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Old 06-24-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
4,156 posts, read 11,012,609 times
Reputation: 3439

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Hey there.
So we have an old home (1902) that is 3 stories.
We currently have a tenant in our ground floor apartment. She just informed me that she is unable to get the hot water to come out of the bathroom sink tap.
She could let it run and run and it will not get hot at the sink tap.
Her kitchen sink tap works fine.
Our kitchen sink tap works fine.
Our 3rd floor bathroom sink gets hot pretty quickly but
our 2nd floor bathroom sink tap has the same problem that out tenant does...
Our 2nd floor bathroom sink hot water has NEVER gotten hot (unless I take a shower in there beforehand) and we've just learned to live with it, since our primary bathroom is on the 3rd floor...
Anyway, this is a new problem ( we think) for our ground floor bathroom sink as our previous two tenants never mentioned it.

We have a tank (blech) water heater 80 gal on the ground level of the house, so her bathroom is actually the closest to the source of hot water.

We can't figure this out.

Any ideas oh plumbing gifted folks out there? Thanks!
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
17,218 posts, read 57,092,976 times
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Go take a look, maybe the faucet is plumbed "backwards" such that the hot water is on the right rather than the left. In any case I think your tenant is not working the faucet right.

If the problem is real it might make more sense to reduce the rent rather than try to fix it, since this has to be something weird.
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Old 06-24-2009, 12:32 PM
 
3,020 posts, read 25,736,130 times
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Default Well do it logical........

You got hot water in the house, that can not be the problem.

Second potential problem is the hot water line is plugged to that sink somewhere. Possible but not that probable.

Most likely cause is in the faucet at those sinks themselves. I would first check the flex or copper tubing under the sink and make sure it is not kinked or pinched. If the same guy did both sinks could have made the same mistake. Make sure the supply shutoff valve is open for the hot under sink.

Then I would disassemble the faucet hot side and inspect it. Something could be broken or plugged. Same for that shutoff valve, them cheap ones never know about what it can be in there. Take the shutoff valve apart, make sure it is clean and clear ports.

Somehow the answer got to be close to the sinks.

Is the cold totally ok and good pressure???? What is the hot water supply tubing, copper (hard or soft) or something else. They may have pinched the line if soft in installation by bending it wrong, that may have collected dirt. A wee bit of potential there. Kind of like you do a garden hose at times.

And yeah, check for human error like Mitch sez above. Hot should be on the left if separate handles.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:59 PM
 
48,502 posts, read 96,877,697 times
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Sounds like the plumbing is not setup right and the others either rob the one opf hot wahter unloess run a long time. The other never gets hot ;so my guiess is its not hot water connected.
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Old 06-24-2009, 09:49 PM
 
54 posts, read 237,198 times
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Are we sure that the downstairs unit isn't on a separate heater?
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:16 AM
 
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My guess would be an anti-scald mixer valve that has been set incorrectly or has gone bad. This assumes no mixer valves on those sinks, since they could be clogged as Cosmic pointed out.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 38,784,973 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
My guess would be an anti-scald mixer valve that has been set incorrectly or has gone bad. This assumes no mixer valves on those sinks, since they could be clogged as Cosmic pointed out.
This is what I was thinking.

I still find it interesting that the 2nd floor bathroom has the same problem unless the shower has been run first. To be clear, if the tenant leaves the hot faucet on for, say, 1 hour, is the water still cold? I know people with pretty flexible definitions for "always" and "never".
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:39 AM
 
Location: 38°14′45″N 122°37′53″W
4,156 posts, read 11,012,609 times
Reputation: 3439
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimboburnsy View Post
This is what I was thinking.

I still find it interesting that the 2nd floor bathroom has the same problem unless the shower has been run first. To be clear, if the tenant leaves the hot faucet on for, say, 1 hour, is the water still cold? I know people with pretty flexible definitions for "always" and "never".
If my tenant left her hot water valve on for an hour to check, I'd have to smack her upside the head!
ok, sorry I just had to get that out of the way.
Here's the run-down.
The house is all on one meter, hot water heater, etc etc...
there are 5 sinks in the house total.
2 kitchen (g floor and main)
3 bathrooms (g floor ,main & 3rd)
the only sink faucet that is a single handle is in my kitchen. (no problems there)

all of the bathroom lav. sink fixtures are double handle (1 for cold & 1 for hot)

could this 'mixer' issue still be the case now that i mentioned the double handles? I checked my bathroom sink and found it to be plumbed properly (hot on L cold on R)

I haven't had a chance to check her bathroom sink out, won't be able to till tomorrow, so I really appreciate all your ideas thanks so much!
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:51 AM
 
201 posts, read 470,197 times
Reputation: 229
I had problem very much like this before. It turned out to be the shower valve was bad and letting the hot and cold mix at the shower. we could not get any hot water at sink, only luke warm. If you turned on the sink hot water, you could here it running at the shower valve. We changed the cartridge in shower and everythings fine now.
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Old 06-25-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 38,784,973 times
Reputation: 7185
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellalunatic View Post
If my tenant left her hot water valve on for an hour to check, I'd have to smack her upside the head!
ok, sorry I just had to get that out of the way.
Here's the run-down.
The house is all on one meter, hot water heater, etc etc...
there are 5 sinks in the house total.
2 kitchen (g floor and main)
3 bathrooms (g floor ,main & 3rd)
the only sink faucet that is a single handle is in my kitchen. (no problems there)

all of the bathroom lav. sink fixtures are double handle (1 for cold & 1 for hot)

could this 'mixer' issue still be the case now that i mentioned the double handles? I checked my bathroom sink and found it to be plumbed properly (hot on L cold on R)

I haven't had a chance to check her bathroom sink out, won't be able to till tomorrow, so I really appreciate all your ideas thanks so much!
Understood about whopping upside the head, I'm just curious if the water is truly not going to run hot or if it just takes an unreasonably long time.

An anti-scald mixer is an aptly named valve, usually close to the hot water heater, that mixes cold water with the hot water discharged from the heater to prevent scalding at the point of use. This way you can set your heater at 160 degrees to kill bacteria without worrying about endangering kids or exposing yourself to lawsuits from tenants. If you have something like that and it is mixing too much cold water or the hot line is constricted, that could explain the problem but it hurts that the 3rd floor works fine and the kitchen sink and shower nearby work fine. It could be that you have a mixing manifold at the bathroom sink that is not working right, you do not have hot water plumbed to the sink or it could just be that the hot line to the sink is constricted and the low flow takes a very long time to bring hot water to the faucet (or I could be full of crap). Lotta possibilities.
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