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Wayne_DB
Water gets cold 5 min into shower

I have a 53 gallon water heater which should be plenty for a household of two. The problem is that just 5 minutes into a wonderful steaming hot shower, the water would suddenly become just warm and I would need to turn down the cold water to keep it hot. I thought the possible cause would be that as hot water is drained from the heater, it's filling with cold water at the same time so the water inside the tank gets cold. Or maybe there's something else. Could anyone shed some light as to any other possibilities?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

If the water heater is hooked up backward, that is the cold is hooked up to the hot side and the hot is hooked up to the cold side, that would cause the problem described. Another cause could be a missing dip tube on the cold water side. Another cause , if it is only the shower, is a mis adjusted anti scalding or temperature controlled shower valve.

Jack

dj1
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

In 5 minutes you drain about 10 gallons. There should be more hot water than what you're getting..

Look at all the points Jack said.

Is it gas or electric? What is the set temperature? what kind of faucet do you have?

canuk
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

If you have an electric water heater then it's likely to be an element ( probably the bottom element ) or thermostat failure.

Wayne_DB
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

Thanks for your replies. It's a gas unit and the problem is only with the shower. Bath sink and kitchen sink work just fine and plenty of hot water. As JLM mentioned above, I will definitely check the shower valve (need to google for what it is...) Does anyone know how much it may cost to fix it? Repair or replace.

dj1
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

It's hard for us to estimate your cost of fixing or replacing without checking the faucet, access to the body (valve), etc.

To get a better idea about the costs, call 3 local plumbers for estimates.

Wayne_DB
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

I will first thing tomorrow because I also have a problem with my gas pipe. Just posted a new thread.

uh_clem
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

I'm having a similar problem. I feel I can eliminate the possibility that the pipes are hooked up incorrectly since the problem only appeared after living in the house for nearly three years. The heating elements have been replaced since I have lived there as well. What about the other possible causes like the dip tube, the anti-scald valve or the thermostat? Are these things I might fix myself or should I call a plumber?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

Take the valve body apart and blow out the valve body with water. (this takes 2 people)

Clean the valve cartridges. Look for gunk.

We once had a small roofing rock travel 2 floors to the hot side of a valve, and cut the hot water after a few minutes. Once the pebble was removed, the valved worked normally.

dj1
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower
uh_clem wrote:

I'm having a similar problem. I feel I can eliminate the possibility that the pipes are hooked up incorrectly since the problem only appeared after living in the house for nearly three years. The heating elements have been replaced since I have lived there as well. What about the other possible causes like the dip tube, the anti-scald valve or the thermostat? Are these things I might fix myself or should I call a plumber?

How old is you heater (the date it was manufactured is printed on the label)?
Replacing any of the parts you mentioned is a skilled job, and we don't know your level.
Calling a plumber would not be a brilliant idea, if your WH is old, in which case replacing it will be the thing to do.

t_manero
Re: Water gets cold 5 min into shower

We moved into our current 1964 house in 2011, and have a 50 gallon tank. My wife complained about the shower hot water running out after 10 minutes (she doesn't know what a 2-minute shower is).

Then I pointed out that the shower has 4 shower heads without flow restrictors (single control) . . . the stop gap was to turn up the HW temperature and have more cold water mixed in -- then my 12-year daughter only uses cold water for fear of scalding when using faucets . . .

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