Gas Water Heater?
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Gas Water Heater? (by Rosie [VA]) Sep 21, 2021 5:59 PM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 21, 2021 6:25 PM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Vee [OH]) Sep 21, 2021 6:38 PM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Rosie [VA]) Sep 21, 2021 7:41 PM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Gene [OH]) Sep 21, 2021 9:05 PM
       Gas Water Heater? (by dino [CA]) Sep 22, 2021 12:33 AM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Lynn [MA]) Sep 22, 2021 7:04 AM
       Gas Water Heater? (by myob [GA]) Sep 22, 2021 8:34 AM
       Gas Water Heater? (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Sep 22, 2021 1:13 PM

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Gas Water Heater? (by Rosie [VA]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2021 5:59 PM

Need help from the brain trust! One of our single family rental houses (built in the 90's) has a gas water heater. We had to replace the old one (Bradford White) about 12 to 18 months ago. The new one (State) has consistently had problems with the pilot light going out. It's gotten worse lately, and won't stay on more than 30 minutes before going out. State sent our plumber a new gas valve thinking that would fix the problem. He just installed it and the pilot light is still going out. State is now saying that the water heater is a "low nox" (high efficiency) unit, and it's probably not getting enough fresh air flow. The WH is installed in an interior laundry room, so there's not much of a way for us to give it more air other than open an exterior window, which of course isn't a good option long term. (Just to test their theory, we plan to ask the tenant to open the window overnight and see if that helps). Unfortunately, the house uses this water heater for hot water AND for heat (an Apollo system), so we've got to figure this out for both hot water and for heat. Has anyone run into problems with gas water heaters that are inside the interior of the house? Any ideas/suggestions/comments would be most appreciated!!!


Gas Water Heater? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2021 6:25 PM

You need to test the thermocouple to see if it generating enough power/current to keep the gas safety valve open -- should read about 25 millivolts. You can also look at the pilot flame to see the size and color. If too small or the wrong color, the pilot gas tube to the orifice may be clogged and needing to be blown out or cleaned. I have a tester meter and tester magnetic valve tester.

If the pilot is good and the voltage is right, then it has to be the thermostat control valve. Or if your gas in lie has a moisture trap, you'll need to empty it out and check for moisture in the input gas supply -- this is before the gas turn-off cock.

ALSO check the vent pipe that goes to the roof, it may have a birds nest or rat/mouse nest too.

Good luck.

Gas Water Heater? (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2021 6:38 PM

The newer tanks use a thermopile which generates 400-600 millivolts, ask your plumber to loosen the front door on the tank where the pilot and gas line go in, many times the tanks simply do not have enough air to support the combustion so making a -small air leak- will allow the flame to breath, this will not affect the fuel to air ratio which is controlled by the orfice size at the gas valve.

Gas Water Heater? (by Rosie [VA]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2021 7:41 PM

Robert & Vee - thanks so much for your advice! I am passing that along to my plumber, who is over there now. Let me know if you (or anyone else) has more ideas; hopefully it will be one or more of these items. --73.148.x.xx

Gas Water Heater? (by Gene [OH]) Posted on: Sep 21, 2021 9:05 PM

A friend had a similar issue with his water heater for a laundromat. It was finally determined that the water heater wasn't getting enough air because it was in a locked room. So they cut a vent into the wall or the door which allowed more air into the room and the problem was solved.

Gas Water Heater? (by dino [CA]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2021 12:33 AM

I have had problem from very small amount of debris in the small gas tube. Cleaned it out and problem was gone.

Other issue was as described above there is even a code requirement for sufficient combustion air.

Plumber should know all about those things. Maybe need better plumber.

Gas Water Heater? (by Lynn [MA]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2021 7:04 AM

Could be a draft issue. You may need to check chimney or you may need a properly sized chimney liner.

Gas Water Heater? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2021 8:34 AM

This wasn't on a water heater but high efficiency furnace. The pipe going outside to vent.

Our furnace started cycling on and off last year-- after checking everything I could think of my son said -- he thinks the pipe is plugged or broken. So we start looking to see if any damage. Pulled the end cap off-- the one to keep birds out and there it is-- a WASP nest-- inside the pipe. Yanked it out and bam the furnace starts working. This year furnace started same thing-- went right to that pipe and found another WASP nest.

Restricted exhaust-- will overheat your waterheater exhaust and furnace. Keep them clear.

Gas Water Heater? (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Sep 22, 2021 1:13 PM

More expensive upfront is to install a high efficiency gas boiler which uses spark ignition then for the hot water use a indirect hot water tank. A high efficiency gas boiler uses a closed loop where combustion air is drawn outside. There is no standing pilot as spark ignition. A much higher level of efficiency as the secondary heat exchanger extracts heat. A lot of water heaters are basically a throw away product. Found Bradford White water heaters more expensive but much better then big box stores. A boiler is going to outlast many water heaters where the construction is much better. Having a closed loop system is not effected by a air tight structure.

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