Thursday, January 31, 2008

Water Heater Woes - Solved

This is such a typical home owner story for me. The last few weeks (months, probably) we've noticed that our hot water has been running out in our shower. This was really annoying, as we never had a problem like this before. And what did we do for the last few weeks? Nothing. Moaned about it.

Shira asked a plumber she ran into if this sort of thing happens to water heaters - that they lose their efficacy. He said not typically, but that we should turn it up a bit.

Huh, the thing is adjustable? A quick google search shows this to be true. I then walked down to the basement and actually looked at my water heater. What the heck, it has a knob on it just like so:

Heck, next to the water heater was the manual for it - that explained exactly how you adjust it and debug it. Why the heck didn't I think to read that?

And not only that, but this sort of problem is trivial to test. Just run the water and stick a thermostat in it. Well, duh.

So all along, I've been able to tweak the water heater, and test it very accurately. That's exactly what you need to solve any problem. How thick headed could I be?

I was able to "fix" our hot water problem in about 15 seconds by turning the knob to make the temperature of the water slightly hotter. And I was able to measure my before and after results:

As much of an idiot as feel for waiting so long to fix the problem, not checking the manual, and just plain not thinking this through in a logical manner - I couldn't be more thankful that I didn't call a plumber. I could just imagine paying some guy $100 to turn a knob. Whew, that was a close one.

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