Hot water temperature

Hot water temperature

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Hot water temperature
  #1  
Old 01-06-2019, 09:30 PM
queasy27 queasy27 is offline
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Default Hot water temperature

Everything is working fine but I'm curious why my hot water changes temperature. Sometimes it's too hot to use full on and other times it's about medium hot full on.
  • Standard 40 (?) gallon electric model
  • Located in the garage
  • It's about 15 years old
  • Nobody here but me and I never change the thermostat on it (if there is one; I've never looked).
  • No service/maintenance people who would have changed it.
  • The sprinklers aren't on and nobody else uses water while I'm using it.
  • It's unrelated to whether or not the washer is running.
  • The temperature is too hot about 30% of the time and can vary during the same day.
  • It's not any specific time of day that I can pinpoint.

Is this perhaps an indication that it's getting old and can't hold a steady temperature, or is it normal to vary?

  #2  
Old 01-06-2019, 09:38 PM
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Toymeister Toymeister is offline
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It sounds like the thermostat located on the heating element for an electric water heater.

No it is not normal for the temperature to vary.

Realistically, though, it is 15 years old. You really should consider replacing it.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2019, 10:00 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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The temperature should be consistent. Most electric water heaters have two heating elements. You can remove the two metal plates on the water heater and adjust the temperature with a screw driver. Both elements should be set on the same temperature. I think the builder sets the temperature at 120 degrees, but I increased mine to 125. Be careful when you remove the metal plates because the edges are sharp. It could be that one of the elements is not working, which may provide an inconsistent temperature.
  #4  
Old 01-06-2019, 10:07 PM
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villagetinker villagetinker is offline
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Also, we notice some difference in temperature with the cold weather, the incoming water is colder...
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2019, 10:25 PM
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Toymeister Toymeister is offline
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If you are really into this you can test the resistance of the elements to see if they need to be replaced. And yes, before someone accuses you of losing all common sense the first line of instruction says shut off the power. How to Check Heating Elements in Hot Water Heaters | Home Guides | SF Gate
  #6  
Old 01-06-2019, 10:33 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toymeister View Post
If you are really into this you can test the resistance of the elements to see if they need to be replaced. And yes, before someone accuses you of losing all common sense the first line of instruction says shut off the power. How to Check Heating Elements in Hot Water Heaters | Home Guides | SF Gate
I agree, but if you have a bad heating element, buy a new water heater. 15 years is past it's life expectancy.
  #7  
Old 01-07-2019, 12:06 PM
queasy27 queasy27 is offline
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Thanks for the advice, everyone.
  #8  
Old 01-07-2019, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredguy123 View Post
I agree, but if you have a bad heating element, buy a new water heater. 15 years is past it's life expectancy.
Who gets 15 years out of water heater and if you do if full of calcium deposits with little water. IMO thats why the little water supply can’t hold temperature, you probably get 10 gallons heated?
  #9  
Old 01-07-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topspinmo View Post
Who gets 15 years out of water heater and if you do if full of calcium deposits with little water. IMO thats why the little water supply can’t hold temperature, you probably get 10 gallons heated?
You certainly can get twenty years if you flushed it annually.

As to your second point a new 40 gallon heater provides 28 gallons. Not because 28 gallons is forty, rather 28 gallons of cold water displacing 28 gallons of hot makes it so cold that it's not effectively functional as the heating elements cannot over come the temperature loss quickly enough. At 28 gallons the tank is full of 85 degree water which feels cool.
  #10  
Old 01-07-2019, 06:26 PM
retiredguy123 retiredguy123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toymeister View Post
You certainly can get twenty years if you flushed it annually.

As to your second point a new 40 gallon heater provides 28 gallons. Not because 28 gallons is forty, rather 28 gallons of cold water displacing 28 gallons of hot makes it so cold that it's not effectively functional as the heating elements cannot over come the temperature loss quickly enough. At 28 gallons the tank is full of 85 degree water which feels cool.
Ok, I give up. I thought I was frugal, but you win. I'm surprised you even have a water heater.
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