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Thread: Power Vent Hot Water Heater Smell

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member wauslh's Avatar
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    Nov 2006

    Default Power Vent Hot Water Heater Smell

    I've got a smell coming from my Richmond Power Vent hot water heater. I narrowed it down to the HW heater after smelling everything else in my basement. The smell is not like furnace exhaust, it's more musty & slight chemical smell, like wet potting soil, and I smell it only when the blower is running, but not every time. I smell it near the top vent pipe. The house smells when I come home from work. I did forget to oil the motor for a couple of years (I know, bad of me). I did oil the motor and it smells a little bit less but there is still the smell. The HW heater is about 8 years old. Could the motor be going out on me? Should I replace the motor or get a new HW heater. Is there anything else I should be looking for that could go wrong?

    Steve in Wisconsin

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking motor going out

    I just dealt with a bradford white today

    doing about the same thing with noise added.....

    The blower motor is probably starting to burn out

    With the 1998 brad ford white unit it was gonna
    cost about 425 plus shippiing $50 to get a repalcement
    motor sent out....for a 8 year old heater...

    and thats not including labor.....

    might take about 10 days if they have one in stock..

    I told the guy to do the math....weigh his options and

    then pitch the heater for a new one...

    it is not worth the trouble.

    he is gonna let it ride till it finally goes out....who knows how long that is.
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 11-28-2006 at 04:21 PM.


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