Water heater problem

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DX

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Guys,

I understand the age issues. I didn't need help with that. If/when it fails and leaks, it will be no different than if it worked perfectly up to that point. As I already said, I wouldn't fix it if I had to pay someone else to do it.

This thread is (or at least was) about diagnosing an intermittent problem. I simply want to diagnose it and hopefully correct the problem and learn something.

VTLANDLORD, that's one of the things I did several days ago when I started this thread. I took some fine steel wool and emery board nail files and cleaned up the spark electrodes. They weren't heavily corroded or gunked up, but I figured there may have been just enough oxidation to throw off the microamp detector once in a while. So far it hasn't stopped working. Time will tell.

dg
 

GrumpyPlumber

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master plumber mark said:
This man is having a fight wth the water heater and he wants to win.........man vs 15 yr old heater......

its a guy thing....
so logic and common sense does not come into play here....

Now, if you could just explain that to my sweety regarding my basement store of 50 gazzilion fittings and outdated tools, I'd be all set.
 

DX

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Problem solved.

It has now gone 8 days without hanging up. Previously had to reset it once every 3 days on average.

The only thing I have done (other than testing various components) was to clean/polish the spark electrodes, one of which is the fan-shaped end of the pilot pipe.

They weren't corroded, but apparently had just enough oxidation to (once in a while) throw off the microamp reading used by the control box to decide if there is flame.

Note to self: clean spark electrodes every 15 years or so :)

Thanks to all who helped.

dx
 

Master Plumber Mark

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winning is temporary

Congrads to you dx.....


you have won the battle....the thrill of victory.

of man vs water heater ......for now.



but wait untill you have your family
staying over night at your house next X-mas morning......
and that 15 year old heater takes out its just revenge on you


then feel the sting and agony of bitter defeat......



mmmuuuuuwwwwhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
 
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DX

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Aaah, yes, about age...

Replacing a device based on age is a poor substitute for the real McCoy, replacing based ON CONDITION.

If you own one of these: http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/SeeSnake-micro
you can inspect the heater tank for corrosion quite easily. The rest of the heater components are even easier to inspect.

The family does stay overnight once in a while, when they have a long power outage at their house. So we have collected quite a few credits and we're loking for a good excuse to stay at their house for a while :)

dx
 

Master Plumber Mark

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you found the answer--great idea

thats certainly the tool you need to keep an
eye on that 15 yr old water heater.....
.I am sure its only a few hundred dollars

now all you got to do is make a inlet on the hot side
of the water heater and then snake it down into
the heater.......looking at all the inner welds......

then somehow you got to burrow through any lime
and sediment that has collected on the bottom over
the last 15 years and inspect the seams for micro-cracks.......


this could be the next new money maker for plumbers,
just Like installing Tankless water heaters


space-schuttle technology has saved the day again......
 

Master Plumber Mark

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delimeing your tank.....

I bet you get a good warm colonic every 3 months too....
it feels real good , dont it??


the average person might drain a little water off the
heater every so often, but that is about as far as I
can honestly say I have seen anyone ever wanting to mess with one..

to really de-lime one it involves draining the heater,
then pouring a special vinegar type solution into the tank ---5 gallons worth
and letting it sit for an hour or two, then draining that out and
rinseing the tank .......

that is waaay too labor intensive for the average home-owner to do...

I have never done it for anyone, because it would cost them too much
to fool with one .......and you run the risk of starting a leak by
dissolving some sediment that had plugged up a crack in the tank.

....


usually when I take them out sometimes they are over
knee deep in sediment and they weigh a ton


If you really do de-lime your water heater, then
you are one in about a million.


 
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DX

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master plumber mark said:
If you really do de-lime your water heater, then
you are one in about a million.



Mark, I think you missed the :) at the end of my post. No, I don't de-lime. One in a million? Not even. With 300M people in this country, that would be 300 people de-liming. No way!

I was, however, very amused at the manufacturer's recommendation to de-lime every 6 months.

dx

Edit: But I do something few people do: I always have a hot water filter after the tank. I've had in the past heaters that occasionally let through small chunks of sediment and other crud. After taking apart a couple faucets to get out the chunks lodged in, I learned it's cheap insurance. If you get the flushable ones with the clear glass bowl, you'd be surprised at the amount of crud that comes out of the tank.
 
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DX

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Well, it's almost a year and a half later and I'm happy to report that the heater is still working perfectly with no more maintenance than draining a few gallons every month or so when I remember. As a matter of fact I got a new anode rod to put in this weekend. My present to the heater for making it past 17 years old.
 
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