Gas water heater keep shut off

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  #1  
Old 05-08-12, 09:46 PM
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Gas water heater keep shut off

From time to time, the gas water heater will be shut off with no reason. So end up I will have no gas, ever though I tried to re-ignite the control unit by following up the instruction, basically it would be to turn the knob to shut off 1st, then turn to Ignite position, then dial back to the normal working position and stay there.

From time to time, I repeated above procedure and still cannot get it heat up. I noticed when this happened, it is mostly a hot day, such as 90F or plus and a dryer in the same room is working in dryer cycle. The room to host the water heater is very small in which there are washer and dryer with poor ventilation. This is a normal residential gas water heater.

Is there mechanism built-in the water heater to shut off automatically if the surrounding temperature is too high? What temperature means "too high"? Here is Bay Area in California, usually the temperature is not as high as Texas, Arizona though.

Or maybe something else is wrong?
 
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Old 05-09-12, 12:44 AM
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What is the make and model of the water heater?


Mike NJ
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-09-12 at 09:16 AM. Reason: Correct typo.
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Old 05-09-12, 08:24 AM
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sounds like there is other issues.
Never seen a gas valve worried about the ambient room temps.
You may have low gas pressure to the tank if the gas (assumed) dryer is running.

Either way, lets start with a model number
 
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Old 05-09-12, 03:38 PM
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The Dryer is electric next to it. The only gas appliance in this house is stove, which is not heavily used. Haven't checked the model and maker yet. This is my rental house. Will check the model and maker and report back.
 
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Old 05-09-12, 04:01 PM
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John, are you saying that you own the rental, or that you are the renter? If you are the renter, you need to be careful that you don't 'break' anything... if there's a problem, call the landlord, don't mess with it. You break it, you bought it.

By the way, if the water heater is in a confined space with the dryer, it's possible that the dryer is 'robbing' the heater of combustion air. This could be a big part of the problem. If you've got one of the new style water heaters with that silly 'flame arrester' on the air intake, it may be clogged up with dryer lint. Never a good idea for those two appliances to be in the same vicinity.

That said, I'm moving your post from the heating boiler forum over to the water heater forum.
 
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Old 05-09-12, 04:12 PM
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By the way, if the water heater is in a confined space with the dryer, it's possible that the dryer is 'robbing' the heater of combustion air. This could be a big part of the problem. If you've got one of the new style water heaters with that silly 'flame arrester' on the air intake, it may be clogged up with dryer lint. Never a good idea for those two appliances to be in the same vicinity.

My exact thoughts but I wanted to wait for the exact model and make before I suggested anything.

The units have thermal cutoffs when starving for air they overheat. AO smith is know for this.

Mike NJ


 
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Old 05-10-12, 11:02 PM
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I own this house but I rent it out to a single mom who is not handy. She reported this problem a year ago, and I hired a plumber to check it out. The plumber didn't find anything wrong, except clean up the surroundings, and he easily had the heater lit up at the time.

Now the tenant told me she observed couple of shut off incidents in summer time as I described. I promised her that I am going to find a permanent solution for her. Thatís why I come to this forum for help. I want to find the root cause of this failure. I am not sure if replacing entire controller would do the trick.

The tenant hasn't come back maker and model yet. Thank you all for the help.
 
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Old 05-10-12, 11:45 PM
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Once you get make and model, and possibly the s/n to find out the yr I can help you.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 05-11-12, 07:45 AM
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Hi, Mike,

Thanks for the help. Here is the info:
A.O.Smith ProMax+Plus High Efficienty
Model: GVR 50 100. See picture
WaterHeater | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
 
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Old 05-11-12, 12:02 PM
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Its a series 100. It has a corderite disk that gets clogged with lint. ( I believe thats the last yr they made that series because of the lint issue. They have a new design now)

Remove the black plastic lint screen in the front of the heater. You need to look in there. get your eye low to the floor and look in there with a bright flashlight. Look up when looking in there.

That is where the air come into the combustion chamber. Its a honeycomb type disk that acts as a fire break.


You should see a layer of dust on the disk. That is blocking the airflow and there is a thermal sensor that shuts the gas down. Only when the unit cools you are able to relight it, but the same thing will happen after the unit heats up.

The trick is to clean that disk. Some use a toilet brush to get in there and scrap the dust layer off the disk.

I used to use a shop vac with a piece of 1/2 copper, duct taped to the vacuum hose. About a 2 ft piece with a elbow on the end. You need to bend the copper pipe slightly on a up angle. Get the elbow in there aiming up so as to vacuum the bottom of that disk.

Once you do that you should be good for some time. Its from being in a small room with a lint producing dryer or HVAC system that usually causes this.

Here is the technical bulletin. I believe if you call AO smith they will send you a brush.

http://www.hotwater.com/lit/fvirtechbulletin.pdf


Now the other part.... The unit is under warranty but this is not a covered warranty item. You may call AO smith and get a service guy out there but they will charge you a min labor charge to perform this service.

We were getting $149 bucks in NJ.

There is more information regarding the thermal switch but I can go into great detail and my fingers are already tired.

Let me know what route you will take.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 05-13-12, 09:51 PM
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Thanks Mike. Just followed your instruction and clean up it a bit. so I am crossing my finger to wailt for next shut off. Hope it will a while.
 
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Old 05-13-12, 09:59 PM
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Did you see the dust in there?

Please let us know how it turns out.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 06-04-12, 02:08 PM
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It's been a month since last clean up. Haven't got any report on any shut off problem on the water heater. I bought a long handler of brush and left it at site of the heater for regular cleaning. So far so good.
 
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