Help - nonfunctioning Hotpoint water heater


Hello,
I'm hoping that some of you have some ideas about this. I have a 30 gallon, natural gas, water heater that's a little over 1 1/2 years old. This week, the sump pump stopped working in the basement and the floor flooded with about 3" of water before it was discovered. I heard a POP from the basement and smelt a burning smell. After getting the sump pump running, and tracking the smell down, it looks like the water heater is the source of the burning smell (which is already dissipating). The heater pilot is out and will not relight. The water didn't get high enough to enter the burner chamber (I think). My only guess is that the burner overheated trying to keep up as the cold water soaked the insulation around the tank. There's a note on the label that there's a one-time shut off device in this tank and that the whole control valve assembly will have to be replaced. I have a sinking feeling that, in addition to a cold shower in the morning, I'm going to take a hit to the wallet. Any ideas, advice, suggestions, experiences similar?
Thanks, Louie
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louie wrote:

ok, other weirdness - made a last-ditch effort to relight the pilot and it LIT! .... but then the burner came on and everything went out. So I tried again after waiting a few minutes, this time the pilot lit but did so with a very LOUD, rattling pop and orange flame along with the burnt smell I noticed earlier. I have now shut off the gas cock to the water heater and admitted defeat rather than become part of tomorrow morning's news. Still looking for ideas.
Louie
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wrote:

I dont see what could be burning. That compartment is made for flame. Why not just leave the pilot burn for several hours and leave the burner turned off. That will dry things out. Or run a fan into the burner compartment for a day first. Once things dry, it should work. Look for something that may have floated in there such as a piece of wood. I cant see any reason for the burning smell.
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Well, since the last time I tried lighting the pilot, it exploded on me (not badly enough to escape the chamber, but there was certainly some unexplained excess gas in there after having the gas shut off for over 10 minutes). I don't feel lucky enough to keep trying to light it, especially since it apparently "popped" once on its own before I started messing with it.
Thanks for the ideas, I do plan to do a "postmortem" on the old 30 gallon once the new 40 gallon is installed. I was going to go for a tankless, but the extra effort of installing it, extra up-front cost, and the fact that nobody seems to keep them in stock around here pushed me back to installing a short-style 40 gallon and putting it up on a support off the floor.
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I'll be sure to never buy one of those. A one time shutoff is assenine. The control probably costs more than another water heater. What kind of warranty is there? See if they will cover it, but dont mention the flooding. Once the flood was contained, the heater should work again. A gas control is not all that complicated that water should do anything once it drys out.
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snipped-for-privacy@my.com wrote:

Thanks for the reply, not sure about a warranty, it was installed prior to my buying the house, and there's no paperwork for it. The one-time shutoff is pretty common in newer gas water heaters as I understand it. It's meant as a safety so that if something goes wrong in the burner chamber, it shuts off permanently so that it can't be started back up without replacing the valve assembly. I just bought a Whirlpool 40 gal heater that has the same thing only it's called a "Flamelock" on this one.
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