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Thread: Rheem PowerVent w/ Robertshaw 'ECO Failure'

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Duckhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Minooka, IL.

    Question Rheem PowerVent w/ Robertshaw 'ECO Failure'

    Hey folks, first time to the forum and first time posting. I tried using the search function to find a solution to my issue but I am unable to find if this is possible.

    I have a Rheem PowerVent 42VP50F 50 gallon hot water heater that stopped making hot water tonight. Taking a look at the heater which is a Robertshaw WIPER160FV02L I am seeing a "4" "2" error code blinking which is indicating an "ECO Failure". Doing some quick searching it looks like some units are resettable but I am not seeing that this one is. Full disclosure I haven't taken the wiring harness off, unscrewed the cover and looked under the hood yet, I was just looking externally for some type of reset. I figured I would reach out to the experts before diving in deeper.

    First question is, can I recover/reset this "ECO Failure".

    Second question would be if not, ~how much would it typically cost to get the part to replace it and is it doable by a relatively handy guy.

    Third question, since this unit was bought and installed on 11/06, conveniently one month after the warranty expired, does it make sense to replace the ECO, or should I just opt to buy a whole new unit?

    Fourth and last question, if a new unit is in my future, I am thinking about going tankless. My family since 2006 has grown from one wife and one child to three children and we are always starved for hot water between running baths, dishes, washing machine, etc. I know tankless has come a long way in the last five+ years so I would give it serious consideration. Any help or recommendations would be awesome.

    Thanks so much for your time and replies!


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


    Last question first. IF you have adequate gas line, AND installing a stainless steel vent are doable, then a tankless might work. "ECO" can mean several things depending on the water heater. It stands for "energy cut off" and is activated by excessive hot water, failure of an FVIR system, or some other condition requinng complete shut down. NOT all ECO failures are resettable, but since we do not know which one you have cannot tell if it requires resetting or relacement.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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