LESLIE: Dave in New Jersey is having some sink problems with the faucet and the water heater. What’s going on?
DAVE: Not sure if it’s a water heater problem. I think it is. The problem I’m having, basically, is on the hot water side of my faucets, let’s say – and all the faucets are the same – the water pressure is about one-tenth of what it is on the cold side and …
TOM: Is it only in one sink?
DAVE: No, all the sinks.
TOM: All the sinks.
DAVE: The two bathrooms and the kitchen sink; all the same.
DAVE: I don’t – I’ve been here about 12 years now so the water heater’s about 12 years old.
DAVE: It still puts out a fine amount of hot water. It’s just that – and I don’t remember a few years ago if it was – I think the pressure was more than it is now, so I’m wondering if – I know the town I live in has hard water so I don’t know if that’s contributing to maybe the hot side getting sediment building up and it’s just closing – the line is closing in.
TOM: Well, I’m thinking it might be one valve, Dave, and that would be the valve that’s right after the water heater or it could be, actually, the cold water supply into the water heater. If the valve is sort of partway closed, then that could account for this issue.
LESLIE: And that …
DAVE: It’s all the way open so I know it’s …
TOM: Well, I know you say …
LESLIE: It could be closed by sediment.
TOM: Well, yes, and it also could feel all the way open but not physically be all the way open inside because sometimes they break down inside and although they feel open they’re actually not. They could be stuck halfway.
DAVE: Wouldn’t the problem be after the water heater because it’s only on the hot side and not the cold side? The cold side the pressure (inaudible).
TOM: Well, the cold water is – the cold water, I’m talking about the cold water that feeds into the water heater so you have a cold water supply into the water heater. You generally don’t have a shutoff valve on the hot water side of the water heater.
DAVE: Right, there’s – that’s right, that’s right.
TOM: So it would be the cold water into the water heater is where the restriction would be. So I would take a look at that valve …
DAVE: Now, if I were – is that something a plumber would do anyway if he was replacing the water heater?
TOM: Yes, yes.
TOM: Yeah, and if your water heater is 12 years old, you know …
LESLIE: It’s on its way out.
TOM: … there’s something to be said for replacing it before it starts to leak. It’s already beyond the useful life expectancy …
TOM: … so this may be a good time for you to go ahead and replace that water heater and replace the supply valve at the same time.
DAVE: That was my thought. Just to kill two birds with one stone and just be …
TOM: Yeah, the cost of labor will probably about the same, so it’s only the cost of the water heater that makes the difference. Think that makes sense, Dave. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
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