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  • Outer cover turning off pilot light

    Hello,

    My water from my water heater has been fluctuating in temperature lately. I went to look at it this morning and when I removed the outer cover, I found that the pilot light had went out. I was able to relight the pilot (it uses a piezo igniter) with little difficulty, but when I place the outer cover back on the tank, the flame goes out completely. I repeated the sequence a couple of times to confirm that the pilot was going out when I replaced the cover, and it happened every time as soon as I placed it on. The water heater appears to operate normally without the cover and will remain lit. What would cause this to happen? I have placed some of the specs below. Any help would be appreciated.

    Bradford White
    Defender Safety System
    model: MI40T6FBN7-337
    40 Gal Capacity
    Natural Gas

  • #2
    Air blowing out pilot flame?

    Is the door sealing improperly and creating a concentrated stream of air which blows out the pilot light?
    Is the source of air to the pilot light and burner blocked by dust? (Still, I would expect enough O2 to diffuse in to allow the pilot to remain lit.)
    I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
    It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
    "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Outer cover turning off pilot light

      Admittedly, Not my expertise but... I have seen pilot lights get blown out from a downdraft in the exhaust vent.
      Make sure the stack is properly installed and your house has proper make up air (to prevent a back draft that can bring co2 back into the house) That said, you might want to adjust the size of the pilot a little larger (adj screw next to the line that feeds the pilot)

      It might be going out when you put the cover on because it starves a little oxygen from the flame.

      If you have any reservations call a licensed fitter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Outer cover turning off pilot light

        chances You need a new thermocouple . Go to BW Website for proper length
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Outer cover turning off pilot light

          Thank you for the quick replies. After reading what everybody wrote I went back to the water heater and looked it over. I couldn't find anything blocking the airflow, so I tried to very carefully place the cover back onto the heater while listening for the light to go out. After a couple of times of trying this, I was able to track the problem down to the outer cover pushing against one of the igniter wires. I gently pulled the wire away so that it wouldn't get pushed against, replaced the cover, and the pilot stayed on. Still not sure why that would cause the problem, but glad it worked out. Thank you all very much for the help and direction.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Outer cover turning off pilot light

            I was going to chime in about the safety circuit wiring. When the door presses against the flammable vapor sensor it grounds out the thermocouple circuit, then the pilot goes out. you can put electrical tape on these spade terminals or bend the metal cover appropriately as to not ground the spade terminals.
            ~~

            ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: flammable vapor sensor?

              Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
              ... When the door presses against the flammable vapor sensor it grounds out the thermocouple circuit, then the pilot goes out. you can put electrical tape on these spade terminals or bend the metal cover appropriately as to not ground the spade terminals.
              When did water heaters have a flammable vapor sensor?

              Could I make use of that circuit to prevent ignition if a flue damper fails to open?

              As a chimney sweep, I have been on roofs on cold nights and have felt the large amount of heat being lost from the water heater. (The furnace is turned off when I am sweeping.)
              If I can tightly seal the water heater flue, I can stop much leat loss and prevent cold outside air being drawn into the basement to replace the air drafted up the flue.
              Last edited by Robert Gift; 05-18-2013, 09:07 PM.
              I'd take an educated guess - but I'm unqualified.
              It ain't just soot, it's paydirt.
              "I swear, wherever Gift goes, argument follows." -Youtube comment

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: flammable vapor sensor?

                Originally posted by Robert Gift View Post
                When did water heaters have a flammable vapor sensor?
                When they became sealed combustion.

                Could I make use of that circuit to prevent ignition if a flue damper fails to open?
                There is already a system in place inside the burner chamber. In addition to the FVS there is usually a pill-like capsule that holds a volatile fluid. If there is a failing or floppy flame, this capsule overheats and breaks. The internal trap door then closes, cutting off the air supply. Thus, no combustion. Once this happens the tank gets replaced. It's not a replaceable safety.

                As a chimney sweep, I have been on roofs on cold nights and have felt the large amount of heat being lost from the water heater. (The furnace is turned off when I am sweeping.)
                An inherent problem of natural draft hot water tanks.


                If I can tightly seal the water heater flue, I can stop much heat loss and prevent cold outside air being drawn into the basement to replace the air drafted up the flue.
                Don't. If it's not designed for totally sealed draft you are opening yourself up for huge liability.
                ~~

                ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: flammable vapor sensor?

                  Fvir, flammable vapor ignition resistant, has been around for 9 years out here.

                  Putting on the outer cover has nothing to do with combustion air. But more to do with disturbing a connection or wire.

                  Rick.
                  phoebe it is

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