Gas Water Heater Hot Surface Ignitor Troubleshooting

Many gas powervent water heaters use electronic ignition instead of a pilot light to ignite the burner. In the past few years (this being 2010), I had a few State Brand Gas Powervent Water Heaters that I installed have warranty problems.Gas Water Heater Hot Surface Ignitor Troubleshooting Each time, I showed up to the cold water heater, and tried to reset it, but it would end up in lockout. The State and AO Smith gas power vented hot water heater uses a sophisticated electronic control, with an LED troubleshooting computer, and LED troubleshooting guide in the manual.

Faulty Hot Surface Ignitors from AO Smith, State, American, USCraftmaster water heaters.

Both times, the problem ended up being a faulty hot surface ignitor. It was difficult to detect, because when the electronic ignition system would start, everything would seem to function normally. The hot surface ignitor would glow hot, the blower fan would turn on, the system would go through its gas safety checks, the gas would come on, but it would not ignite!? I ended up having to order a new hot surface ignitor, because although the faulty original ignitor would glow hot, it wasn’t reaching a hot enough temperature to ignite the gas!

The LED control is pretty handy, in that you cane look up the troubleshooting code that the LED pattern shows when the water heater ignition malfunctions. In the back of the manual, the list of codes corresponds with the problem that occurred with ignition and the tests to preform to troubleshoot the exact cause of the problem. If you can;t find the original manual that came with your State or AO smith power vent gas water heater, they can ordered or downloaded in .PDF format as long as you know the model number of your particular water heater.

The test that finally revealed this to me was a ohm resistance test performed on the hot surface ignitor itself. This is done easily by removing the two wires that connect the ignitor to the electronic control, and then doing your ohm test using the two wires.
My guess is that the hot surface ignitors are manufactured with a defective design, because both times this happened to me, the water heaters were less than a single year old and they should be designed to last a l LOT longer than that!

Troubleshooting a Water Heater Leak

Water Heater Leaks

Troubleshooting a leaking hot water heater is something that needs to be done from time to time, when your water heater leaks. If you notice water dripping, or water pooling out from underneath the tank of your water heater, use this troubleshooting guide to find the cause of the hot water heater leak.

Troubleshooting a Water Heater Leak

A water leak at the base of your water heater does not always indicate a hot water heater needs to be replaced. There are several other factors to check before determining the cause of the leak, ranging from the relief valve, to the water heater water inlet and outlet pipes. Although a tank corroding and springing a leak and needing to be replace is a common cause of leaks, often times, the leak may turn out to be a more minor repair.

Condensation drips from under the water heater vent.

In conventional gas water heaters, the gas combustion vent flue that is built into the center of gas water heater tanks can condensate near the top where the cold water comes into the tank, and then drip down the gas flue and drip on the gas pan. If the dripping problem appears when the tank is first filled with cold water, but then disappears when the water has had time to get hot, this usually indicates an acceptable temporary condensation condition.

If the condensation is a chronic issue, then there is probably something wrong with the vent. An improperly installed gas water heater vent can cause condensation problems, or much more serious issues and should be checked by a licensed plumbing or heating contractor to make sure the water heater is vented to code for safety reasons.
Water Heater Leaking from the Temperature & Pressure relief valve.

Troubleshooting a Water Heater LeakThe temperature and pressure relief valve is a brass valve near the top of the heater. A leak from this valve or from a pipe coming down from that valve is a common problem that has a wide variety of causes. A leaking T&P relief valve can be caused by the temperature being set too high, by the main water pressure being too high, or by check valves, pressure reducing valves or backflow preventers that prevent hot water expansion in the tank from escaping. Sometimes, the TP relief valve itself may just be corroded, or otherwise faulty.

If you find the leak is coming from your TP relief valve, turn off the power or gas to your water heater and clsoe the water inlet shutoff valve to the “off” position. Then call a licensed plumber to further diagnose the problem. High pressure and/or temperature causes relief valve leaks and can be a very dangerous condition, so shutting off the hot water heater and calling a licensed plumber is recommended.

Water Heater leaking from the drain valve.

Troubleshooting a Water Heater LeakIf the small brass drain valve at the bottom of the water heater is leaking, then you can sometimes temporarily fix it just by tightening the handle. Otherwise you’ll have to turn off the water, drain the water heater tank and replace the drain valve.

Water Heater leaks from an element, or other tank port.

If your water heater seems to have leak underneath the jacket, and you can inspect the area safely, you may find a tank tap or port leaking. Electric water heaters, can often develop leaks from the heating element gaskets, make sure to turn the electricity off before inspecting the electrical element ports. A leak could also develop at one of the threaded taps, or ports where the water inlet pipes or other valves screws into the water heater tank.

If this is the case, you’ll have to first repair the part that screws into the part, such as changing an element or drain valve that appears to be leaking, but if the leak is on the female threads of the tank tap itself, then the water heater tank will have to be replaced.Troubleshooting a Water Heater Leak
Leaks from the water pipes.

Inspect the water pipes connected to your water heater. The cold inlet and hot outlet water pipes are located at the top of traditional tank type water heaters, but sometimes on the side of other tank type heaters. If you find the leak is coming from the actual water pipes, then your leak is a water pipe leak, and not related to the water heater itself. You’ll have to shut the main water off and have the leak repaired on the pipe and or fitting that is leaking.
Water Heater is leaking from the tank, or pooling at the bottom.

If you can visibly see the water leaking directly from the tank itself, or coming out from the bottom of the tank, then the water heater will have to be replaced. By process of elimination if none of the things on the troubleshooting list above are leaking, then the leak must be coming from the water heating vessel itself and it is time to replace your hot water heater. The average lifespan of a water heater tank is only about 9-11 years old. Most tanks have a 6 year warranty, but some have higher.

If your water heater has developed a leak at the tank, turn off the power, and the water inlet shutoff valve and hook a hose to the bottom drain valve to drain the tank. Check to see if it is still under warranty, and start shopping for a new, more efficient, more comfortable water heater!

Adjusting The Gas Hot Water Heater Temperature

Today I’m going to show you how to adjust your gas water heater. Now a lot of people turn their water heater down during the summer time because they come in from working on the lawn, or they do something crazy like that and they’re like the shower is too hot, so the way they save some energy in the summertime is to lower their water heater.

Now that the winter season is here, and it’s cold out there, and you’re moving groceries around in the car, and then coming in you want a nice, hot shower to keep you warm. So what you want to do is you want to go over to your hot water heater and you will see there is a dial in front of it while on that dial you will see settings A,B,C.

Now, you may be on the C setting, which is the cold setting for the summertime, so what you want to do is turn the dial to the B position which will give you that 10 degree range of hot water. Don’t put it under the A position unless you have a temperature gauge and that might give you water that could scold you. So, always make sure you keep it in mid-range and not on the low position.

Rheem Warrior Propane Series Water Heater

Rheem Manufacturing Company started back in the middle of the 1920’s. They started fabricating water heaters and by 1936 they were distributing them coast-to-coast. Rheem has an excellent reputation for all of their products, but water heaters are unmatched.

Rheem offers Solar, Electric and Gas Water Heaters. Every category offers a line of water heaters that provide hot water when you need it, energy efficiency and affordability. One of these products is the Rheem Warrior Propane Series Water Heater.

The Rheem Warrior Propane Series Water Heater, also available in natural gas offers an optional air inlet and leg enclosure that will provide for outside air to be supplied to the water heater itself without opening up the manufactured home to cold air. These units are designed with a Two Hole Top, which houses the anode rod and the hot water outlet. The anode rod offers protection from rust and corrosion, prolonging the life of your water heater.

Rheemglass porcelain enamel tank

The Warrior Series has the exclusive Rheemglass porcelain enamel tank lining; this protects the tank from corrosion and rust too. The Rheem Warrior Propane Series Water Heater has the patented Rheem Guardian System, this is a special one of a kind air and fuel shut off device that provides double the protection.

It is basically maintenance free and in case of problems, the unit has standard replacement parts available. The Guardian System also includes an exclusive Combustion Shut Off System, if the event a spill happens the system will close down the propane or gas and air supply, this will stop a sustained vapor burn from happening in the combustion chamber.

The Rheem Warrior Propane Series Water Heater comes with a Flame Arrestor Plate; this is specially designed device that prevents the ignition of any vapors outside of the combustion chamber. To help keep the unit free from debris, there is a high quality air filtration system that stops the flame arrestor from being bogged down with lint, dust or other contaminants.

Some of the standard features on the unit is a factory installed temperature and pressure relief valve with a side location. This propane water heater has the Rheem patented R Foam Insulation.

The water heater is lit with a Piezo Igniter, this is an easy to light system and there are no matched needed. The cold-water inlet is a side connection; this offers a quicker and a more economical installation. There are 3 different water heater sizes in the Warrior Propane Series; they have a 30, 40 or 50-gallon capacity tank. The number of BTU’s range from 30,000, 32,000 and 38,000.

Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater

Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water HeaterKenmore has been providing residential homeowners with good quality products for over 80 years. Their products are high quality and high performance products. One of these products is a water heater, a water heater is just as important as stove or refrigerator. Choosing the right one can be a challenge but with Kenmore it has become a lot easier. One of their quality water heaters is the Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater. This water heater unlike other water heaters is designed with a narrow sleek design; this makes it easier to install the water heater into more locations.

The Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater perfect for residential homes but not recommended for mobile homes. The Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater comes with single anode rod; this device protects the propane water heater from rust and corrosion. The first hour rating is 68 gallons per hour and it is extremely efficient. It uses only 279 LP Gas Gallons per year. It has a recovery rise of 36.3 gallons per hour and an hourly BTU of 35,500. The requirements on the venting size are 3 or 4 inches.

Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater
We mentioned before the narrow, sleek design of the Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater, it measures in at 61.75 inches in maximum height, 18 inches in width, 22 inches in depth and 58.25 in height. There is an external knob conveniently located for easy temperature adjustments. This water heater is considered a Power Miser water heater, with the water comes a various instructions and manuals that you should read before installing the unit. For example, it is dangerous for your water heater temperature to be over 125 degrees; a good temperature reading is 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another good thing about these manuals is that they offer warnings and details on how to deal with fire or explosions, carbon monoxide gas and improper installation. It is highly recommended that you use a qualified technician to install your Kenmore 40 Gallon Tall Propane Gas Hot Water Heater. A good technician knows that they have to fill the tank before turning it on; they know how to be alert for thermal explosion and how to inspect the anode rods.

The Kenmore 40 Gallon Water Heater is efficient and will provide hot water when you need it. It offers good performance that can save you money on energy costs throughout the year. Kenmore has an excellent reputation for quality appliance and they offer a 6 Year Limited Warranty on both Parts and Labor.

GE GP40T06PVK Propane Water Heater

GE GP40T06PVK Propane Water HeaterGE is the largest and most recognized names when it comes to home appliances. They have everything you need to furnish your home, from refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, wall ovens and water heaters just to name a few. GE has a wide variety of styles and models; each one is built with high quality parts and innovative technology. One of the appliances that you may not think GE offers is the water heater, in fact they have an extensive line of products to best suit your hot water needs.

One of these water heaters is the GE GP40T06PVK Propane Water Heater; this water heater is Energy Star rated which means that you can almost ensure energy efficiency and cost savings. This propane water heater comes factory set and a self-cleaning system that protects the unit against lime and sediment build up that can prevent your water heater from giving its maximum performance. It also helps prolong the life of your water heater.

The GE GP40T06PVK Propane Water Heater is a tall style water heater with a SmartShield Sensor System. The tank itself measures in at 19-3/4 inches in diameter and 59 inches in height. The energy factor rating is 0.64 and it does offer a first hour delivery of 68.0 gallons per hour. If you look on the yellow Energy Guide usually located on the water heater itself, you will see that this GE Propane Water Heater has an estimated yearly operating cost of $ 487.00. It also provides 260 gallons a year in energy usage.

The 40-gallon GE Propane Water Heater comes with a Use and Care Manual, it is important that you take a look at this before installing the unit. This unit is energy efficient and it will save you money, it is not only high quality and high performance but it is also safe. GE recommends that you do not store any gas or flammable materials near the water heater. When doing the installation, make sure that blower is installed properly and the unit is properly vented.

It may be a good idea to use a qualified technician to install your GE GP40T06PVK Propane Water Heater. This may be an additional cost or if the store where you purchased the water heater from offers these services, do take advantage of them. This will help keep your warranty in tact and you will be able to get the most efficiency and performance from your water heater, knowing it was installed by a qualified installer. GE Warranty on this water heater is a Limited 6 Year Warranty on the Tank and Parts and a One Year Warranty on Labor.