Orange Flames with Gas Water Heater


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Old 04-22-10, 10:42 PM
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Orange Flames with Gas Water Heater

I wrote earlier in another forum about a problem with our gas stove. The burners were burning orange instead of blue. Because this stove has fixed orofice burners with no air shutters, it was deemed by local repair that the regulator was faulty. A new regulator has been ordered, but not yet installed.

Tonight I was sitting near the water heater and noticed a strong smell coming from the burner. Unfortunately, the builder installed the heater in a closet off the living room, so we can't get away from it. While it was on, I took off the inspection door and saw that it too has orange flames. I am assuming now that our gas furnace does the same, but it's on the roof, and I'm not going up there to find out.

Is it possible that the problem is coming from a faulty utility meter/regulator out at the curb? It is at least 20 years old, assuming it was new when the house was built. I tried calling the utility company, but I could only talk to a real person if it was a life emergency. Otherwise you get to play with their voice system. Need advice.
 
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Old 04-23-10, 11:22 AM
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IT IS AN EMERGENCY!! YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE LOOK AT THAT ASAP!!
 
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Old 04-23-10, 12:39 PM
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Actually, it wasn't. The gas company sent a technician out to check it, and found nothing wrong. Gas pressure was correct. Very low CO. Utilitiy meter was operating correctly. He said the reason for the orange flames was because they added mercaptan recently, and until it normalizes in the system, lots of people report orange flames. Our gas range, which started this quest for an answer, was blowing perfect, blue flames this morning. Naturally.
 
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Old 04-23-10, 01:01 PM
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So THATS why I like asparagus so much..lol.

sorry...just do a wiki search for mercaptan.
 
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Old 04-24-10, 02:12 PM
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I wonder how many people had an unnecessary service call because the gas company didn't bother to tell anyone they were doing this!
 
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Old 04-24-10, 06:27 PM
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My thoughts exactly. At least I was able to find out what the problem was. I guess my next project is to find a good replacement for the present heater.
 
 

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