AO SMITH Water ?Heater blower keeps filling with condensation

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Old 12-31-13, 10:53 AM
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AO SMITH Water ?Heater blower keeps filling with condensation

Hi,

I noticed no hot water, then realized the blower was filled with about a pint of water that was keeping the blower from running and overheating the motor. I pulled the drain hose that connected to the blower and ran compressed air up and this released the water and every thing is fine until a day latter when it fulls up again. Is there any way to clear this condition w/o removing the blower and cleaning it out?

Thanks -Mike.
 
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Old 12-31-13, 12:07 PM
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Follow the manual to hook up a condensate hose...

Page 16 here under "condensate"... ( Make sure you put a loop in the hose to act as a trap...)


http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/res_gas/319688.pdf
 
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Old 12-31-13, 11:38 PM
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Hi,

Thanks for the information. I have not changed anything in the condensation drain system since the WH was installed. There are two drains with traps setup, one at the boot of the top of the blower motor, and another at the bottom of the blower. The WH has been working fine since 2010, but all the sudden the blower seems to have a clogged drain all the time. I clear the clog by blowing air up the drain into the blower bottom drain, but it keeps re-clogging so there must be something large that keeps blocking the drain inside the blower. Maybe a vacuum would work better.

I just don't want to try and disassemble the blower, but I guess I may have to.

Any ideas? Is this a common problem?

Thanks. -Mike.
 
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Old 01-01-14, 08:08 AM
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Pull the tube that goes to the pressure switch... Its a barbed end on the fan... Stick a paperclip up there to clear the hole...They get clogged..

The condensate should drain with the hose attached... Its just a rubber cup in the part that attached the PVC vent to the fan...
 
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Old 01-01-14, 11:51 PM
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Thanks.

I checked the pressure switch hose and where it connects to the blower motor and both are clear. It seems the drain at the bottom of the blower is clogging. Started to attach a vacuum device to the bottom drain hose to clear it. I'll see if this helps.

-Mike.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:35 AM
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HI,

Still no luck, the blower still keeps filling with water. The strange thing is the rubber pipe connection above the blower seems to be draining fine, when the WH runs and when it is not. The blower drain never drips. The blower fills when the WH is off, not on. I can apply a small suction to the blower drain pipe after the blower has filled with water and it will drain freely. The drain setup has worked fine until a week ago, trap setup properly, drain hose clear....

There is something stopping the blower from draining inside the blower I think.

Any more ideas?

Thanks -Mike.
 
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Old 01-04-14, 10:41 AM
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I would turn the unit off and pull the vent out of the rubber coupling.. Then I would remove the coupling and have a look...
 
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Old 01-04-14, 06:19 PM
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Mike,

I pulled the blower and condensation thing above the blower and cleaned it out. I think this fixed the problem.

The WH ran fine today, but I turned off power and turned it back on and now I have a new intelivent error code.
The manual states this means "Flame signal has been sensed out of sequence"
I also noticed the water was very very hot! like 190 degrees, way over the bax set point.

I power cycle for 10min or so and the error code comes back. Could there be a over temp lockout or something like that?
 
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Old 01-04-14, 06:49 PM
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What exact code are you getting...????
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:54 PM
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- - - V A B C
* * * *

The manual says flame signal has been sensed out of proper sequence. But the online manual says ECO cutoff. I'm screwed right? I need a new controller?

The WH is 5.5years so parts are still under warranty, but I think I would still pay for a service call right?
 
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Old 01-04-14, 09:58 PM
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Ops, That last text did not come out right. The vacation led, and A,B and C leds are on.
 
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Old 01-05-14, 08:18 AM
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You will just pay labor.. That gas valve is about $250 as well as the fan assembly...IMO yes I would call for service..

You need to call a rep in your area.. Could even be the wire harness goes faulty...

Make sure you call AO smith.. You need to get a # from them...

https://warranty.hotwater.com/Heater...erSearch.aspx?
 
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Old 01-05-14, 10:50 AM
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Mike. I really appreciate the help you have given me, Thanks a whole bunch!
 
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Old 01-08-14, 10:52 AM
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Mike,

I got the controller replaced and now I'm back to the original problem where the blower collects too much condensate and does not drain.

Last night I pulled the drain off of the bottom of the blower and it drained. I blew into the drain 1/4" hose and it was clear but I needed a little pressure to overcome the 9" loop trap down below. I think there is not enough pressure in the drain water to overcome the trap. I have a couple of questions:

1) Do I need the trap? Is it only to prevent exhaust gas venting?

2) Can I replace this 1/4" hose with a 3/8" to make the flow easier?

3) Any reason it would only collect water when the blower is off between cycles?

4) The pipe condensate collector above is clear and draining OK.

5) There is a VAA above, with wet mesh, could it be dripping through that in the center and missing the pipe condensate collector?

Thanks -Mike.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 10:59 AM
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9" loop trap down below.
Trap is supposed to be up high? Up near the top of the tank... Thats where I install them and i think its specified somewhere in the manual...

  1. yes
  2. yes
  3. condensate in the flue is draining back to the heater.. I forgot it the flue is supposed to pitch to the heater or to the outside? (confusing it with boilers.. will have to read the manual)
  4. ok
  5. I dont understand what you mean....
 
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Old 01-08-14, 11:40 AM
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I can play with the loop location tonight to see if I can get it to drain.
Can I make the trap smaller like 4" loop?

#5) The arrangement is the blower, above that is the condensation collector, above that is the VAA (like a muffler, and is nor required but is there). I wonder how the blower could collect so much water then the collector above it should be catching this water. The only thing I can think of is the VAA is like a sponge collecting water then dripping after the unit is off in the center of the pipe bypassing the condensation collector.
 
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Old 01-08-14, 11:49 AM
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Ugg I should have asked...What a dummy I am....... This is a vertex???

VAA (like a muffler, and is nor required but is there).
This on a horizontal or vertical? Is the condensate tube attached to the Vaa?

I had this same issue with this unit!!!!... The vent needs to pitch away from the heater to the outside... The VAA is only for noise... I had to remove it to fix the issue...

Let me know the exact model I will find some info...
 
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Old 01-08-14, 12:41 PM
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It is vertical so the drain connect on this is not used.

It is an AO Smith Virtex GPHE 50 100
Vertex
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:10 PM
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Can you take a pic of the heater and post it? Just want to see the venting and side port...

Again Im sorry... I assumed this was a regular powervent with a standard fan assembly...

I looking through the document now....
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:12 PM
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You have a U trap I assume and its below the exhaust elbow?
 
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Old 01-08-14, 01:17 PM
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Sidewall vent or through the roof?
 
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Old 01-09-14, 09:48 AM
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Here are the pics.

I test the drain by pouring water into the blower.
With the drain hose disconnected from the blower it drains slowly, but does drain.
Hooking up a 1/4 in drain hose w/o a trap it will drain, with a trap of even 1" loop it will not drain? There does not seem to be enough water pressure to overcome the trap.

I don't think it is a good drain setup. It could be it never drained right, and the reason I have a problem is why would the blower collect so much water (like 1cup).


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Old 01-09-14, 10:33 AM
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You have a U trap I assume and its below the exhaust elbow?

The U trap must be below the ell....
 
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Old 01-09-14, 10:40 AM
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Is that a series 100???.............
 
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Old 01-09-14, 10:51 AM
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Yes,

It is a GPHE 50 100.

It's not a U trap, it's now a 2" loop about 2feet below the elbo. the problem is the water pressure coming out of the blower drain cannot overcome a 2" trap.

Ever take one of these blowers apart?

-Mike.
 
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Old 01-09-14, 10:51 AM
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You have a gphe... You need no trap...

Look here this is from your manual... Your looking at the wrong manual...

http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/res_gas/197423.pdf


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Old 01-09-14, 11:03 AM
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Old 01-09-14, 01:21 PM
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Mike,

I think I owe you a case of beer. This makes more sense to me. The manual I have is dated 2006 (see below), this one is 2013. I'll bet AO smith had problems with this and changed it. I know this will work and it makes sense to me. All drain lines go to the lower input side of the exhaust (low pressure when blower running and no restrictions to drain when the blower is off).
I'm going to HomeDepot to get parts and I'm changing my drain scheme to the new method. I'll let you know. Thanks -Mike.

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Old 01-09-14, 02:53 PM
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OK... But the newer version the condensate goes to a T... Are you going to try to duplicate the T AO smith shows? That mau be sealed with barbed fittings...

Yes you need the loops in your design...

Let me try to find your manual online.. Yes I have installed a few of your versions and now I remember with the pic you show...

It was a bad design..

Why dont you just order the tee from AO smith? Ill get you part # in a bit...
 
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Old 01-09-14, 03:53 PM
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Mike,

I'm going to cut my exhaust pipe and put a T just like in the new manual. Then add two barbed hose fittings with adapters to make it sealed. I'll send a pic when I'm done.

-Mike.
 
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Old 01-10-14, 08:53 AM
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Mike,

See below. It works! No issues yet. WH ran all night.
Please send me an address where I can send you a gift card to buy that case of beer I owe you. ([email protected]).


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