Electric Water Heater – NO Water Pressure

The Tank Electric Water Heater – NO Water Pressure

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    My step-daughter just called and said she has suddently experienced a drastic drop in water pressure thru all of her hot lines. Cold water pressure (city supplied water) is OK. She has an electric water heater. Does anyone have any ttoubleshpooting ideas? Thanks. Jim

    Randy Schuyler

    First find out where the problem lies. Meaning, is it upstream from the water heater or downstream? Your stepdaughter can try opening the drain valve or temperature/pressure relief valve of the water heater to see if there is pressure there.

    There is always a chance that the T&P won’t close properly afterward, so that she might have a secondary problem with that dripping or even running.

    But if there is good pressure at the water heater, then the problem lies between it and the faucets.

    Other questions: what kind of plumbing does she have? Is the cold-water shutoff valve a gate valve or a ball valve? Has it been closed and opened recently? Has there been any other plumbing work done recently?

    Randy Schuyler

    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: There is an old plumber’s trick which might help you. If you determine that the clog is downstream of the water heater, it is possible to back-flush the plumbing to dislodge the plug and clear the line. This is done by turning gas down to pilot at the heater; then shut off water to the tank. Hook up a hose to the drain valve and open it. Go to a faucet, (kitchen is good) and plug the spout. This can be done with a coin or heavy tape trimmed to fit inside of (under) the areator. Open up the hot side then the cold side of the faucet. What will happen is cold water will be forced back down the hot line and into the heater. If your lucky stars are in order, it will remove the blockage without further trouble. Let it backflush two or three minutes to be sure any debris is out of the pipes. Put everything back as it was. Steel plumbing is the most likely to plug up. This is fairly technical work and you may want to get qualified help.

    Another possibility is the heat trap nipple/s (if your tank has them) could be stuck. Hope that helps.

    Yours, Larry

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