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Old 08-10-2017, 08:01 PM   #1
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Lack of Hot Water

We've started running out of hot water while doing evening dishes in our 2011 Wind River using a 6 gal. heater. I've checked it's operation and the burner is working during dishwashing, but seems like it only puts out app. 3 gals of hot water. We both take morning showers and don't run out then after allowing enough time to reheat, so this is puzzling. Don't know what's going on, so any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #2
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I'm just going to guess the check valve. They've been known to cause weird problems.
If you can't fix it you could always do the dishes in the shower. .....just kiddin'
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:34 AM   #3
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Just something to check: if you have an outdoor shower make sure that the hot and cold water valves are turned off. Also check the kitchen faucet system for hard water deposits that may be holding a check / mixing valve in the partially open position. We previously had to take ours apart occasionally to soak with vinegar and CLR - much better since installing a water softener.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:16 AM   #4
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Not sure why there would be a mixing valve on a kitchen faucet. That's whats accomplished by opening the hot and cold faucets. If there is a mixing valve that's causing the problem I'd remove it and be done with it. I've had an anti-syphon valve become inoperative on the outside shower but when that happened it leaked and sprayed water everywhere when either the hot or cold faucets were opened.

To start with I'd verify you are getting the same amount of hot water only from both the shower and kitchen faucets.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:22 AM   #5
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All good points, and I hope to start troubleshooting today by actually measuring amounts of hot water at the faucets and going from there. Propane will take a hit, but DW won't be happy until I do something! Thanks for your advice.
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Old 08-12-2017, 04:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gfarmcafe View Post
All good points, and I hope to start troubleshooting today by actually measuring amounts of hot water at the faucets and going from there. Propane will take a hit, but DE won't be happy until I do something! Thanks for your advice.
If you have a combination gas-electric heater, and AC power, you can reheat the water faster and save propane by using the electric element at the same time as the gas. If you don't have a combo heater, or AC power... never mind.
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Old 08-12-2017, 08:14 AM   #7
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Update

As an update, measuring the amount of hot water coming out of the kitchen faucet, we're getting about 4 gals out of a 6 gal heater. The thermostat seems to be working fine and the water heats fairly quickly, so I'm wondering if there's a lot of crud in the tank since there's not an anode rod and it's 6-7 years old.
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Old 08-12-2017, 09:18 AM   #8
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Have you ever drained it?
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:40 AM   #9
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As an update, measuring the amount of hot water coming out of the kitchen faucet, we're getting about 4 gals out of a 6 gal heater. The thermostat seems to be working fine and the water heats fairly quickly, so I'm wondering if there's a lot of crud in the tank since there's not an anode rod and it's 6-7 years old.
There could be crud. Certainly wouldn't hurt to give the tank a good flush. If it doesn't have an anode rod I'd recommend you get one to save the tank's liner. There should also be an air gap at the top of the tank to compensate for expansion so the actual capacity could be somewhat less than its stated capacity.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:46 AM   #10
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Have you ever drained it?
No, and looking at it, I'm leary about trying to given the amount of rust around the threads and drain valve. We're leaving this campground in a few weeks, so I might wait till we get home to mess with it! We can make do with 4 gals of shower or dish water.
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:01 PM   #11
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No, and looking at it, I'm leary about trying to given the amount of rust around the threads and drain valve. We're leaving this campground in a few weeks, so I might wait till we get home to mess with it! We can make do with 4 gals of shower or dish water.
First off.......
RV water heaters be they Suburban or Atwood should be drained flushed at least ONCE yearly.....more frequently if water source is hard

You mention NO anode rod and 'rusty' drain plug ?

Suburban uses an anode rod..STEEL tank / glass-lined
3/4" drain hole.......anode rod has a metal hex head ---1 1/16" socket (6 point is best)

Atwood...NO anode rod (aluminum tank)
1/2" drain hole (aluminum threads) uses a NYLON drain plug---7/8" or 15/16" socket (two hex head sizes ----old versions/new versions)
Hopefully no one used a metal plug...!!!


Drain/Flush routinely to maintain tank, electric element if equipped, better heat transfer when NOT scaled up
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:30 PM   #12
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No, and looking at it, I'm leary about trying to given the amount of rust around the threads and drain valve. We're leaving this campground in a few weeks, so I might wait till we get home to mess with it! We can make do with 4 gals of shower or dish water.
When I first looked at mine I too had rust around the drain plug and was a bit concerned but it appears to be just a clip used during tank assembly at the factory. I say appears because it had pretty much disintegrated but there were no issues removing the plug. The threads had a proper amount of sealant applied so it turned out as expected. After I got it out neither the tank nor plug were rusted. I think you'll be fine. Mines a Suburban.
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:30 AM   #13
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I just drained and flushed my parents new unit yesterday as part of the familiarization/ checking the systems thing. Their RV is 6 years old. When I removed the anode/plug aslimy snot like water flowed out followed by about a one pound coffee can full of calcium deposits. The anode was completely dissolved. When new they are about 5/8ths of an inch around and what was left was a wire about the thickness of a coat hanger that you can see in the cross section of the new anode is simply the portion they weld to the plug to attach the anode to. Hopefully not too much corrosion has occurred.

It took lots of flushing with a spray nozzle aimed in the water heater plug hole to flush it all out. My nozzle has a rubber tip so it sealed pretty tight in the hole and I had the pressure relief lever opened so it would fill easily and not over pressurize it. Probably sprayed, filled and drained it 20 times before it was consistently clear.
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:07 PM   #14
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I just drained and flushed my parents new unit yesterday as part of the familiarization/ checking the systems thing. Their RV is 6 years old. When I removed the anode/plug aslimy snot like water flowed out followed by about a one pound coffee can full of calcium deposits. The anode was completely dissolved. When new they are about 5/8ths of an inch around and what was left was a wire about the thickness of a coat hanger that you can see in the cross section of the new anode is simply the portion they weld to the plug to attach the anode to. Hopefully not too much corrosion has occurred.

It took lots of flushing with a spray nozzle aimed in the water heater plug hole to flush it all out. My nozzle has a rubber tip so it sealed pretty tight in the hole and I had the pressure relief lever opened so it would fill easily and not over pressurize it. Probably sprayed, filled and drained it 20 times before it was consistently clear.
Easier method....
Remove drain plug (Suburban or Atwood)
Then stand back and turn water supply ON.....
Cold water inlet dip tubes are pointed downward, water supply pressure 'power flushes' crud on bottom of tank and nothing is stuck in drain hole to block/hinder full flow out of it.

Afterwards one can then use a wand to rinse/wash top/sides .....then power flush again.
Amazing amount of crud removed.

Course folks would be surprised at same IF they drained/flushed their residential WHs
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