(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 15 of 17

Thread: Please answer these questions best you can

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    127

    Default Please answer these questions best you can

    Guys, I know I have become the resident pita but I have these questions I'm hoping that can be answered

    1) Does it make a difference drafting wise if the draft hood is not perfectly centered over the flue on WH?

    2) Should the draft hood get hot to the touch? Also should the connecting pipe on top be totally sealed with no gaps where it comes in contact with the hood? I have a 4 inch pipe on on the standard 3 inch hood as you can see in the pics I have posted in other threads...small gap in the back but hot air goes up right?


    3) Does BTU's of the water heater play a role in requirements for venting or drafting? In other words a 36000 btu WH draft easier than a 40000 btu one (if that makes sense) Is 4 inch vent pipe too big for either one of those WH?

    4) How hot should the vent pipe get? reason I ask is that at my folks over the weekend and the vent pipe did not seem to heat up all that much, draft hood was cool to touch.....my vent pipe gets hot and I mean real hot


    5)How high should the flame on the burner be? The flame on this Kenmore is tall and looks like it licks the bottom of the tank.....sometimes it is blue with orange points here and there and other times seems yellow


    6) And finally.....could all this be traced back to the Water heater itself? I have been toying with the idea of either bouncing to a lower BTU heater (36000) or going with a Bradford White... Since BW doesn't make a 36000 BTU water heater...maybe a Rheem or even a GE which has to be better than the Kenmore.


    My reasoning for the Bradford White is what looks like a superior air intake system for primary air.....and with a better air intake isn't the draft and venting better? Or am I just chasing a marketing ploy?

    Or should I bag all of this and surrender to electric?

    I so thought I was all set after this past Monday however it does not appear to be the case maybe the adhesive was just a masking agent on the other pipes and combustion just isn't working on this WH the way it should

    One would not think that it should be so difficult to replace a water heater....my 20 year old Vanguard worked perfectly with the 3 inch badly laid out venting and all of a sudden this new Kenmore with its FVIR system can't seem to vent worth a crap...wtf??? I am so frustrated...thats why I keep bouncing back to the Bradford White or a lesser BTU Rheem/GE hoping that it will perform better than the Kenmore


    Thank you so much guys...I know I have probably mad a lot of eyes roll and heads shake but I do appreciate the help and words you have provided


    Thanks
    Last edited by vtxdude; 12-28-2009 at 10:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,615

    Default heater

    quote; 1) Does it make a difference drafting wise if the draft hood is not perfectly centered over the flue on WH?

    2) Should the draft hood get hot to the touch? Also should the connecting pipe on top be totally sealed with no gaps where it comes in contact with the hood? I have a 4 inch pipe on on the standard 3 inch hood as you can see in the pics I have posted in other threads...small gap in the back but hot air goes up right?


    3) Does BTU's of the water heater play a role in requirements for venting or drafting? In other words a 36000 btu WH draft easier than a 40000 btu one (if that makes sense) Is 4 inch vent pipe too big for either one of those WH?

    4) How hot should the vent pipe get? reason I ask is that at my folks over the weekend and the vent pipe did not seem to heat up all that much, draft hood was cool to touch.....my vent pipe gets hot and I mean real hot


    5)How high should the flame on the burner be? The flame on this Kenmore is tall and looks like it licks the bottom of the tank.....sometimes it is blue with orange points here and there and other times seems yellow


    6) And finally.....could all this be traced back to the Water heater itself? I have been toying with the idea of either bouncing to a lower BTU heater (36000) or going with a Bradford White... Since BW doesn't make a 36000 BTU water heater...maybe a Rheem or even a GE which has to be better than the Kenmore.

    1. WHY isn't it centered because there are tabs on the diverter that fit into slots on the top of the heater.
    2. You have hot gases flowing through the diverter AND the flue pipe, so how could it NOT get hot?
    3. Drafting is a function of the temperature of the flue gases AND the internal temperature of the flue. BTU has little to do with it, other than that the size/diameter of the flue has to be adequate for the burner.
    4. If the diverter and flue did NOT get hot, where was the heat going?
    5.The color of the flame is more important than its height. If it is blue, but not "blowing" off the burner, then it is adjusted properly. If it is yellow, either you have too much gas or not enough air, and if it were to continue on a permanent basis, the heater flue would eventually be plugged with soot.
    6. Could WHAT be traced back to the water heater?

    Final point, your Vanguard heater WAS a GE/Rheem/Ruud/Richmond/etc.
    Your Sears is an A O Smith/State/Reliance/etc.

  3. #3
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Penticton, BC
    Posts
    810

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vtxdude View Post
    1) Does it make a difference drafting wise if the draft hood is not perfectly centered over the flue on WH?

    3) Does BTU's of the water heater play a role in requirements for venting or drafting? In other words a 36000 btu WH draft easier than a 40000 btu one (if that makes sense) Is 4 inch vent pipe too big for either one of those WH?

    5)How high should the flame on the burner be? The flame on this Kenmore is tall and looks like it licks the bottom of the tank.....sometimes it is blue with orange points here and there and other times seems yellow
    1. Absolutely....... The draft hood is to be installed without alterations...

    3. 4" vent is not too big and a 36,000 BTU appliance will actually draft WORSE through a 4" pipe then a 40,000 BTU appliance would. However the difference between 36,000 and 40,000 BTU is next to nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    5. Depends on the burner. However the flame speed should match the velocity of the gas so the flames should be stable. Little bits of orange here and there is probably just dust being burned off. Constant yellow flames are not good at all...... Usually caused by lack of primary air.

  4. #4
    Homeowner Thatguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,460

    Default vent hood

    If it sizzles a water drop it's over 100C.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Thanks for the replies guys...I'll try to answer some of your questions now....


    HJ

    1) Now centered..was not before because the 2 Sears plumbers obviously had no idea how to do it and were too lazy because the vent pipe did not match up exactly with the flue on the new water heater so they "made it fit". HVAC guy got it as centered best he could and looks decent now

    2) Makes sense

    3) Ok good to know on the BTU

    4) See 2 lol

    5) This is a weird one...sometimes the flame is blue with yellow tips on some of them (not all) and other times under same circumstances it is almost all yellow...then next time it fires it will be blue??? I don't understand what is up with that

    And as far as what the flame looks like......it is billowing..it doesnt leave the burner but it is not tight by any means and in fact the end farther away from the pilot sot of really rolls up and licks bottom of WH. And it is loud...you know when this water heater is on

    6) What I mean by trace back to the water heater is the issues I'm having with smell, incomplete burning, the design of the primary air intake? The drafting looks fine...we took a lighter and after it has been running for about 10-15 minutes the lighter is drawn towards the flue..not blowing back at all

    Where you trying to say something about the Vanguard being a Rheem etc? In other words better quality?




    Doherty- I think I may have answered you questions above....good info on BTU's so thanks!

    I will say that i would not call the flame stable at all..it it is reaching for the bottom of the water heater and is roaring pretty loud



    Ok so here is where I am at..even with the draft hood centered and good draft I am still getting a slight exhaust smell but I have to go looking for it by standing on step stool as it rises to the basement ceiling...no CO detectors have registered anything at all...

    I have read on a Sears forum that a lot of people have pointed to the small flame arrestor on the Kenmore as being a bottleneck on the water heater and it is not big enough and starves the burner for primary air which in turn contribute to the pilot going out (have not had this issue yet)

    So could it be that because the Kemore is not getting enough air through its smallish flame arrestor that is could be

    1) Wavy lazy LOUD tall flames
    2) Sometimes yellow/orange flame
    3) Because not enough primary air this is causing sooting which could be the exhaust smell??


    So let me ask this once more..given the design of the primary air intake of the Bradford White water heaters would this allow more primary air into the burner chamber than the AO Smith design with their small grate on the bottom. The marketing of the Bradford White sure as heck looks like it has a superior primary air intake and would perhaps solve some of the issues I listed above?

    I am going to try my damnedest to get Sears to take back the Kenmore and I think I have a pretty good case......

    I could have the BW installed very soon if I decide to go that route......should I believe in the BW having better primary air intake? I'm beginning to think this is where all the issues lie with the Kenmore.....not enough air causing the flame issues, exhaust issue and roar


    I have learned a lot over the past month guys, now asking if I am way off base thinking BW will make things better


    Thanks so much

  6. #6
    Journeyman & Gas Fitter Doherty Plumbing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Penticton, BC
    Posts
    810

    Default

    If all your problems are related to your lack of primary air then yes a better performing air intake system would definetly help! However your yellow waving flames could also be caused by a vent not working properly.

    An orange flame is usually caused by dirty primary air. IE your gas appliance is in a dusty room or something.

    The waving flame isn't necessarily causing the smell. The poor venting is most likely causing this.

    -------------------------------

    Have you tried putting a lighter up to the draft hood to see if it's drafting properly?

    Have you inspected the entire venting system to make sure you have no blockages?

    Have you checked the gas pressure across the appliance regulator?

    Have you inspected the flue baffle inside the tank?

    Have you checked the air intake to see if it's blocked or filled with dust?
    Last edited by Doherty Plumbing; 12-29-2009 at 09:50 PM.

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member vtxdude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    127

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Doherty Plumbing View Post
    If all your problems are related to your lack of primary air then yes a better performing air intake system would definetly help! However your yellow waving flames could also be caused by a vent not working properly.

    An orange flame is usually caused by dirty primary air. IE your gas appliance is in a dusty room or something.

    The waving flame isn't necessarily causing the smell. The poor venting is most likely causing this.

    -------------------------------

    Have you tried putting a lighter up to the draft hood to see if it's drafting properly? Yes , put lighter at bottom of hood and flame is being drawn in and not pushed out...seems to draw stronger at back than front

    Have you inspected the entire venting system to make sure you have no blockages? Have ran new pipe all the way to chimney

    Have you checked the gas pressure across the appliance regulator?No, I would need a plumber to do that

    Have you inspected the flue baffle inside the tank? Not yet but looking through the site window it does look black and I do remember that when the 1st Sears plumber too k the first water heater out he did pull the baffle out and it had black on it...of course he said "oh look defective water heater" I'm sure the new one I just put in will not do this...hmmmm

    Have you checked the air intake to see if it's blocked or filled with dust?
    It is very hard to get at the Sears intake as you have that mesh screen and then small holes around the base.....I vacuumed best I could and it does not appear that there is anything from what I could feel


    To me it looks like the Kenmore only has that one grate on the bottom of it to allow in primary air...even the Whirlpools look like they have at least 2 to let in more air......from the trouble shooting guide the yellow flame, lazy flame, sooting and combustion smells all point first to lack of primary air...this seems to be the case given the one intake slot system

    Mark showed the bottom of a Whirpool heater showing 2 slots...can anyone confirm that the Kenmore only has the one?

    It seems to make sense..the other Vanguard water heater had pre FVIR which allowed in lots of air.....no issues......put in this Kenmore with its one slot on the bottom with a mesh screen on the base ring and all of a sudden issues

    T ome the Bradford White has a much better intake air system that allows more air into the combustion chamber...am I correct in assuming this?? It also appears that the bottom of the combustion chamber is one big flame arrestor letting lots of air in instead of just a flame arrestor slot...am I right in assuming this as well?


    I wish I went Bradford White to begin with and I wish I found this forum prior to buying Sears..gonna do my best to return that Kenmore and replace with a BW


    Thoughts on some of my thoughts?


    Thank you

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •