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Old 07-06-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: CT
247 posts, read 313,363 times
Reputation: 92
Default Plumbing Issue - Shower Hot then Cold then Hot

Turn the shower on and let it warm up, hop in and not too long after the water starts getting colder until it's ice cold.

I then turn off the shower and turn it back on and wait about a minute and it will usually switch back over to hot.

When this occurs, keeping the shower on and trying to turn it up (i.e. hotter) has no effect on the cold water coming out.

The hot water heater doesn't appear to be running out of hot water on us, it seems more like a sensing issue?

I don't really know much about plumbing, but had someone come by and they're recommending a new hot water heater to the tune of $2,500-3 grand.

Anyone with plumbing knowledge know if we are getting ripped off here or if this sounds like the legit problem and cost?
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:10 PM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 12,239,117 times
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LOL Holy crap! I'll put in a HWH for about half that. I doubt it's your hot water heater...but maybe.

All jokes aside, couple ? before giving an educated reply.

1. Do you have a tank style hot water heater? (The typical cylinder that is electric or gas fired.) Or do you have a hot water coil in your furnace?

2. Do you have a tankless HWH, and if so do you know if you have hard water?

3. (Okay more than a couple) What kind of faucet is in your bath. Single knob with separate temp control, three knobs with shower or tub selector etc.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Location: CT
247 posts, read 313,363 times
Reputation: 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by JViello View Post
LOL Holy crap! I'll put in a HWH for about half that. I doubt it's your hot water heater...but maybe.

All jokes aside, couple ? before giving an educated reply.

1. Do you have a tank style hot water heater? (The typical cylinder that is electric or gas fired.) Or do you have a hot water coil in your furnace?

2. Do you have a tankless HWH, and if so do you know if you have hard water?

3. (Okay more than a couple) What kind of faucet is in your bath. Single knob with separate temp control, three knobs with shower or tub selector etc.

I'll get you the answers on the first two tomorrow. On the third one, the multiple knobs with shower/tub selector
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 12,239,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anthonyfromMA View Post
I'll get you the answers on the first two tomorrow. On the third one, the multiple knobs with shower/tub selector
Okay cool. The hot water heater in #1 looks like a round white tube about 6 feet tall and 2 feet around.

A hot water coil means your furnace is the source of hot water. When you take a shower, do you hear the furnace fire up?
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:10 PM
 
Location: CT - close to coast
22,296 posts, read 11,211,966 times
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Could it be the hi/low on the furnace? I remember that was happening to me and realized the hi temp was 160. So the water wasn't warming up enough. I turned it to 180 and there weas enough hot water to run shower with. I'm not too familiar with plumbing but just giving another possibility.
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Old 07-06-2011, 10:23 PM
 
74 posts, read 68,697 times
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isolate the problem. turn hot water on in kitchen or bath faucet. does the same thing happen? if so, problem with supply

if the water stays hot, your shower valve is probably effed up
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,838 posts, read 21,172,860 times
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$2,500 for a regular hot water heater is a rip off. I paid less than half that in an emergency situation recently and that was over-priced by a few hundred bucks. Get other quotes if you do decide to get a new heater.

That said since there is hot water, I am not sure if it is the heater. Does this happen anywhere else in the house (sinks, other tubs...)? If not it sounds more like the shower valve. You should get a plumber to look at it. Not sure where you are but I have used Aeillo in emergency situations and they were decent but pricey. Jay
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:32 AM
 
Location: New England
8,156 posts, read 12,239,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCT View Post
$2,500 for a regular hot water heater is a rip off. I paid less than half that in an emergency situation recently and that was over-priced by a few hundred bucks. Get other quotes if you do decide to get a new heater.

That said since there is hot water, I am not sure if it is the heater. Does this happen anywhere else in the house (sinks, other tubs...)? If not it sounds more like the shower valve. You should get a plumber to look at it. Not sure where you are but I have used Aeillo in emergency situations and they were decent but pricey. Jay
Definetly agree with that.

The reason I was asking what type of system he had is boiler fired tankless have a mix valve. Sometimes those mix valves go bad and the water temp fluctuates a lot. If it's a wall mounted tankless, they have a "flow" valve as well, and most times I've seen hard water deposits screw with them as well...and or it could be the fixture in the tub itself, but I'd probably argue against it as there's really nothing in there that can change on the fly like that. It either works, or it doesn't.

The issue I would have using another fixture in the house to see if the same thing happens is water flow rates will not be the same. This may only be a problem for that mix valve for instance, at certain water flow rates that a kitchen sink may not meet or go past.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:17 AM
 
Location: CT
247 posts, read 313,363 times
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Only happens in the shower, nowhere else, which is why I didn't think we needed a new tank.

We have a tankless water system that is GAS operated. Any advice appreciated!
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:47 AM
 
Location: CT
247 posts, read 313,363 times
Reputation: 92
Also, my bad, it's a single knob that you turn to select cold or hot water, with a separate slider beneath for the tub or shower faucet switching.

Not sure about the "hard water" and if we have that though.
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