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Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: AAA
Date: October 24, 2009 07:21PM
Gas water heater. Not too old. Water seemed pretty warm but no hot last couple days. Pilot is okay. But after a shower the full burner is not firing up. The thermostat is set to hot, not warm.

I turned it all off. Shut off gas. Pilot went out. Re-lit everything. Same symptoms.

I attached hosed and drained it. Finally, the full burner came on.

Can anything be diagnosed and subsequently 'fixed' (more than the draining might have accommodated) from the above?

I did not see much muck come out from the drain. And flowed very forcibly. Steamy hot at first. Mildly warm after minutes gone by.

I have no real experience with even the desire to DIY something like this. I mean, I can understand just fine the physics of it all, but don't want to try an fix it myself. Just a little caution I have about working with natural gas or other combustibles.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: Z
Date: October 24, 2009 07:33PM
Thermocouple could be going bad, though in my experience, more of a good then bad thing, rather than intermittent fault. Pretty easy to replace.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: Microman
Date: October 24, 2009 09:09PM
Thermo couple is the protective device that makes sure the Pilot light is lit, thus generating a small voltage, that allows the main gas to open up.

THese fail. Mine did on New Years one time. Nobody was open, and I had to wait till 6 am on the 2nd to buy one. I now have two extra thermocouples in the garage. But not sure if they work on this new water heater we just put in.

Once youve awakened to cold water, you will know how easy it is to replace a thermo couple. Hopefully yours is easy as well.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: AAA
Date: October 24, 2009 09:47PM
I will have to look into a replacement part and procedure for that.

I recall learning about thermocouples in 7th grade science. (nothing important in that statement. Just blurting)
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: tenders
Date: October 24, 2009 10:53PM
Quote
Microman
Thermo couple is the protective device that makes sure the Pilot light is lit, thus generating a small voltage, that allows the main gas to open up.

THese fail. Mine did on New Years one time. Nobody was open, and I had to wait till 6 am on the 2nd to buy one. I now have two extra thermocouples in the garage. But not sure if they work on this new water heater we just put in.

Once youve awakened to cold water, you will know how easy it is to replace a thermo couple. Hopefully yours is easy as well.

ALL THIS IS TOTALLY TRUE. My extra thermocouple is taped to the tank itself. Swapping a thermocouple is a 15-minute job even if you've never touched one before...if you have the part!!
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: Fred_Also
Date: October 24, 2009 11:55PM
If the main burner came on and your water never got real hot - just stayed kind of luke warm, I would suspect the 'dip tube'.

The dip tube is a plastic tube that goes down in the cold water inlet pipe and puts the incoming cold water about 2/3 of the way down in the heater so it doesn't immediately dilute the hot water at the top.



This is the instructions for replacing one in an electric heater (both gas & electric have them).

[www.rd.com]

Good luck,

Fred Also
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: Black
Date: October 25, 2009 02:12AM
So besides the "not heating water" part, it seems to be working OK?




MR/F Guestmap: [www.mapservices.org]
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: October 25, 2009 08:23AM
Is it a Whirlpool water heater? If so, is it the flamelock model? If it is, replace the water heater. Do a google search on Whirlpool flamelock.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: AAA
Date: October 25, 2009 08:46AM
Quote
Black
So besides the "not heating water" part, it seems to be working OK?

I dunno. I'm looking into the heat part first. I will have to get back with you.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: AAA
Date: October 25, 2009 08:47AM
It's Maytag. Was their very good model when I bought it.

Since then they came out with the burner/gas safety device. Perhaps I should just get one of those new ones.

But I will likely try the TC.
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Re: Water heater question: Not heating up.
Posted by: btfc
Date: October 25, 2009 01:16PM
Also could be the thermostat.
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