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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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