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Anybody want some snow?

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Distinguished Professor II

Re: Anybody want some snow?

Luckily, the water had receded enough that I was able to get their water heater going again.  It's a newer type with a piezo ignitor, and it's an enclosed (to easy access) burner chamber, which means it takes a lot to be able to open it up to see the burner and all.  

 

I took a few tries, but it lit, and it seemed like it was doing fine.  The burner then went off and the blinking light on the control that lets you know that the pilot is lit stopped blinking.  Stupid me, I didn't wait very long and I tried to light it again.  After a few tries, and after gas was evidently pooling inside the chamber, I darn near blew myself up.  A flame shot out from around the access seal, and it blew the flue collector off the top.  Luckily it didn't go anywhere as it's screwed to the flue pipe, but it detached from the top.  I had to re-seat it.  

 

Call me old fashioned, but I like simple, pilot lit water heaters with an access door that is easy to remove so one can inspect the burner chamber.  Not practically sealed chambers that take removing screws, wires, the gas line and pilot gas line from the gas valve in order to gain the same access.   

 

Years ago I had a customer with a no heat issue with their oil boiler.  They told me that they only hit the burner reset button one time, which is a warning clearly written on the burner control (Only press reset button one time).  I changed the filter, strainer and nozzle and blew out the oil line, as they had just gotten fuel, which stirred up dirt in the old tank and caused the problem in the first place.  It sucked up nasty, dirty oil, which fouled those three things I changed.  

 

Anyway, I bled the air out of the fuel line system and started it up.  Everything seemed fine until the thing started rumbling and just about dancing on the floor. Smoke started to come out of it.  I turned the burner off and closed all air access, including wrapping rags around the air intake on the burner to try to starve the fire to get it out, but it didn't stop.  

 

It turns out that the homeowner had lied, even after I told him the importance of telling me how many times he hit the reset button.  He had hit it over and over and over again, loading the burner chamber with a ton of oil.  SMH.  Needless to say, I ended up calling the fire department as I couldn't stop it.  His boiler was ruined and his half finished basement was covered in soot.  Think copier or printer toner all over everything.  He certainly paid for that mistake.  SMH.

 

The flame shooting out tonight reminded me of that.  But, it's up and running now, and they have hot water again.  Smiley Happy  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Senior Instructor

Re: Anybody want some snow?

Glad everyone's safe. When you start talking gas lines and pilots combined with flooding, the pilots go out and bubble up through the water... that's just bad news waiting to happen. Bunch of houses blew up in Mass. just recently on gas explosions.


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
Associate Professor

Re: Anybody want some snow?

Holy mackerel, Gabe, that was a close call! Glad to hear everyone's all right. 

Distinguished Professor II

Re: Anybody want some snow?


@MarkJFine wrote:

Glad everyone's safe. When you start talking gas lines and pilots combined with flooding, the pilots go out and bubble up through the water... that's just bad news waiting to happen. Bunch of houses blew up in Mass. just recently on gas explosions.


Yep.  I could hear the water spitting out when the burner first attempted to come on.  Even when everything was finally good and it lit and stayed lit, I heard a little more water coming out about five or six minutes after the burner had been on.  

 

I REALLY hate the design of this new water heater.  Well, semi-new.  My stepfather is a little gullible when it comes to this sort of thing, and the contracter sold him a used water heater that had come out of some place.  Don't get me wrong, it's fairly new, and it looks like it.  The manufacture date is also fairly recent.  He sold it to him for less money, but in the end, it's not really the right water heater for them.  It will work, but it's not what I, nor any other contractor, would have chosen for them.  It's too tall, and they had to create an opening higher in the flue base by chiseling it out in order so that the flue wouldn't be going downhill.  It was when they installed it, and I called and complained, so the owner came out the next day and fixed it by creating the higher opening.  It's just the wrong water heater and it started with a bad install.  

 

What they now have is a Reliance 6 40 GORT 300.  It has this burner control for the gas valve, which it sits on top of.  A big pain in the rump.

 

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AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Senior Instructor

Re: Anybody want some snow?

lol "scalding risk increases with hotter water"

it's also wet... who knew?


* Disclaimer: I am a HughesNet customer and not a HughesNet employee. All of my comments are my own and do not necessarily represent HughesNet in any way.
Distinguished Professor II

Re: Anybody want some snow?

I got a kick out of that, too.  Like the "don't eat this" warnings on things that no one would ever eat.  Smiley Tongue

 

That control just feels cheap, and because of the way the water heater is designed there is no way to light it manually.  It can ONLY be lit by that piezo lighter on the control.  Smiley Sad 

 

I can see the control going bad long before the water heater itself does.  Smiley Sad   

 

I'm used to the old, small water heater gas valve with the big black dial on it that has the temps.  You reach in with a long match or one of those flexible, extended grill lighters to light the pilot while holding the button down, then put the access panel cover back on the inside, then the outside.  Easy and long lasting.  Heck, my water heater is approaching 18 years and it's still going strong.  And it sits on a concrete slab on a dirt floor basement, so it's not exactly a dry environment.  But, it's still fine.  My furnace is about the same age, and other than replacing the hot surface ignitor a few times, it's still going strong, as well.  They forgot to move the draft prover switch when they installed it in a horizontal position, so it was below the exhaust blower housing and would get water in it.  It took a bit to figure that one out, as I'm not used to gas furnaces, but I knew what draft prover switches were and how they worked, and I could tell it was full of water from the condensation building up in the exhaust blower housing and running down the rubber tube to it.  Just shook it out, let it sit for a few hours, and put it in the right position.  


AMD FX-6100 | Samsung 250GB 840 EVO SSD | Western Digital Blue 500GB HDD | 16GB DDR3-1866 | EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti | Windows 10 Pro 64-bit