Gas water heater not getting hot, help!


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Old 01-02-09, 04:02 AM
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Gas water heater not getting hot, help!

I just recently moved into a new home with a gas hot water heater. I have no knowledge about these heaters as I have always had electric heaters. I looked at the settings and noticed a large dial towards the bottom of the heater that controls the temp. It has letter settings with A being cooler and C being hotter. It was already set on B so I left it there. I showered for about a week with no issues. Then one day I took a shower and the water never got above luke-warm. I had not run any other appliance for over 3 hours that used hot water, so this was not the case. I decided to turn the temp up, but it left the pilot running all the time and would still put out cool water. I noticed that the system turns off if I don't use it for a few hours. This is when it tends to put out only cool water. If I turn on hot water and turn it off, the system comes back on. After about 30 mins I usually get hot water, but this is not acceptable since I wake up at 430 am for work and need hot water. Does anyone have any tips with this sort of unit?
 
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Old 01-02-09, 07:57 AM
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The odds are that the pilot burner is dirty, causing a soft pilot flame that can blow around and blow out.

If so, the pilot burner would need to be removed, diassembled and cleaned.

It might have a weak thermocouple.

There can be other reasons for pilot outages too.

If you want to DIY --- start by cleaning the pilot burner. A lot of people would replace the thermocouple too, since this is an inexpensive part and could be a problem.

Or you can hire a repair service, which too often prefer to sell you a new tank rather than repair the old one, and charge you for a service call to give you that advice.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 08:48 AM
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Thanks for the advice, I will give that a try. Could it be possible that there may be an energy saver setting that turns the pilot off, because I never have to re-light it, I simply just turn on a hot water faucet and it will turn on if it has been unused for several hours. Is the easiest way to clean the pilot to use compressed air to blow it out? I did that with my gas fireplace and it works good now.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 02:18 PM
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No, there is no such energy saving feature. The equipment is just marginal and susceptible to blowing out the pilot when the burner turns off, I expect.

I clean pilot with a wire brush like a toothbrush, although a regular wire brush works OK. The most important thing is cleaning the pilot orifice which has a very small hole to form the gas jet for the pilot burner. I use a wire from a wire brush for that.
 
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Old 01-07-09, 06:50 AM
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Question

I am wondering if cleaning the pilot solved this problem. I have a very similar problem with a 4 year old gas water heater.

Over the course of a day with normal water use the water supply is hot and adequate. The only problem occurs with the first use in the morning: the water is only luke-warm. It is as if the thermostat did not maintain the temperature of the water overnight. After this first use of hot water in the morning, the cold water entering the tank wakes up the thermostat and the water heats up to the normal temperature. The water heater provides hot water for the rest of the day.

I know the pilot does not go out as there is not an automatic re-lighter and I have not had to re-light the pilot. Has anyone seen this problem? I would really like to understand what is going wrong in this situation.
 
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Old 01-07-09, 09:04 AM
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Hello tom ---


I'd like to suggest starting a new thread with your question. Mixing problems rapidly creates a lot of confusion.
 
 

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