Overheating WH


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Old 07-16-12, 09:14 AM
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Overheating WH

On occasion the top of my water heater becomes very hot. The water coming from the tap is a normal temp so it's not overheating the water but when the heater is heating water the top becomes hot. Most of the time the heater is fine while working, cool to the touch but these occasions of the tank getting hot at the top is concerning me.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 09:29 AM
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Water heaters can get hot to the touch and the top more so since heat rises. It could just be the model you have has little insulation on the top.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 11:14 AM
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If its a gas heater you may have serious draft issues. You could have deadly co ISSUES.

Do you have a CO detector??? Very important for yours and your familys saftey.

You may see the plastic grommets where the H/C water pipes enter are melted near the draft hood. If so you may have issues.

IMO if you are not sure, I would call out a pro asap!!!!

Now it may be an electric heater....so please let us know.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 04:09 PM
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The heater is propane. I do not think there is a draft problem. The heater is located in a utility room right next to my shower. When this is happening I do not smell any fumes--I have smelled them when the whole house fan is running but that's a whole different situation. The heater only does this occasionally, most of the time it's only warm when running. I know heat rises but the temp of the top of the heater on these occasions is not normal.
 
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Old 07-16-12, 04:16 PM
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You mention a whole house fan which makes me think you definitely need a CO detector in your house. The flue for your water heater is no different than an open window. When a vent fan or whole house fan is turned on it can easily allow air to be sucked into the house through the flue, bringing combustion gasses into the house.

Is there a particular spot on top of the heater where you notice it being hot?
 
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Old 07-17-12, 04:34 AM
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And btw, CO is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; hence the need for detectors.
 
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Old 07-18-12, 11:53 AM
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Yes we have a co2 detector, right outside of the util room. I'm aware of the issue with the whole house fan sucking air through the vent. There is no problem there. Top of heater only gets super hot about 1 out of every 25 or so times it runs. It's not insulation--mostly is only warm. It's not vent as it vents fine when running--hot or warm. It's not the fan as it does it also when AC running. Guess I'll call a pro and ask them. I'm leaning toward a possible propane pressure problem. I'm a pretty savy person and already thought of all of these things. I installed this heater 10 years ago (as well as all the plumbing in the house) but this is a "new" occurrence (maybe over last year).
 
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Old 07-18-12, 12:06 PM
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What is the make and model heater? If its sealed chamber the air intake may be clogged. This causes draft issues also. But I need to know the make and model to guide you further.
 
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Old 07-18-12, 12:32 PM
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Sorry, felt the need to make this correction: You have a CO detector, not a CO2 detector (they are very different compounds).
 
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Old 07-18-12, 04:31 PM
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The heater is a GSM Series 6, 40 gal gas heater, purchased at Lowes. Been in place for about 11 years now, working fine. It's right outside my shower door so I hear it run every night. This only occurs once in a while but started within the last year or so. I did have a problem with the valve after about a year, GSM sent me a new one which I installed and it's been working fine since.
 
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Old 07-19-12, 10:03 AM
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Yes I know, I said it wrong. CO2 just has more of a "jingle" to it I guess.
 
 

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