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  • #16
    Re: Hot water heater problems

    oh no
    (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Hot water heater problems

      Originally posted by anthropomancy View Post
      Okay, well $28 vs $300... Still doesn't work for me. .
      How about $85?

      You could always call a licensed plumber to come diagnose this for you
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      • #18
        Re: Hot water heater problems

        Originally posted by tgmiller View Post
        . I call the repairs guys and they don't have a slot for over 2 weeks

        Call Service Magic,

        They will have 3 companies call you in 15 minutes

        http://servicemagic.com

        Qualified Licensed Professionals (Pre -Screened)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7clQ6tM268
        Help With Your Pool Or Spa Pump?►WeT HeaD Pump Repair ► Watch Me On YouTube: Pool & Spa Pump Repair TV
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        • #19
          Re: Hot water heater problems

          Originally posted by tgmiller View Post
          Did you get your problem figured out? I have the same tank with the same problem. Woke up this morning to an icy shower... I call the repairs guys and they don't have a slot for over 2 weeks so i've got to get this figured out myself. The guy a the shop just said to replace the thermocoupler which is no problem but it doesn't look like it did you any good. Any luck?
          I called the manufacturer and spoke with a technician who said, in my case, there is a good chance the TC is not mating properly with the braided wire which transmits the electrical signal to the magnet valve in the gas manifold. He advised I should check the voltage generated by the TC while the pilot is on with a multimeter. If I get between 20-30 mV then the TC is operating properly, if the signal is any weaker then 20 then the TCO has been activated and the TC needs replacement. So I performed the test and all three TCs passed, including the one I thought had crapped out in the first place. I called him back and we discussed the TC test(s). He told me that he was a service technician for over 20 years and had worked on these heaters many, many times. Apparently the TC is notorious for crapping out. So notorious that John Wood came out with a kit which replaces the TC with the built in TCO with an external switch which uses the 'universal' TCs you can buy just about anywhere. With the new kit the TC is now right hand thread and the TCO is outside the firebox and is a reset-able switch. Now when the firebox overheats the switch will trip and it can simply be reset..... Of course that does not mean the cause of the over temperature should not be investigated and addressed. Paul (the technician) said that installing this kit resolves the TC issue 99% of the time and that the odds of the gas valve being the root of my problem are pretty darn slim.

          Long story short, replacing the TC TWICE did not help... There is nothing wrong with the original TC (as indicated by my multimeter)... So three TCs later I am still without hot water and am currently waiting on the replacement parts from John Wood.

          If you have a multimeter then perform the test I mentioned above. If you don't have a meter then you could buy one, they are pretty cheap. If your results are good then you either need the kit or a new gas manifold/thermostat/whatever the heck you want to call it.
          If you're comfortable working with gas/furnaces then I would DIY. If not then you should call a service technician. Personally, I have an engineering ticket and I operate a hydrogen plant/hydrotreaters so my comfort level is quite high. I trust myself more then the majority of green plumbers in Fort McMurray. It's hard to get experts around here... And as far as a decent price goes..... Forget it.

          Hope that helps.

          Best,
          Joe

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Hot water heater problems

            Originally posted by anthropomancy View Post
            I called the manufacturer and spoke with a technician who said, in my case, there is a good chance the TC is not mating properly with the braided wire which transmits the electrical signal to the magnet valve in the gas manifold. He advised I should check the voltage generated by the TC while the pilot is on with a multimeter. If I get between 20-30 mV then the TC is operating properly, if the signal is any weaker then 20 then the TCO has been activated and the TC needs replacement. So I performed the test and all three TCs passed, including the one I thought had crapped out in the first place. I called him back and we discussed the TC test(s). He told me that he was a service technician for over 20 years and had worked on these heaters many, many times. Apparently the TC is notorious for crapping out. So notorious that John Wood came out with a kit which replaces the TC with the built in TCO with an external switch which uses the 'universal' TCs you can buy just about anywhere. With the new kit the TC is now right hand thread and the TCO is outside the firebox and is a reset-able switch. Now when the firebox overheats the switch will trip and it can simply be reset..... Of course that does not mean the cause of the over temperature should not be investigated and addressed. Paul (the technician) said that installing this kit resolves the TC issue 99% of the time and that the odds of the gas valve being the root of my problem are pretty darn slim.

            Long story short, replacing the TC TWICE did not help... There is nothing wrong with the original TC (as indicated by my multimeter)... So three TCs later I am still without hot water and am currently waiting on the replacement parts from John Wood.

            If you have a multimeter then perform the test I mentioned above. If you don't have a meter then you could buy one, they are pretty cheap. If your results are good then you either need the kit or a new gas manifold/thermostat/whatever the heck you want to call it.
            If you're comfortable working with gas/furnaces then I would DIY. If not then you should call a service technician. Personally, I have an engineering ticket and I operate a hydrogen plant/hydrotreaters so my comfort level is quite high. I trust myself more then the majority of green plumbers in Fort McMurray. It's hard to get experts around here... And as far as a decent price goes..... Forget it.

            Hope that helps.

            Best,
            Joe
            Did you inherit this house, by any chance? Around here, we've got a lot of people who don't have 300.00, but live in mom's old house.
            (The Low Spark of Steel-Toed Boys)

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Hot water heater problems

              mine was just the coupler. * only 8 bucks and a now happy wife. Nice!

              Cheers!

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Hot water heater problems

                Originally posted by anthropomancy View Post
                I called the manufacturer and spoke with a technician who said, in my case, there is a good chance the TC is not mating properly with the braided wire which transmits the electrical signal to the magnet valve in the gas manifold. He advised I should check the voltage generated by the TC while the pilot is on with a multimeter. If I get between 20-30 mV then the TC is operating properly, if the signal is any weaker then 20 then the TCO has been activated and the TC needs replacement. So I performed the test and all three TCs passed, including the one I thought had crapped out in the first place. I called him back and we discussed the TC test(s). He told me that he was a service technician for over 20 years and had worked on these heaters many, many times. Apparently the TC is notorious for crapping out. So notorious that John Wood came out with a kit which replaces the TC with the built in TCO with an external switch which uses the 'universal' TCs you can buy just about anywhere. With the new kit the TC is now right hand thread and the TCO is outside the firebox and is a reset-able switch. Now when the firebox overheats the switch will trip and it can simply be reset..... Of course that does not mean the cause of the over temperature should not be investigated and addressed. Paul (the technician) said that installing this kit resolves the TC issue 99% of the time and that the odds of the gas valve being the root of my problem are pretty darn slim.

                Long story short, replacing the TC TWICE did not help... There is nothing wrong with the original TC (as indicated by my multimeter)... So three TCs later I am still without hot water and am currently waiting on the replacement parts from John Wood.

                If you have a multimeter then perform the test I mentioned above. If you don't have a meter then you could buy one, they are pretty cheap. If your results are good then you either need the kit or a new gas manifold/thermostat/whatever the heck you want to call it.
                If you're comfortable working with gas/furnaces then I would DIY. If not then you should call a service technician. Personally, I have an engineering ticket and I operate a hydrogen plant/hydrotreaters so my comfort level is quite high. I trust myself more then the majority of green plumbers in Fort McMurray. It's hard to get experts around here... And as far as a decent price goes..... Forget it.

                Hope that helps.

                Best,
                Joe
                Thanks Joe!

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Hot water heater problems

                  Originally posted by Drip Trip View Post
                  Did you inherit this house, by any chance? Around here, we've got a lot of people who don't have 300.00, but live in mom's old house.
                  Uhhh... No... I'm not sure what you're implying but again no, I purchased this house about a year ago. It's thirty years old and the water heater was installed aproximately six years ago.I should mention that the last time I had the TC changed by a local service technician the bill was nearly $400.00. It took him about 20 minutes to change the part and he personally told me the part only cost his company $10.00. My point is that it simply does not make economic sense to change out the entire heater. A new heater would cost ~$400; removal and install by a local pro would cost probably four times that. to that end, I could replace every part of my current heater twice over for $400 let alone all of the labour costs associated with changing out the entire heater. I am praying to God that the parts get here tomorrow. If they do I will let you all know how the install goes and if it actually fixes my problem.Best,Joe

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Hot water heater problems

                    Originally posted by PlumbingSkool View Post
                    How about $85?

                    You could always call a licensed plumber to come diagnose this for you

                    I would be looking at a minimum 1 hour labour charge plus call out fee and I would have to wait for likely several weeks. That is unless I am willing to accept an after hours service call where I would pay double time for minimum one hour plus an after hours call out fee. The going rate for journeymen plumbers in Fort McMurray is $180/hr and if I'm not mistaken the call out fee is $180. So for a diagnoses I would be looking at $540 plus tax if I wanted it done within a reasonable time frame.

                    Best,
                    Joe

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Hot water heater problems

                      I think what some are missing here is Fort McMurray is about as far North as you can get in Alberta, Canada without being in the wilderness. I'm guessing it is a lot harder to fine service up there and when you do it is pricey.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Hot water heater problems

                        You're right, Mark, Fort Mc Murray is pretty far north in Alberta, close to the NWT.

                        I used to live in Fort Mc Murray, From about 1998-2003, and at that time the cost of living, traffic, population, and development in general were pretty different from what they are now. According to some friends I know from when I lived there people are making $16 an hr starting at Wal-Mart and a cheap, one bedroom apartment is over $1500 a month! Fort Mc Murray is no small town either. Here in Grande Prairie, where I live, we are a bit further north, with slightly more services and less population, someone at a place like Wal-Mart here would start about 12$ an hr and a cheap one bedroom apartment here would be around 800 a month. (I used Wal-Mart for an example because it is universal across North America and pays a relatively minimum entry-level wage.) This would definitely explain the inflated cost of a plumber considering where I live journeymen charge between $75-85 an hr for their straight time. Nonetheless, I still think it is a pretty insane step up in price!

                        If you want true northern wilderness you have to go at LEAST as far north as Yellowknife, NWT where I have lived. Relatively small population and not a lot of services, or better yet, go pay Vince a visit up in Rankin Inlet, that's pretty darn northern and isolated, with very few services!

                        My apologies for the semi off-topic, longish post. Hope someone found this info useful/hope the info is still correct and relevant!
                        Last edited by Marklar89; 09-30-2009, 12:41 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Hot water heater problems

                          Originally posted by Marklar89 View Post
                          You're right, Mark, Fort Mc Murray is pretty far north in Alberta, close to the NWT.

                          I used to live in Fort Mc Murray, From about 1998-2003, and at that time the cost of living, traffic, population, and development in general were pretty different from what they are now. According to some friends I know from when I lived there people are making $16 an hr starting at Wal-Mart and a cheap, one bedroom apartment is over $1500 a month! Fort Mc Murray is no small town either. Here in Grande Prairie, where I live, we are a bit further north, with slightly more services and less population, someone at a place like Wal-Mart here would start about 12$ an hr and a cheap one bedroom apartment here would be around 800 a month. (I used Wal-Mart for an example because it is universal across North America and pays a relatively minimum entry-level wage.) This would definitely explain the inflated cost of a plumber considering where I live journeymen charge between $75-85 an hr for their straight time. Nonetheless, I still think it is a pretty insane step up in price!

                          If you want true northern wilderness you have to go at LEAST as far north as Yellowknife, NWT where I have lived. Relatively small population and not a lot of services, or better yet, go pay Vince a visit up in Rankin Inlet, that's pretty darn northern and isolated, with very few services!

                          My apologies for the semi off-topic, longish post. Hope someone found this info useful/hope the info is still correct and relevant!

                          Nice to see someone can finally relate a bit to what I am saying. Fort McMurray is NUTS!! When we first moved here my wife was really hard up for work so she had to start at Burger King (I know, I know). God love her, I don't know if I could do it. Anyway, she was making in the realm of $17/hr and when she briefly worked at Walmart the pay rate was comparable. At that present time we were living in a two bedroom basement sweet which we were renting for $2000.00/mth and after we moved out the land lord jacked the rent to $3000.00/mth. Now I live in a half duplex I purchased for $509,000.00. If anyone wants to take a guess at why journeymen plumbers make so much in this town then now's your chance. Also, someone made a comment about it being hard to find journeymen this far north and that they may have a hard time finding work so they charge more to compensate. Well, it's exactly the opposite. There is SO MUCH work here that these guys pick and choose what jobs they feel like doing, and when, then charge whatever they want because they know everyone else int heir trade is in the same boat. Contractors get away with murder up here. It's insane......


                          So now back to the original issue at hand. My @#$(*@ @#$*()&@ @(*^@ @)(&*@)(@#* @()*&@#*() @#(*&@#*( @#*()@ WATER HEATER!

                          Yeah, I'm pretty frustrated.

                          Well I fixed the bloody thing yesterday, for good I hope. I'm going to do a quick recap followed by a conclusion.

                          Recap: I woke up one day with no hot water. After stinking for several days and trying to replace the thermocouple twice I called technical support. They advised to do a mV test across all three thermocouples which I did and all three passed. Well that told me the thermocouple was not the problem. I advised GSW/JW tech support and they sent out a complete burner/pilot/thermocouple rebuild kit. I rebuilt the burner/pilot assembly and reinstalled it in to the fire box. I then fought for over an hour getting the ferrule nut on to the pilot tube. I ended up using WD-40 to help with the process (tech support said it shouldn't be an issue). After the ferrule nut was on I connected the pilot gas line and main gas line to the gas manifold/thermostat. I then installed the new replacement thermocouple set up which is a bit hard to describe. I would be happy to post pictures of the two different units if anyone is interested. Once the thermocouple was installed I purged the gas lines of air and introduced the pilot. While holding down the permissive switch (mine is red and about 1/4 inch in diameter) I timed a one minute interval on my cell phone. After one minute, I let it go and BAM!!! SUCCESS!!! This was the furthest I had gotten so far!!! Man was I happy. I let the pilot run on its own for about an hour to allow the vessel to heat up somewhat (this has to do with equal thermal expansion, metal fatigue and a bunch of other boring stuff). Once I was happy with those results I crossed my finger and turned the control knob from 'pilot' to 'on' and subsequently introduced the main burner. As I do not frequently work with domestic water heaters I was not sure what size/type flame I should be expecting. I was shocked when I saw how big the burner is. Immediately I was cautious due to the size of the burner, I guess I was intimidated because I thought it would be much smaller. None the less, I let it run because I was confident in my install. After two or three minutes, the temperature cut off (which is actually called an energy cut off for those who care) activated and the manifold/thermostat tripped the gas supply shut and I lost both pilot and burner. At that time I felt that activating of the energy cut off confirmed my belief that the burner was too big or in other words that there was too much gas getting to the burner tip/through the burner orifice. I tried the burner twice more with the same results, the energy cut off kept activating. I decided I would let everything cool down and reassemble the burner to make sure there was nothing missed.

                          The following day, after isolating the main gas supply and purging the down stream piping, I disconnected all of the gas tubes from the manifold and removed the burner assembly. Everything looked great. I then laid on my back and used a flash light to do a half-assed inspection on the manifold/thermostat internals. Again, everything looked good. I put everything back together and installed the burner assembly in to the firebox. Reinstalled the gas lines and pressured up the system. I then put the pilot in with no issues. I sprayed down the connections with Windex to insure there was no gas leaks, let the heater warm up for an hour with just the pilot, then put the burner in. The burner flame still seemed quite big to me so I dialed back the manifold/thermostat control to its lowest setting however there was no change in flame intensity. I came to find that with this model the temperature control dial does not 'throttle' the gas. It is an 'on/off' control. When the temperature of the water is below the set point (as defined by the dials indicators) the gas kicks in, when the temperature is below the set point the gas kicks out. Bottom line, the burner flame will always be the same size. Satisfied with that answer I left the main burner in. Five minutes went by and the burner was still going strong, 10 minutes... 15 minutes then BAM! Water heater energy cut off activated. Baffled I tried it one last time, this time the energy cut off did not activate. I have not had any issues since. Well with the exception of maybe being TOO clean

                          In hindsight I'm not surprised that the energy cut off was activated a few times after installing the new burner assembly. The exceptional folks at GSW/JW tech support told me that the new parts had oil/glue and other gunk from the manufacturing process and not to be surprised if I smelled weird odors as it burned off -but the smells would go away promptly. My guess is that some of that excess left over "gunk" could have increased the temperature in the firebox just enough to activate the energy cut off but once it had all been burned off I was getting the correct amount of fuel to satisfy my heating needs and the energy cut off's permissive.

                          So that's that. If you have any questions or want pictures of the rebuild kit/heater or maybe my work boots just let me know I would be happy to accommodate you.

                          Here's a few tips I'll give to any novice out there who may be attempting this. These are points not addressed in any of the instruction manuals from GSW/JW and may not be common knowledge. 1/ after you install the new burner assembly and the vessel heats up you'll hear a lot of hissing and popping while the new gasket heats up and makes a seal 2/ the new burner rebuild kit DOES NOT come with an orifice for the burner tip. the old one must be retained and installed in the new burner (do yourself a favor and clean it before the reinstall) 3/ ferrule nuts are a real pain in the a$$ to install and the use of WD-40 is permitted. just wipe up the excess 4/ since you're servicing your water heater anyway, clean out the firebox, underneath the unit and around the unit with a broom/shop vac 5/ Windex can be used on newly made gas connections to check for leaks. it will bubble up aggressively if there is a leak present 6/ if you need to clean your pilot DO NOT use a pin or anything else. The hole is tiny and appears round but if you look at it under a microscope it is actually oval. if you put a sewing needle or something similarly shaped through the hole you will deform it and subsequently damage your pilot. the only solution here is compressed air or the hair off of a paint brush since the hair is softer then the metal there is no risk to the orifice. one last thing you can do (which I did) is take a mouth full of water, put the pilot tube in your mouth and try blowing the water through it. you're not risking any damage to the pilot and you are confirming flow through the orifice.

                          That's all I can think of at the moment. I might edit this post later to add further detail but I think I covered everything.

                          One last point actually. I forgot to point out that if you get the hot water flowing and manage to save $500.00 in the process you'll be the household hero for at least 24 hours. I got a nice surprise from the wife after our hot shower last night!

                          Thanks again to everyone who gave me sincere meaningful advice. I will definitely be making the Rigid Forum a place I check back to on a regular basis.

                          Best,
                          Joe

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Hot water heater problems

                            joe, it sounds like the air intake screen is dirty and needs cleaning. you do have a sealed combustion chamber, correct? you light it with the spark push button igniter correct?

                            if so, then you need to clean the air intake screens. the heater is overheating as it can't breath properly.

                            good job for getting it done.

                            rick.
                            phoebe it is

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Hot water heater problems

                              Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                              joe, it sounds like the air intake screen is dirty and needs cleaning. you do have a sealed combustion chamber, correct? you light it with the spark push button igniter correct?

                              if so, then you need to clean the air intake screens. the heater is overheating as it can't breath properly.

                              good job for getting it done.

                              rick.

                              Rick,

                              You're right. I do have a sealed combustion chamber and I do light with a push button igniter. when I had everything torn apart I did a pretty thorough cleaning of the combustion chamber with a steel wire brush and a shop vac. I also cleaned under and around the unit. This heater has what is called a 'flame arrest safety system'. Due to that the air intake screen is very fine and I did indeed brush it off during the cleaning. I think the combustion air inlet is sized so that it allows only the exact amount of air (stoichiometric) in to complete combustion with predetermined amount of gas which the unit will be fed with, consistently. For that reason it is very important with this unit that the air intake screen be kept clean at all times.

                              Thanks again Rick. Your experience and advice are invaluable.

                              Best,
                              Joe

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Re: Hot water heater problems

                                By the way Rick I noticed you`re in L.A. I am from Glendale! Of course I live in Canada now but seeing your name and whatnot makes me miss home!!

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