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Water Heater Draining, Flushing Information, Water Leak Detection, Help Pages & Links

Water Heater Draining, Flushing Information, Water Leak Detection, Help Pages & Links


  #1  
Old 02-21-04, 06:13 AM
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Arrow Water Heater Draining & Flushing Information, Leak Detection, Help Pages & Links

Below is basic help information pertaining to tank type water heaters. The information is rewritten in easy to understand language. Taken from multiple sources and based upon basic appliance diagnostic services.

It is highly suggested checking the basics before assuming there is a mechanical problem or part failure before attempting any repairs. Read your owners manual for additional brand specific information and instructions.

Safety Concerns:

If you smell gas, do not try to light the water heater or any appliances in that area. Do not turn on or turn off any electrical switch. Immediately contact your gas supplier. If you cannot contact the gas supplier, call the local fire department.

Do not use or store gasoline, use flammable liquids or any products which produce flammable vapors near any gas appliance.

Tank Type Water Heater Safety Awareness:

Water heaters are one of the gas appliances that are all to often overlooked on the maintenance issue. They are almost always installed in a location obstructed from plain view by intent. We forget they are there, as they provide thousands of gallons of hot water over the life of the tank.

By design, tank type units draw in large amounts of combustion air from the underside of the tank. In doing so, lint and dust become collected in the area around the base of the tank and inside the burner compartment. Lint, dust, pet hairs, etc. being well aerated and dry, makes it a highly flammable material.

Part of every spring cleaning activity, water heaters should be inspected for proper operation and cleanliness around the area. Failure to do so, the problems associated with the units can become potentially hazardous to both a persons property and health.

Many city, county and state codes require a water heater to be raised 18 inches or more above the floor level, when installed inside areas of the home. Such areas can be but are not limited to basements and garages.

Often times a noise is associated with one of the early warning signs of troubles. A sputtering or popping noise. The sputtering or popping type noise is most likely caused by restricted burner ports on the round burner head.

Simple cleaning to remove accumulated lint and dust cures this problem. The remainder of the time a popping or sputtering noise isn't a good sign.

Normal dust and lint have restricted the burner ports and or secondary air shutter. Many times some or all of the flames that should be burning around the burner head are actually burning within the air shutter opening beneath the burner head. Visual signs of this condition can be verified. Corrective actions then need to be taken immediately.

The secondary air shutter opening is located directly beneath the burner head. There should never be flames there. If there are flames there while the burner is on, the burner head is restricted and must be cleared.

Removal of the entire burner assembly is required, cleaning the burner head and reinstalling it cures the problem. Unless it is already to late and SOOT has formed.

Formation of soot and or carbon deposits in the firebox. Lack of air. Clogged flue. Orifice too large. Defective thermostat control or defective internal gas regulator. Lack of air. Heater installed in a confined space. Burner flame yellowed and burning improperly.

Problems which cause flame distortion, complete gas combustion will not take place and black soot and carbon will form. These are not a conditions the DoItYourself person should attempt to correct. If soot is present inside the firebox, get professional help from your gas utility or a licensed plumber.

Complete combustion is not solely dependent upon a clean burner and burner compartment. Other factors can cause soot to form. Inside the flue of the tank is a spiral baffle. It's purpose is to accurately control the escape of the heat produced by the gas combustion process. These internal baffles sometimes deteriorate and may partially or fully collapse.

A collapsed or restrictive baffle will drastically restrict the up wards flow of flue gas and fumes. In doing so, it distorts the natural flame design and up wards flow of hot fumes. Which causes incomplete combustion which in turn causes toxic fumes {CO} and soot.

Another factor that can and does cause soot, is restricted primary air. The enclosure the water heater is in must be properly ventilated. A restricted air enclosure around the tank or any gas appliance, can cause incomplete combustion and smothering flames leading to soot formations. Refer to combustion air below.

Water inside the firebox. If this condition exists, the tank has a water leak either in the firebox itself or the vent flue within the tank. Tank replacement is suggested.

>>>CAUTIONS:>>

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Edited & Updated October 3, 2006
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 10-03-06 at 07:15 AM. Reason: Information Updating
  #2  
Old 04-03-04, 08:01 AM
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Question >How To Determine Hot Water Leakage Exists.<

When hot water seems to run out too quickly and no cause for it is determined to exist with the water heater, a hot water leak may be the direct cause. How to determine if a leak is present is than the objective. Below is the method used.

Determine water leakage exists is basically a simple process of eliminating one possibility at a time to determine which appliance has the leaking pipes, etc.

Be sure no water is running in the entire house. (Includes all water using devices and appliances) Access water meter.

Look at the dials. One dial (usually in upper left hand corner but not always) is marked "half foot." That dial (called a test dial) should not move over a two minute time period. Watch it closely.

If dial indicator does move, water is running somewhere and someplace. Determining where is the objective. How is next process.

Turn off water inlet to water heater and retest by watching half foot dial again for two full minutes or longer. If test dial pointer moves you found the problem, hot water leakage through the hot water heater.

If the hot water unit is a hot water boiler, turn off it's inlet valve. Same procedure and principle than applies. Dial movement means water leakage. In this instance it's a hot water leak in the boilers hot water line somewhere unseen.

If the two units, hot water tank and boiler are not interconnected in any way, water leakage can be determined to exist in one or the other of the two or both of the two individual appliances.

If the two units (boiler and tank water heater) are interconnected, turn off one inlet valve at one of the units will than effect the water meters half foot dial. If dial still moves, turn off the other appliances inlet water valve. One will effect the half foot dial if a leak exists.

The appliance which does stop the water meters dial movement is the appliance which has the water leakage. Simple process of elimination determines which appliance has the water leakage. But does not indicate where the water leakage is located.

Water leakage determining may be a simple process or one that requires the expertise of a professional. Simple process below:

A slab leak may be indicated by a hot or warm, moist, dampened or wet area, if surface is bare or covered with vinyl or tiles. Wet may apply if floor covered with carpeting and may also be warm to the touch. Bare feet are often a good sensing method for the layman to use....

Raised foundations simply make the location finding slightly easier. Crawling under house to locate wet area(s). Basements are usually very easy in most cases but not all. Volume water leakage aids in location finding.

In some cases, slab and or underground water leakage requires the expertise of a trained professional using high tech leakage testing equipment.

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Edited & Updated October 3, 2006
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 10-03-06 at 07:15 AM.
  #3  
Old 12-11-05, 09:57 AM
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Water Heater Information & Help

Cleaning Out Tank Type Water Heaters:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=244744

Links To Existing Threads. Information & Advice Offered:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?p=877893#post877893

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=239300

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=244148

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=241215

http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?threadid=161631

Gas or Electric Water Heater?
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=238306

TANKLESS WATER HEATER HELP LINK:
Tankless Water Heater Help & Informational Link:
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?threadid=147262

Web Site Host, Moderator Hiring Agent, Gas Appliances Topic Moderator, Multiple Forums Moderator & Natural Gas Appliance Diagnostics Technician.

Personal Driving Safety Reminder: Buckle Up & Drive Safely.
"The Life You Save, May Be Your Own."

Edited & Updated October 3, 2006
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 10-03-06 at 07:14 AM.
 

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