I've got a one year old Rheem water heater. Apparently, there is a
problem involving the amount of air that is entering the sealed
combustion chamber. There is sufficient natural gas pressure. No
problems with the thermostat, that has been replaced TWICE. The entire
burner assembly has been replaced and the system is venting properly.
Yet the flame, an orange one, never gets as hot as it should. Since it
is a sealed combustion chamber, there is no way to adjust the intake
of air. The inlets are not blocked, clogged, or otherwise. The heater
is in an open basement, with two feet of open space surrounding it.
Two customer service reps at Rheem say that the combustion shutoff
device is likely tripped, and if that's the case, the only way to
remedy the problem is to replace the unit because the tripped device
can not be replaced or repaired. The manager of the technical
department says that if the device were tripped, there would be no
flame at all. What else could be wrong?