near mishap/disaster with water heater

Just thought I share an awful experience last night during my basement reno. In the end, everything went well, but it almost didn't. I was glueing some PVC pipe last night and I had to get to an elbow above the water heater. It was a tight spot, so I climbed on a chair and put my can of purple PVC primer on top of the water heater. Well, somehow the can tipped over and spilled all over the top of the water heater and went down the sides. I was panicking as I tried to get a rag to clean it off and now I have an overwhelming smell of primer. Then the water heater made this unforgettable loud "humming/vibrating sound". At first I thought it was the flame arrestor mechanism kicking in, so I immediately shut off the gas valve. The vibrating/humming stopped. At this point I thought my water heater was screwed. So I waited an hour to vent the area and clean up thoroughly around the water heater, then I relit the pilot, turned it on, and everything worked again. Although I now have a purple water heater, everything seems to be ok. Thank God my water heater was not running when this occured, only the pilot was lit at the time. So my question is does anyone know why the water heater was making that sound? And not that this is important , but is it possible for me to paint the water heater maybe a latex white?
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On Tue, 15 Feb 2011 07:47:29 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

Fumes from the PVC glue probably lit off in the heater. Don't see why you can't paint it. It's already painted in the factory isn't it? Wouldn't use latex, maybe a high-temp enamel spray. Just turn off the gas first, including the pilot.
--Vic
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The surface actually is not hot at all.Thats why I though latex would be fine.
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On Tue, 15 Feb 2011 08:26:48 -0800 (PST), Mikepier

I mentioned spray enamel thinking you have a white heater. My car is white, and the paint is peeling off in places. Hood and both back fenders. Pretty dark gray factory primer underneath. Some rust on the rockers too. Once a year before we go to Florida I get a couple cans of white gloss spray enamel. Maybe 4 bucks total. Mask off a few areas I might get paint on, then hit the bad spots. Maybe 10 minutes. Don't even sand. Car is white again. Perfect for Florida. You might cover the glue stains the same way with one can of auto spray paint.
--Vic
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Not sure about the sound, maybe the vapors did combust and self extinguish within the shell.
We put some supposedly plastic burger baskets inside our dishwasher and now we have a dishwasher that is purple on the inside, and it looks like the color was slung with a paint brush.
The water heater at our cabin was painted in 1986 by a very talented artist with squirrels, a waterfall, vines, trout, and lots of greenery. I'm going to hate when it goes out. We drain it every season, and every time we fire it up, cross our fingers.
You dodged a bullet, my friend.
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Steve B wrote:

Hmm, Did you oprn a window for venting the fume? If safety enginer watched you working like that it could be a cause for you being fired. This time you were lucky.
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Yeah, let's get a little more oxygen in here. That's what we need .....................
helloooooooooooooooooo
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Lesson learned, believe me. This was a total lapse of judgement. I'm just glad nothing bad happened. This was the first mishap in my basement reno and hopefully my last.
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Is it safe to assume that you know it doesn't do the vibrating/humming thing every time someone uses the water in the house?...
Mayne this would be a good excuse to buy an insulating blanket rather than painting... (Not that you couldn't do both.)
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On Feb 15, 8:05pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I'll try to post some pics later. But in the meantime I just finished painting it with regular latex semi-gloss and it came out pretty good.
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On Feb 16, 8:11am, "Stormin Mormon"

Well, probably only me, but it is not even a month old and it was a nice bright white. I installed it myself, so I have some pride in doing my own work.
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I've spilled enough purple stuff that now after I apply it I put the top back on.
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On 2/15/2011 10:47 AM, Mikepier wrote:

I tried to blow up my house using spray shellac primer in my kitchen. Fortunately, I failed. At the time, I did my seriously messy work when the children were in bed. Summer, hot, still evening. Windows wide open, no breeze. Gas range in kitchen, burner pilots out. Plastic tarps covering everything in room. Start spraying like mad to cover stains on ceiling, prep for painting. The room becomes a solid cloud of primer and no breeze to vent. No sooner finished than I remembered that the pilot for the oven was still lit. My first instinct was to get out of the house, but the fam were sleeping. Dove under the tarp to blow out the pilot. During that project, painting and papering the room, I burned off the tip of a utility knife, trimming paper around a wall switch. I was wearing rubber gloves in case I did that little trick, so no harm to me.
My daughter came home from a neighbor's when she was little. Came into the kitchen, over near the stove where I was fixing dinner.....until I smelled gasoline. I dragged her outside and asked where the gasoline smell came from. She and the neighbor child had gotten some tar on their hands and feet and neighbor cleaned it off with gasoline! Shit! I read an article in Reader's Digest, years and years ago, about the person with the worst burns (99%?) ever to survive....have cared for only one burn patient in my nursing career, and it is unforgettable. The RD subject was a little girl who had gotten into some paint, cleaned it off herself with gasoline in the bathroom prior to taking a bath. The rags and gasoline were in the bathroom, the water heater came on......
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It was a regular drain line I was working on.
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.
== You were lucky that there wasn't an explosion...those vapors are nothing to fool with. ==
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...
OP just used one of his 9 lives.
I once accidently ran a tiller into the main service cable for my house. if it wasnt for the rubber handle grips my neighbor just put back on the borrowed tiller I would be dead nearly 30 years........
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