Recent Topics
As close to blowing out as you can get
by wwillson
06/20/18 06:04 AM
changing tranny filter
by Dennisistheman
06/20/18 06:04 AM
From small things...
by Silk
06/20/18 05:57 AM
Anyone signing up for the Space Force
by Shannow
06/20/18 03:58 AM
Pennzoil Platinum at Walmart
by TheLawnRanger
06/19/18 11:21 PM
Mopar OEM and Fram Ultra Oil filters, '18 Jeep JL
by IndyFan
06/19/18 10:45 PM
What’s the odds..
by Eric Smith
06/19/18 09:51 PM
Who can relate?
by Reddy45
06/19/18 09:43 PM
No more oil changes
by goodtimes
06/19/18 09:19 PM
Separating toddlers from their parents?
by fdcg27
06/19/18 08:50 PM
gm 8.6 truetrac
by Spitter
06/19/18 08:45 PM
New addition to my garage: 2000 Corvette FRC
by MrHorspwer
06/19/18 08:34 PM
Rockauto 5% off
by Spitter
06/19/18 08:32 PM
fumoto oil valve
by Santo
06/19/18 08:19 PM
Grand solar minimum...
by ridgerunner
06/19/18 07:57 PM
Pentofrost coolant $10 Autozone
by PD001
06/19/18 07:49 PM
The things you find cleaning Garage 30+ btls slob
by digger327
06/19/18 07:20 PM
Castrol GTX Magantec 0w20 - 6 pack $21.99 - Amazon
by 04SE
06/19/18 07:07 PM
Havoline Pro DS 5w20 $3.15/quart - Amazon
by 04SE
06/19/18 07:06 PM
Needing New Dipstick
by Geauxtiger
06/19/18 05:11 PM
Newest Members
battleman13, Shassis, Santo, aligoodn, memyself
65275 Registered Users
Who's Online
59 registered (Bighorn2500, billt460, Boomer, BoiseBound, alarmguy, 77GrandPrix, 4 invisible), 942 Guests and 38 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
65275 Members
67 Forums
285633 Topics
4766726 Posts

Max Online: 3590 @ 01/24/17 08:07 PM
Donate to BITOG
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#4558567 - 10/29/17 05:06 PM Water heater woes
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 3650
Loc: SF Bay Area
Yesterday my wife was complaining to me that we didn't have hot water. We've lived in this house for about a decade but have never really noticed any issue with the water heater (ours is gas) until this day.

So I go down and check it, notice there's some leaking, and hear the sound of gas flowing. There was no smell of gas, and no particular heat coming from there. I wasn't sure what to do so I turned off both the gas supply and the water just in case something was failing, as well as the gas knob to off. It was a 1991 Kenmore branded heater, and there was a sticker on it saying that it was guaranteed to be leak free until 2001.

So today I figure I'd try it again. I take off the cover and remove the guard to see what's in there. The lighting instructions were on a label, but partially covered by a strap holding it to some pillars. I didn't quite get it right, as I found that it would only light the pilot if I pushed it down when turned to pilot. So the pilot lights and I hold it down for about a minute as the instructions recommended. So now the pilot is on but it's not doing anything else. I guess the pilot could have eventually warmed up the water, but this obviously isn't working correctly. So I just did the obvious which was to turn the temperature control, and it fires up immediately.

I figure it's about time for a new one, but money is a little tight for us right now. Any idea what might cause an otherwise working (although leaking) water heater to stop working? I didn't smell any gas when I initially checked, but I guess the pilot could have blown out. But could it have been something like a bad thermocouple?

Top
#4558584 - 10/29/17 05:34 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
SHOZ Offline


Registered: 06/28/03
Posts: 5744
Loc: Illinois
Did you turn the pilot knob to on after the pilot stayed on?
_________________________
2008 Hyundai Accent 1.6L 5 sp manual hatchback
2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe Track 2L Turbo 6sp manual

Top
#4558588 - 10/29/17 05:36 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
JC1 Offline


Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 3002
Loc: Oshawa, Ontario Canada
The anode could be shot and you could gave a ton of scale buildup inside the tank.
The thermocouple could be shot too and the flame sensor could need a cleaning.

You could try and clean the flame sensor and change the thermocouple.

I'd say you got your moneys worth out of that tank. It's probably badly corroded inside, so it should be replaced soon.

Most tanks these days don't last 15 years.


Edited by JC1 (10/29/17 05:39 PM)
_________________________
2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Wix Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 PPPP/Mahle Filter

Top
#4558591 - 10/29/17 05:37 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
gathermewool Offline


Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 5987
When was the last time you flushed the drain?

Top
#4558593 - 10/29/17 05:39 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
Your living on borrowed time. We are getting close to 30 yrs old.

Any money you spend will be money down the drain when you replace it.

If you do not replace it you should install a water leak detector to sound a buzzer if leak gets worse.

I am not a gas burner expert but certainly could be thermocouple.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


Top
#4558596 - 10/29/17 05:41 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
Electromotive Offline


Registered: 12/10/14
Posts: 50
Loc: Georgia
My gas hot water heater quit heating a while back. The pilot light would go out, and it turned out to be that the very fine dust screen at the bottom of the heater under the burner was clogged with dust. It was not allowing enough oxygen into the combustion chamber to keep the pilot light lit. After cleaning the screen, all is well now.

Top
#4558607 - 10/29/17 05:56 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
LoneRanger Offline


Registered: 07/02/07
Posts: 4056
Loc: Midwest USA
A heater that old that is actively leaking could have the tank fail catastrophically and flood the area. Find the funds and get it replaced as soon as practical.
_________________________

'09 Subaru Forester ...................(QSED DEXOS1 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)

Top
#4558620 - 10/29/17 06:05 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: SHOZ]
y_p_w Offline


Registered: 05/06/05
Posts: 3650
Loc: SF Bay Area
Originally Posted By: SHOZ
Did you turn the pilot knob to on after the pilot stayed on?

Yes. I held it down after lighting the pilot, and then switched it to ON. It was also a pain since I needed a flashlight to see the thing, but needed both my hand pushing down on the knob and my other hand carrying a lighter. I thought that it would have turned the gas on immediately once I switched it to ON, but only the pilot was lit. But just turning the temp control a little higher cause it to turn on immediately.

Top
#4558624 - 10/29/17 06:10 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
JLawrence08648 Offline


Registered: 01/20/17
Posts: 234
Loc: NJ
I had a bad thermocouple which the part was covered by the warranty, easy to install.

You have day, days, weeks before the hot water heater let's loose.

Top
#4558637 - 10/29/17 06:26 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
mk378 Offline


Registered: 09/27/15
Posts: 1416
Loc: USA
If the thermocouple were bad, the pilot would go out immediately after you release the knob. This is why you have to press the knob down to make gas flow while the thermocouple is cold. Once the thermocouple heats up, it powers a tiny electromagnet that holds the gas valve open as long as the pilot stays lit.

It sounds like the main thermostat in the control is refusing to fire the burner unless you turn the temperature dial up way past the actual water temperature. It is not economic to replace the control on such an old heater.

Top
#4558669 - 10/29/17 07:02 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
JohnnyO Offline


Registered: 09/26/03
Posts: 2523
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
A 1991 water heater, it can let go any day now. I had to get one two years ago, went to Lowe's then had a bud of mine who can solder pipes install it (I can solder new pipes but never had success doing pipes with water in them and no, stuffing bread into them didn't work). This time I also got a tray that goes under the water heater and piped it over to a floor drain with PVC in case this one ever leaks. Did the same with the washing machine now that most of my basement is carpeted.
_________________________
Steeler Nation does not have to travel. We're already there.

Top
#4558679 - 10/29/17 07:11 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 5393
Loc: MIchigan
Doesn't really matter what is wrong with it now if it's leaking. When it leaks it needs replacing.

Top
#4558688 - 10/29/17 07:18 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
walterjay Offline


Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 234
Loc: Maryland
Replace it asap.

Top
#4558692 - 10/29/17 07:23 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w]
Rand Offline


Registered: 08/20/03
Posts: 12638
Loc: NE,Ohio
spend on something good. do research while you can.. before its.. "I need one now"
_________________________
2017 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk V6

Top
#4558699 - 10/29/17 07:31 PM Re: Water heater woes [Re: JohnnyO]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20450
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: JohnnyO
A 1991 water heater, it can let go any day now. I had to get one two years ago, went to Lowe's then had a bud of mine who can solder pipes install it (I can solder new pipes but never had success doing pipes with water in them and no, stuffing bread into them didn't work). This time I also got a tray that goes under the water heater and piped it over to a floor drain with PVC in case this one ever leaks. Did the same with the washing machine now that most of my basement is carpeted.


The good plumbers have stopped sweating copper. They crimp the elbows or tees with a $3000 crimp tool.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


Top
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 >