Recent Topics
oil for 2.5 2013 vw passat?
by jstert. 12/13/18 09:47 AM
Scotty Kilmer Parody
by oilpsi2high. 12/13/18 09:41 AM
ID this old tool
by John_Conrad. 12/13/18 09:30 AM
Weak New CR2032/remote start + fob batteries
by redhat. 12/13/18 09:23 AM
Smart charges/time
by Duffyjr. 12/13/18 08:24 AM
7.3 powerstroke water pump
by mobilaltima. 12/13/18 07:10 AM
98 Jeep Cherokee, what oil is spec'd?
by otis24. 12/13/18 06:31 AM
fixing LED Christmas lights
by danez_yoda. 12/13/18 06:30 AM
Things are not as they seem to be..
by CourierDriver. 12/13/18 06:09 AM
Oz Ranger Raptor
by Shannow. 12/13/18 05:22 AM
Shop vac recommendations
by dlundblad. 12/13/18 05:06 AM
Internet Network Issues
by ZeeOSix. 12/13/18 04:13 AM
Looking for Fram Ultra XG30 and XG5 cut open
by rubberchicken. 12/12/18 10:27 PM
92 f150 332 code
by ram_man. 12/12/18 10:05 PM
Mixing brands of brake fluid / gear lube
by SureshR. 12/12/18 09:26 PM
45,000 miles in the Caprice.
by ls1mike. 12/12/18 09:21 PM
Quality oils?
by Horsehaulin. 12/12/18 09:16 PM
Newest Members
Poles19, HinaMach, Horsehaulin, JLew, bmrk1100
66666 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
105 registered members (4WD, aquariuscsm, anndel, aba4430, 2004tdigls, AZjeff, 14 invisible), 1,798 guests, and 39 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics295,018
Posts4,926,070
Members66,666
Most Online2,553
Oct 27th, 2018
Donate to BITOG
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3
Water heater woes #4558567
10/29/17 04:06 PM
10/29/17 04:06 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,657
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,657
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?

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558584
10/29/17 04:34 PM
10/29/17 04:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
Illinois
SHOZ Offline
SHOZ  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,951
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
Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558588
10/29/17 04:36 PM
10/29/17 04:36 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,283
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
JC1 Offline
JC1  Offline
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,283
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.

Last edited by JC1; 10/29/17 04:39 PM.

2015 Grand Caravan SXT Plus 5w-20 PPPP/Fram Ultra Filter
1997 Honda Civic CX 5w-30 Shell Conventional/Fram Ultra Filter
Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558591
10/29/17 04:37 PM
10/29/17 04:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,520
New England
gathermewool Offline
gathermewool  Offline
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 6,520
New England
When was the last time you flushed the drain?


'14 Forester XT FA20DIT (Cobb Stage 1)
Edge 0W-40 + FU filter (64,774 miles)
'15 Legacy FB25 (OEM Stage, uh, neg. 7?)
Edge 0W-20 + FU filter (40,803 miles)
Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558593
10/29/17 04:39 PM
10/29/17 04:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,112
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,112
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)
Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558596
10/29/17 04:41 PM
10/29/17 04:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 51
Georgia
Electromotive Offline
Electromotive  Offline
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 51
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.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558607
10/29/17 04:56 PM
10/29/17 04:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,340
Midwest USA
LoneRanger Offline
LoneRanger  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,340
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 ...................(QS HM 5W30)
'16 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 .....(ENI i-Ride PG 10W60)
Re: Water heater woes [Re: SHOZ] #4558620
10/29/17 05:05 PM
10/29/17 05:05 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,657
SF Bay Area
y_p_w Offline OP
y_p_w  Offline OP
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 3,657
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.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558624
10/29/17 05:10 PM
10/29/17 05:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 366
NJ
JLawrence08648 Offline
JLawrence08648  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 366
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.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558637
10/29/17 05:26 PM
10/29/17 05:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,594
USA
mk378 Offline
mk378  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,594
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.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558669
10/29/17 06:02 PM
10/29/17 06:02 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,526
Pittsburgh, PA
JohnnyO Offline
JohnnyO  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,526
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.
Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558679
10/29/17 06:11 PM
10/29/17 06:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,909
MIchigan
Warstud Offline
Warstud  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,909
MIchigan
Doesn't really matter what is wrong with it now if it's leaking. When it leaks it needs replacing.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558688
10/29/17 06:18 PM
10/29/17 06:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 317
Maryland
walterjay Offline
walterjay  Offline
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 317
Maryland
Replace it asap.

Re: Water heater woes [Re: y_p_w] #4558692
10/29/17 06:23 PM
10/29/17 06:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,138
NE,Ohio
Rand Offline
Rand  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 13,138
NE,Ohio
spend on something good. do research while you can.. before its.. "I need one now"


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
Re: Water heater woes [Re: JohnnyO] #4558699
10/29/17 06:31 PM
10/29/17 06:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,112
Upstate NY
Donald Offline
Donald  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 21,112
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)
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3

BOB IS THE OIL GUY® Powered by UBB.threads™