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Re: [Shop-talk] Hot Water Heater 'Heat Trap'

To: Shop Talk List <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Hot Water Heater 'Heat Trap'
From: Wayne <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2010 08:36:40 -0500
On 12/10/2010 12:29 AM, wrote:
> My daughter is having a problem with her Rudd electric water heater. The
> flow of hot water has slowed to a dribble at all the faucets.  I went over
> and checked things out and the first problem was the Home builder ( 6 year
> old house) installed the water heater backwards, the cold water coming into
> the HOT labeled outlet and the Hot water coming out the Cold labeled outlet.

That sucks.  Had thew same at TWO different rental apts I was in as a 
kid.  Had a bitch of a time convincing the landlord it was really a 
problem.  You got about 60 seconds of hot shower and ice cold at 4 minutes.

>    I swapped them but only a small increase in pressure. The drain at the
> bottom of the tank appears to have pretty good pressure so I figure the
> problem is in the out side of the heater.
>    Checking out the web for suggestions I read about 'Heat Traps' that are
> now installed (because Uncle Sam likes them) on both inlet and outlets.

Dat Mean ol' Gubmient is just trying to save you money on your utility 
bills.  The same plumber that's too f*****g incompetent to put the pipes 
on the right connectors probably won't install $1 worth of traps that 
can save many times that in energy over the life of the unit.

Aftermarket traps were sometimes incorporated into the dielectric 
unions, or otherwise separate thread-ins.  But the factory ones I've 
seen are incorporated into the tubes or fittings and may not be 
removable.  Only thing you'll hurt removing them (if possible) is a 
little wasted energy.

Years of backwards flow through the thing could have deteriorated the 
plastic dip tube on the hot side, and now it's clogged.  This site has 
lots of good water heater info, and replacement dip tubes and other 
parts (though they're quite expensive):

If you put a new one in, I'd suggest extra $$ for ball-valve shut offs 
and pipe unions on both the inlet and outlet.

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