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Thread: A.O. Smith water heater

  1. #16
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by master plumber mark View Post
    [SIZE=3]

    The SMITH DOG, also is giveing me fits lately too...

    we are going out on smith heaters and installing new T-stats and
    burner assemblies ...about once a week, becasue they are in
    laundry rooms and are sucking up lint...


    that same valve is interchangeable with any older pre 03 unit
    [SIZE=3]but when you put it on a FVIR heater, the LINT kills it off quicker///




    So the lint from a L room is making it a bad product? Not the heaters fault since people cannot follow the manual or a poor install.

  2. #17
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dargo View Post
    So the lint from a L room is making it a bad product? Not the heaters fault since people cannot follow the manual or a poor install.
    Yep you are absolutely right...
    It's just that putting a small surface area air inlet down against the floor is a good vacuum cleaner design, not a good FVIR water heater air inlet design...

    As Ron White says "You can't Fix Stupid."

  3. #18
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    Yep you are absolutely right...
    It's just that putting a small surface area air inlet down against the floor is a good vacuum cleaner design, not a good FVIR water heater air inlet design...

    As Ron White says "You can't Fix Stupid."
    Okay but what is not small? I do not see an issue. Is it the best, no but not the heaters fault. Plus, if you have lint issues from a dryer, you need to look at other issues. Then again people love buying and doing ZERO after it...LAZY!!!!!YMMV

    Heck I have more chemicals by my tank / furnace then most.. but they cause not issues since I am not lazy.
    Last edited by dargo; 01-09-2010 at 07:08 PM.

  4. #19
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    dargo,

    There are reasons that an average utility space will gather more lint/dust. (I'm ignoring an impoperly vented dryer because that is a dryer problem.) The primary reasons are the presence of fired water heaters and fired furnaces/boilers, as well as the dryer. All suck substantial volumes of air through the room. An additional source of problems is the typically poorly sealed HVAC unit and ducts. The monkeys who installed ductwork/HVAC units in prior years often left huge gaps so that a considerable amount of air recycles in the room.

    Going to sealed combustion systems will reduce a large amount of the airflow through the utility room. Of course, that option really only arises when you replace a unit. However, if the utility room is internal this will reduce air infiltration into the home, so it has considerable benefit.

    Sealing HVAC ductwork/gaps will improve efficiency and comfort (better distribution at the ends of the trunk) while also reducing the amount of dust in the utility space. The impact I've seen in the utility space is very substantial. I've measured a several fold reduction in differential temperature in heating and cooling season in the utility space, as well as noting much less dust accumulation.

    Even so, the dryer will still pull in air from the room while operating. However, this can be minimized by using a front loading washer or other with a very high speed spin that removes more of the water. This and using dryer moisture sensors will reduce drying time, and therefore the amount of air throughput in the room. Cuts your utility bill too.

    One can also reduce the air volume through the utility space by better sealing/insulating the home (reduces total furnace run time), by reducing hot water use (reduces water heater burner firing.) Hot water use can be minimized by adding insulation to hot water piping, using lower flow showerheads, front loading washers, and adding insulation jackets to fired water heaters that have less than about 2" of foam insulation.

    All FVIR screens are going to work as lint filters, unfortunately. Placement and size can reduce the magnitude of the problem. Those with the FVIR screen on the bottom appear to have smaller and less well placed openings.

    GE's have the same FVIR layout as the Bradford Whites from what I can tell. The controls may differ however. The Unitrol Robert Shaw valves appear to be an Achilles heel on many units of both FVIR designs.
    Last edited by Terry; 01-11-2010 at 01:12 PM.

  5. #20
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass View Post
    Are you saying a plumber who marks up a water heater is "padding" the invoice....
    We've had this discussion with "Logical" Engineers before...

    The world will revolve fine just as long as we go to the poorhouse while installing their junk designs.

  6. #21
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post
    We've had this discussion with "Logical" Engineers before...

    The world will revolve fine just as long as we go to the poorhouse while installing their junk designs.
    I'll take a logical engineer over an illogical variant of plumber.

    I have no problem giving folks a reasonable payment for what they have in something. But I won't pay you many multiples of an engineer's hourly rate. I'm fair, but I don't care for folks that sound too much like used car salesmen.

    Reminds me of a kid who wanted the equivalent of $50/hr for mowing a lawn while I was away on overseas assignment. It was more than I was making at the time. No thanks, you/he priced yourself out of the market. If you can't stay out of the poorhouse on what I pay, then you need to find another line of work.

  7. #22
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    I'll take a logical engineer over an illogical variant of plumber.

    I have no problem giving folks a reasonable payment for what they have in something. But I won't pay you many multiples of an engineer's hourly rate. I'm fair, but I don't care for folks that sound too much like used car salesmen.

    Reminds me of a kid who wanted the equivalent of $50/hr for mowing a lawn while I was away on overseas assignment. It was more than I was making at the time. No thanks, you/he priced yourself out of the market. If you can't stay out of the poorhouse on what I pay, then you need to find another line of work.
    Well then why don't you check out the going rate for a professional like Doctor or, #Engineer to make a house call...

    Lotsa Luck!

    You have to remember...
    Us plumber fix what Engineers screw up!
    Last edited by Redwood; 01-15-2010 at 03:22 PM.

  8. #23
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Unless you are self-employed, your hourly pay is only a small portion of what your employer has to be paid for your work...it must be enough to cover things like insurance, worker's comp (another insurance), FICA, overhead for things like the trucks, tools, training, accounting, secretaries, the office, warehouse, materials, etc. So, comparing what an engineer makes verses what his work commands on the economy is way off. Some fairly typical rates are 125% of what the employee takes home. While I don't like paying it, and do as much as I can in the time available and within the local codes, I do pay pros to do things either I can't or when I need it done faster. It is what it is.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  9. #24
    DIY Member Hillbilly Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    I'll take a logical engineer over an illogical variant of plumber.

    I have no problem giving folks a reasonable payment for what they have in something. But I won't pay you many multiples of an engineer's hourly rate. I'm fair, but I don't care for folks that sound too much like used car salesmen.
    Boy ya jus don git it do ya.
    Some time ago I wuz gittin bad advice from an enginear who jes happend ta be my cuzin.

    Ol Redwood got me squared up no time attol.

    Turnz out my enginear cuzzin had bilt his out house on top of the well.
    We figurd that hiz drinkin water musta dun gone to hiz head.
    Hillbilly Eng-in-ear
    Moonshine Maker
    Dumb as a Stump

  10. #25
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    If I had a nickle for every time I have had to deny approval to an engineers set of plans I would be a very rich man indeed. Unfortunately, the city does not allow us to charge for stupid. The problem with most engineers is that they have an insulated point of view that has little to nothing to do with the real world.

  11. #26
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Bison Hunting anyone?




  12. #27
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runs with bison View Post
    dargo,

    There are reasons that an average utility space will gather more lint/dust. (I'm ignoring an impoperly vented dryer because that is a dryer problem.) The primary reasons are the presence of fired water heaters and fired furnaces/boilers, as well as the dryer. All suck substantial volumes of air through the room. An additional source of problems is the typically poorly sealed HVAC unit and ducts. The monkeys who installed ductwork/HVAC units in prior years often left huge gaps so that a considerable amount of air recycles in the room.

    Going to sealed combustion systems will reduce a large amount of the airflow through the utility room. Of course, that option really only arises when you replace a unit. However, if the utility room is internal this will reduce air infiltration into the home, so it has considerable benefit.

    Sealing HVAC ductwork/gaps will improve efficiency and comfort (better distribution at the ends of the trunk) while also reducing the amount of dust in the utility space. The impact I've seen in the utility space is very substantial. I've measured a several fold reduction in differential temperature in heating and cooling season in the utility space, as well as noting much less dust accumulation.

    Even so, the dryer will still pull in air from the room while operating. However, this can be minimized by using a front loading washer or other with a very high speed spin that removes more of the water. This and using dryer moisture sensors will reduce drying time, and therefore the amount of air throughput in the room. Cuts your utility bill too.

    One can also reduce the air volume through the utility space by better sealing/insulating the home (reduces total furnace run time), by reducing hot water use (reduces water heater burner firing.) Hot water use can be minimized by adding insulation to hot water piping, using lower flow showerheads, front loading washers, and adding insulation jackets to fired water heaters that have less than about 2" of foam insulation.

    All FVIR screens are going to work as lint filters, unfortunately. Placement and size can reduce the magnitude of the problem. Those with the FVIR screen on the bottom appear to have smaller and less well placed openings.

    GE's have the same FVIR layout as the Bradford Whites from what I can tell. The controls may differ however. The Unitrol Robert Shaw valves appear to be an Achilles heel on many units of both FVIR designs.

    Okay I will buy that and a great post!!!

    For me, with another new AO smith tank, old one was old I have never had issues. The new 50 gal DV tank is cold external so no insulation is needed, I have the fastest whirpool washer (1200 rpms) steam drier, house is 2x6 and well insulated (need to watch that for TOO much tightness), 1.75 GPM heads and house 100K BTU furance now (thank to me) uses outside are to burn).

    Granted this AO smith is VERY easy to fix but fail to see how its filter screen has issues? Am I so clean, well off I do not see it? I know the Power Vent uses ALOT of CFM but that is not integral to burner usuage.

    For me, I look at the screen what I do the other monthly deals on the dishwasher, washer, etc

  13. #28
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redwood View Post

    You have to remember...
    Us plumber fix what Engineers screw up!
    Do not point the blame on the Eng here, could have been directed from the bean counters too!
    Last edited by dargo; 01-15-2010 at 06:51 PM.

  14. #29
    DIY Member dargo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Griffin View Post
    If I had a nickle for every time I have had to deny approval to an engineers set of plans I would be a very rich man indeed. Unfortunately, the city does not allow us to charge for stupid. The problem with most engineers is that they have an insulated point of view that has little to nothing to do with the real world.
    Okay but ask them why? They might have a good reason..Nevermind, I see your location..
    Last edited by dargo; 01-15-2010 at 06:52 PM.

  15. #30
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    You see Burger Bits & Dargo...

    We spoke of engineers being in their own narrow minded little world and how they often miss the marks...

    If the engineers at american, state, smith and all the other Mensa Challenged manufacturers feel like having a flame arresting air inlet on the bottom of the water heater with a surface area about 1/4 of the bottom area acting like a vacuum cleaner while Bradford White has their arrestor almost the full area of the bottom with the air feeding in from the sides of the water heater then power to them... I'm sure as their sales fall and Bradford Whites sales grow the engineers and bean counters at american, state, smith and all the other Mensa Challenged manufacturers can sit around and figure who is most important in the layoffs...

    This is the vacuum cleaner inlet I'm Talking about!



    This is a picture of a water heater as it would typically sit on a pan which is required to catch water from a leaking water heater. Note this is not an installation of mine but is just a picture that I have. I'm curious how the flame arrestor on the bottom of this water heater can be cleaned? I can't imagine it being a task I would want to hit every month...



    You'd have to be some kind of engineer to miss the logic in this post.

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