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Water Heater: Temperature Not Consistent

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Bobby in Texas has a question about a water heater. What can we do for you?

    BOBBY: Hi there. I live in a home in Texas and I’ve been here for several years. I’ve had, recently, a problem with my water heater; the temperature not being real consistent. And I’ve called my home warranty people and had them check it out, thinking they would look at it and determine what the problem might be. They told me that the water heater was about 17 years old and they blamed the inconsistency on the temperature to be the bottom of the tank not being flushed out properly.

    TOM: (chuckling) OK.

    BOBBY: And since then, I’ve also noticed a very definite rust color whenever I turn the hot water on. Is that an indicator of the thing going out finally or …?

    TOM: Not necessarily. Is this a gas water heater or electric?

    BOBBY: It’s gas.

    TOM: It’s gas?

    BOBBY: Yeah.

    TOM: Probably the reason that you have inconsistent hot water is because you have a bad thermostat and the fact that the water heater may or may not have been flushed out is not going to affect the temperature. If you have a lot of hard water; you get a lot of mineral salt deposits on the bottom of the tank, that could act as an insulator and make the water heater slightly less efficient but that’s not what’s causing this problem. You, my friend, have a bad thermostat and that valve has got to be replaced and your warranty company is trying to weasel out of doing just that.

    BOBBY: That’s what I figured.

    TOM: So you get those folks back in there and tell them to stop the double-talk and fix your water heater or replace it …

    BOBBY: Right.

    TOM: … or you will report them to the consumer affairs folks in your state.

    BOBBY: Right.

    TOM: Because this is a very bad habit that these home warranty companies have; is trying to give you a lot of double-talk about what may or may not be wrong. If the water heater is not working properly and it’s under warranty, they have to replace it. Don’t take no for an answer, Bobby.

    BOBBY: Great, thanks for you help.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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