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Thread: Luke warm water on cold mornings

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member rank amiture's Avatar
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    Unhappy Luke warm water on cold mornings

    I have a BW MI5036LN10, 50 gal natural gas. MFG in mid 80's. Tank is in a utility closet in the garage with the furnece. On cold mornings all I get is Luke warm water. After some amount of usage and recovery time the water comes up to temp. Some years ago had to replace the defective dip tube but other than that I have had no trouble. Any ideas. I kile hot showers.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    How far is the thing from the shower? Could it just be that long run has had all night to cool off? How far does it run where it is uninsulated?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Junior Member rank amiture's Avatar
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    About 50'. Pipe is in the slab. My upstairs bath has the same result and most of that pipe is in the walls.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    50' of 3/4" pipe is a little over a gallon. It may take a few gallons or more to first purge the line then warm it up enough to be comfortable. If, when this happens, you check the hot on something closer to the WH, is it hot there, or is it still warm?

    Keeping in mind that a showerhead is restricted to a max of 2.5gpm, and many are less...that's easily over a minute to purge the lines and warm them up a little.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member rank amiture's Avatar
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    Old style shower head. have let water run for 3-5 min. Have checked a faucet next to water heater tank less than 10' of pipe. Still same temp. Only useage and recovery time causes temp increase.

  6. #6
    In the Trades mtcummins's Avatar
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    I don't know anything about that specific tank, but sounds like it is at the end of its life. It might just be time to replace it.

    You could try draining the tank until you get clean water, the bottom could be full of sludge, which would slow down the heating time, etc, but long periods of non-use (overnight) should still bring the water up to temp if this was the case. A number of things could be wrong, but on a 25 year old heater, I'd be thinking replacement with a high efficiency unit rather than sinking more money in a tank that probably won't last much longer anyway.

  7. #7
    DIY Junior Member rank amiture's Avatar
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    But why does it work ok when temps are warm - cool?

  8. #8
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The thermostat could be sticking and it only turns on once the tank's water gets really cold by running out the warm in it after sitting all night.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member tray's Avatar
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    Have you ever flushed the sediment in the tank that settles to the bottom. Overtime this builds up, acting like an insulator producing luke warm water till enough water is flowing through mixing together allowing for better heat transfer. But agree with above, its a ticking time bomb, its cheaper to replace now than when its an emergency replacement

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