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hotwaterless

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Glad I came across this forum. So here is my story and I hope someone can shed some light on what to do next. I live in Huntington Beach California. I had a slab leak and had the house re-piped in August 2018. I used a plumber who used a third party piping company to do the work. This isn't about bashing my plumber or piper or Bradford White. But it is about a problem neither of them can solve and everyone is pointing fingers.

Right after the re-pipe I had the plumber put in a new water heater since the one I had was 20+ years old. It was working fine but I just decided to do some PM and get ahead of the unit dying. At the end of August the new water heater was installed. The issue is that the water heater cannot deliver hot water for more than 7 minutes. The water heater thermostat gets cold, then tries to heat up and the condensation causes the zizzling as the heat burns the moisture. So the plumber replaced the entire control system on warranty. Same problem. Water heater will not deliver enough hot water to get through two showers.

So the plumber puts on a check valve on the hot water line of the heater thinking that I have a cold water leak that is reverse filling the water heater with cold water and causing the unit to shut down. He believed that the one-way shower valve was the culprit in my master bath, allowing cold water to pass through to the hot water side of the valve back into the tank. Bradford White Wholesaler is the one who planted that seed. This is when all the finger pointing began. So that didn't work. All I got from that was a big BANG with backflow slamming against the check valve.

So the piper and the plumber come out last Saturday (2/23/19) and run some test and determine that indeed our water is going from hot (110 degrees) to warm 80 degrees 5-7 minutes. The piper concludes the water heater is bad. They rip it out and replace it with another 50-gallon Bradford White Defender that same day. Next morning? Same thing. About 6 minutes into the shower water goes from hot to warm.

I do have a water softener in the fray. So yesterday we bypassed it but got the same results. Today we unplugged it as the plumber is now trying anything. I have heard good thing and bad things about Bradford White water heaters. I just read in another forum someone having the same issue with the thermostat always not able to keep up with basic water use. So the plumber is hanging on to my Delta faucet cylinder being the cause because the Bradford Rep said so. Delta is claiming that it sounds like a piping problem. The piping guy is blaming the water heater, not his piping job.

I am interested in any thoughts as to what some experts on here believe we should consider investigating. We are running out of "let's try this". I am inclined to have the Bradford White replaced with a different brand to eliminate that as a cause. With the finish work from my painter, I am $20k into this without a solution.

Appreciate any insights you may have.

Joe
 

Reach4

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I suspect this is an electric water heater powered with 240 volts through a 30 or 25 amp 2-pole breaker. It might be worth measuring the current through both legs (one at a time) to see if you have about 19 amps on each when the WH heats. You would use a clamp-around ammeter around one wire at a time. Measuring this would require removing the front of the breaker panel.

Is this a 2 gpm showerhead, or a 6 gpm multi-sprayer or rain shower?

I am not a pro.
 

hotwaterless

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I suspect this is an electric water heater powered with 240 volts through a 30 or 25 amp 2-pole breaker. It might be worth measuring the current through both legs (one at a time) to see if you have about 19 amps on each when the WH heats. You would use a clamp-around ammeter around one wire at a time. Measuring this would require removing the front of the breaker panel.

Is this a 2 gpm showerhead, or a 6 gpm multi-sprayer or rain shower?

I am not a pro.


Thanks for that. It is a gas water heater. The shower head Is basically a Home Depot purchased shower head with multi-select water spray positions. The plumber is saying that it goes warm after about 20 gallons. I video taped the heater in the morning where it should have been reheating but it was off with the pilot not heating thermostat. While recording it, the gas turned on and it started heating the thermostat. Something is turning it off and its not reheating. The garage is about 45 to 50 degrees in the morning. But again, never had the issue with my old heater with the cold garage.
 

Phog

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Is it possible that in the process of all the work, that the incoming cold supply pipe to the water heater (from the water main) and the outgoing hot line (to your fixtures) got labeled wrong & the water heater got hooked up backwards? So now the incoming cold water goes into the "hot" port on the water heater, flows backwards through the tank, and hot water comes out the "cold" port to go to your fixtures. In this case your water heater would still appear to work & provide some hot water, but it would get lukewarm very quickly. If the plumber who did the water heater is going by mislabeled pipes, he could easily hook up two different water heaters backwards without even realizing it. This would also explain why you heard a bang while the check valve was installed, and also why the thermostat is acting funny and not heating at the correct times.
 
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