Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Help a nurse out please. Heart surgery is easier than this.


Immediate problem is no hot water and heat and the same time. Yes, the current beast is hydronic Aquatherm from First Co. The gas hot water heater was replaced several months ago and I noticed occasional intermittent lack of hot water. The installer came out twice and checked, but could find nothing wrong. Two of my neighbors had the exact same water heaters installed around the same time, in identical housing units, and they have no problems. I don’t think it’s a power/btu problem, but hey I don’t know. There is no special “smart” thermostat. If I turn valve of furnace to the off position, I have hot water. But of course then there is no heat. Is there some kind of one-way valve that could be broken? Five, I repeat f-i-v-e contractors have been unable to diagnose the problem! The heat/ac will need to be replaced soon, but that is another post. Any help appreciated. Thank you. MG

Comments

  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,739
    Save the scalpel, it should be an easy fix for the installer. What exactly did he 'check'
    steve
    MGRiley
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,039
    Hello, Try doing a cross connection test when the heating side is off and again when it's on. The test is simply, turn off the cold supply to the water heater and open a hot tap. It should not run steadily. If it does, that suggests cold water is getting into the hot side of things.

    Yours, Larry
    MGRiley
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    So you don't have hot water unless you shut off the gas valve to the furnace? If that is the case, it sounds like you have a gas flow issue. Maybe a main gas valve that is not open all the way, or a bad gas regulator. Was the gas pressure checked when both units were operating?
    Rick
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    Steve and Larry, thanks for the response. When the technician came he noted that I had turned the thermostat to the highest setting and said that was awfully hot for normal use. I had recently used the heat in the house and had opened the valves in the furnace so first we checked all of the sinks, showers, etc. and never got more than three minutes of hot water at any. Then we closed the furnace valves and did the same and got plenty of hot water at each. Then we turned off the water supply to the heater and after a bit the water quite running. The company offered to replace the thermostat though it was brand new and I opted not to. They have been very kind but feel the problem is in the furnace.
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    So it sounds like your furnace is actually a hot water boiler. Can you get us a picture of the piping around it? Something is off, and I need to see a picture to figure it out.
    Rick
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    Sorry if I am not posting these correctly, I'm new here. MG
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,096
    In what state are you located? I suspect your using a hot water heater for both domestic hot water and for heat.

    Down south I'm guessing. I can't see the piping good enough to troubleshoot
    MGRileyIronman
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    Do you get your heat and your hot water off that tank, or is there another "boiler" somewhere? If there is another boiler, we need pictures of that also.
    Rick
    MGRiley
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    I'm in California. No other boiler. Is "hydronic" Aquatherm by First Co. blah blah blah photos coming
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
  • AbracadabraAbracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    Your hot water is provided by the first pictures you posted. That is called a hot water heater.

    Your heat for the living space is provided by the furnace, which are the 2nd pictures you posted.

    If both are not working, do you have gas flowing? Do you have a gas stove? Does it work?
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    Ok. My money is on the circulation pump of the furnace. Your furnace is actually what is called an air handler. Hot water is pulled off your water heater and circulated through the air handler through a heat exchanger.
    On your picture of your air handler is a green pump on the top right that has a sticker on it that says IFC on it. I believe the check valve on that pump has failed and is letting hot water go backward through it and messing with your showers and such. You need to have someone come out and check the pump. If you leave the furnace turned off at the thermostat long enough for the pipes to get cool (the pipe on the top left and the pipe on the top right), then start running some hot water somewhere. My guess is that the pipe on the left will start feeling cold and then the pipe on the right will start getting cold.
    If that is the case, then the internal check valve on the pump needs replaced.
    Rick
    njtommyGordyMGRiley
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    Abracadabra-the gas stove is about ten feet away from the closet in which the heater lives. The gas water heater is on a lower level. The furnace works with valves open but not with valves closed. Hot water works only with valves closed. Thanks

    Rick-I agree with you. Any ideas how come I’ve had five reputable heat/ac companies come out and they cannot articulate that? The hot water heater guys say have the heating people fix it and the heat guys says to get the hot water guys to take care of it. And I have not even posted what I’ve been told about replacing the current system. It is just crazy. Thank you for your thoughts.
    Jean-David Beyer
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    I would have the heat guys fix it myself, since I believe it to be the pump for the heat. Can't speak for the companies that you have had come out, but everyone has their own way of troubleshooting and knowledge level. Sometimes it helps to point them in the right direction.
    It definitely acts like a cross connection. One way to rule out the water heater is to feel the hot water pipe on the water heater when you are running water with the "furnace" valve still turned on. If you are running out of hot water at the fixture, but the pipe leaving the water heater is still hot, then that would verify it is not the water heater running out of hot water.
    Rick
    MGRiley
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,096
    What @rick in Alaska said is spot on. There should be someone out there that understands it............hopefully.

    If they can't fix this............makes you wonder??
    MGRiley
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,039
    Hello, Getting someone who understands this equipment, to look at what you have is likely the right next step. I'm also in California, but it's a big state. Can you do Face-time? That might be a good way to start and would allow you to deal with someone from The Wall, who almost certainly will be able to help. Also, depending on where you are, I or someone else here might know a good contractor who can help.

    Yours, Larry
    MGRiley
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,606
    Any one see the color of the pvc venting on the water heater...its brown. yikes. Thing is running way too hot.
    MGRileyGordy
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    kcopp- yikes, I will look into that. Thanks! MG
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 9,530
    kcopp said:

    Any one see the color of the pvc venting on the water heater...its brown. yikes. Thing is running way too hot.


    I noticed that. However there appears to be new pvc fittings at both sides of the brown section. Wondering if old WH ran hot, and they reused a section of old pipe for the change out.....
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    kcopp- yikes, I will look into that. Thanks! MG
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 3,606
    Gordy said:

    kcopp said:

    Any one see the color of the pvc venting on the water heater...its brown. yikes. Thing is running way too hot.


    I noticed that. However there appears to be new pvc fittings at both sides of the brown section. Wondering if old WH ran hot, and they reused a section of old pipe for the change out.....
    Funny thing about that. The fittings don't usually change color... just the pipe.
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    A big THANK YOU to all of you, especially Larry. Hopefully I am on the way to the luxury of both heat and hot water at the same time.
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,039
    Hello, Hopefully, the folks I suggested will work out. Please do let us all know how it turns out. I'm guessing those who commented would like to know what the fix turned out to be. B)

    Yours, Larry
  • rick in Alaskarick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,149
    Thanks for letting us know the outcome. Glad you got this resolved and don't have to worry about it any more.
    Rick
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Member Posts: 8,356
    MG-How did you find the first 7 HVAC companies to look at your system in the first place? Yellow pages, Angie's list?--NBC
  • MGRileyMGRiley Member Posts: 14
    Hi Nicholas-two were recommended by neighbors, two I found after calling around trying to find someone who would work on a hydronic system (most said no), and the rest from Angie's list. Now I'm starting all over to get the rusted water pan in the system replaced. MG
  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,039
    Hello, MG, thank-you for sharing. Ultimately I'm thankful Dan and now Erin built and are keeping this unique resource "Heating Help" up and running. They built it and we all came!

    Now about that pan to be replaced... It might work nicely to line the pan with the same peel and stick membrane that roofers use. Just cut it large enough so corners are folded over with no possibility of leaks. :)

    Yours, Larry

    ps. Hat, thank-you!
    Erin Holohan Haskell

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file

Welcome

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!