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Troubleshoot and Repair a Gas Water Heater

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PROBLEM: Inadequate Hot Water

Inadequate Hot Water

Possible Causes

  • Unit is undersized for water heating demands
  • Broken or damaged dip tube allowing cold and hot water to mix in tank
  • Faulty plumbing installation has crossed cold and hot water connections
  • Gas supply or control problems


Possible Repairs

  • Make sure water heater is not being overtaxed by hot water supply demands. The water heater should have 75% of its capacity as hot water (e.g., a 40 gallon WH should be used for a demand of 30 gallons). To determine required capacity see Calculating Fixture Flow Rates.
  • Undo cold water inlet and pipe nipple and remove dip tube. Check condition and replace if required.
  • Check for crossed connection by turning off water supply to water heater. Open a hot water faucet. If there is water flow, then their is a crossed connection somewhere. Check for a hot water line connected to a cold water connection on the water heater or appliances such as washer, dishwasher, faucet or shower valves.
  • Check for proper flame from burner. A natural gas flame should be a bright blue with the tip of the flame having just a tinge of yellow. A propane flame should have a bluish green flame with a tinge of yellow at the tip.

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