the hot line somewhere and aim the pipe into a bucket while someone turns on the water for a second. If the flow is good and strong then the clog is likely somewhere downstream. If the flow is weak then the clog is likely upstream. With PEX plumbing the clogs are usually at a fitting, copper and steel lines the clog could be almost anywhere.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 10:04 AM
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My thought for this is even when I was draining the water from the heater at the bottom it was weak? I don't get it....The cold water line coming into the tank has a valve. So maybe that is bad? Can I put pex right to the water heater? I was just at Lowes to grab supplies for a water leak at my kitchen hot water line and asked a guy and he was kinda stumped and mentioned the cold water shut off valve. But forgot to graban extra shut off valve. Maybe that is the issue.

The cold water on every faucet in the house is normal PSI.

I'm almost done thinking about it and calling a plumber to just tell me the water heater is old and not fixable... lol

I have some pex where I repaired pin holes and where I ran new lines for a new bathtub. Everywhere else is copper. House was built in 1965.

Thanks for all the help.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 11:24 AM
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You'd always want a service valve between the cold water supply and the heater. It's hard to tell pressure from the drain valve as that could be blocked with some hard sediment in the tank.

Do you have a washing machine connection ? Check the hot water flow there.
 
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Old 08-10-19, 12:54 PM
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I replaced the ball valve on the cold water fill side of the heater. It didn't fix anything and the other valve that was on there works fine.

I took the hose off the hot side of the washing machine valve and that is like all the other faucets in the house. Slow. My dad said it could just be a bad tank. Its 16 yrs old. I don't know. Lowes is 10% cash back if you use your card...I should go today if it is but I don't wanna just buy a new one before I have it checked. Or is it worth having a plumber come?

Thanks guys.
Appreciate it.
 
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Old 08-14-19, 07:36 AM
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I don't think replacing the tank will solve your problem. I think you have a chunk of sediment stuck in the piping above the tank. I had something similar happen about 10 years ago and it turned out to be a chunk of sediment had worked it's way all the way to the kitchen sink hot water stop under the sink.
 
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