Water Heater burner question

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Old 03-21-07, 12:07 PM
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Water Heater burner question

I have a Sears Kenmore Economizer 5 gas water heater. The other night I heard a weird FWOOM sound come from it. I figured the pilot went out and went to relight it. When I removed the outer and inner doors, I noticed a small drip inside. I also noticed what appeared to be a puddle of water on the burner itself. I soaked up the water, thinking it was just condensation and lit the pilot. No flame on the burner until I turned up the temperature control. When I did, the flame seemed a little strange. It was blue, but it just didn't seem right. It extended a little below the burner, like maybe there was a leak in the burner itself.

What I'm wondering is what should the flame look like when when the pilot is lit? I most likely am going to have to get a new heater, but I would like to try to get this one to last a few more months until I can afford it.

I also only smelt gas when I was lighting the pilot.

Any suggestions?
 
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Old 03-21-07, 02:00 PM
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The pilot flame should look just like a pilot on those old gas furnaces, except a bit smaller. If the burner is soaked with water, the flame may do some strange things until the water boils off.

Anyway, my main concern is the possibility of a leaking tank. You can rule out condensation if it continues to drip when the burner is off. If in fact your tank is leaking, I would not wait for replacement. These small leaks can turn into big floods without warning. If your tank is located inside the house or attic or anyplace where water could do damage, I would turn off the water. Many people would feel lucky if their heater gave them a warning (small leak) before the big flood. Don't ignore the warning.
 
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Old 03-22-07, 08:34 AM
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Thanks, Jim. It looks like I have to get a new water heater.

I have two new questions now.

First question is: I live in a mobile home. Is there anywhere online that I can compare water heaters? The only one I found was a Kenmore Economizer 6 Mobile Home water heater. I know there has to be other companies that make MH water heaters.

Second question is: would a tankless water heater work in a mobile home? I'm a single guy and don't really need to heat thirty or forty gallons constantly.
 
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