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How to drain a 40 gallon, gas fired hot water tank when the drain plug is blocked with calcium? The water at the house is very bad for depositing calcium, I suspect the bottom of the tank is full of it. I am replacing the tank so damaging it is not a problem. Note. the tank is in it's own closet inside the house and is NOT sitting in a drain pan. Thanks for your help.

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  • Water Heaters Master
  • 5,089 Answers

4 Suggested Answers

6ya6ya
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: Rheem 40 gallon gas hot water heater, pilot light

To make a short story long (I need to include all details, sry)…

I got up one morning and realized that we did not have hot water. I re-lit the pilot light and as soon as the burner went out from heating the water up, the pilot light would go out. After reading several posts regarding this issue, it seemed apparent that the thermo-coupler was the problem. Since I am a little bit handy around the house and very tight when it comes to opening my wallet, I bought the device from Lowe’s ($8.98) that was recommended by my online advisors and after a few googles, figured out how to change it. No help. The pilot light still goes out.

I gave up and went to Home Depot to purchase and schedule the installation of a new hot water heater.

STICKER SHOCK

A new Direct Vent type water heater costs around $800 with an additional $450 for “special” installation. Add a few fees to that and the grand total came to about $1450.

I felt like I had no choice since my wife and 2 daughters refused to live their life without hot water and I had no clue about how to fix the dam thing.

The plumber assigned to the installation stopped by to evaluate the site conditions and quickly noted to me that the 8 year old water heater tank was in good condition and that the gas controller was probably faulty, which could be purchased online from the manufacturer. I quickly cancelled the Home Depot order and purchased the controller for about $120 after shipping and tax. Immediately after the installation it seemed that the problem had been solved. A few days later the pilot light went out.

I called the plumber and explained the situation and he recommended that I purchase another controller because the one that was shipped to me was probably bad. I searched around town and found a plumbing supply company that had the correct model in stock. Two days later the pilot light was out. I cleaned up the controller and returned it to the store and asked the plumber to please schedule a visit to repair this dam thing.

When the plumber arrived, he hooked up a gauge in several locations and confirmed that the correct amount of gas (cfm) was being delivered to the controller, pilot light and burner. He then proceeded to remove the fire box to make sure that the igniter, thermo-coupler and pilot tip were set properly. He inspected the pilot light tip and said that he found the problem. Using about a 1/64” tip drill (can be purchased at a welding supply store), he cleaned the tiny hole that releases gas to the pilot light. I felt a sigh of relief because I was certain that the problem had been solved. $65 dollars (plumber’s fee for an hour of work) and 4 days later the pilot light went out.

I called the plumber and he said that the controller that I purchased online must be bad. Too embarrassed to return to the first plumbing supply store, I found another one in a different town that had the correct model in stock. Three days after changing the controller the pilot light went out. I returned the controller and a six pack later I decided to do some extensive googling.

The key term here is “DIRECT VENT”. This seems to be a very common problem with direct vent water heaters and I was about to find out the reason for this phenomenon. I read a post by an individual who wrote that if the vent becomes detached that the inflow of air can become contaminated and extinguish the pilot light. I decided that before I spent any more money on a plumber that I was going to take the vent apart and find out what makes it tick.

My direct vent system has 2 parts to the venting, an inner pipe (3” nominal diameter) that serves as the exhaust and the outer pipe (5” nominal diameter) that serves as the internal flow of air which supplies the pilot light and burner with oxygen. On the outside of the house a vent hood helps to segregate the two by extending the exhaust about 3” beyond the intake. I looked into the hood at the end of the pipes and discovered that the internal pipe which consisted of a 2 piece slip joint had come loose from the elbow that sets on top of the water heater. This slip joint pipe was not attached at any point with screws or clamps and was loosely setting over the elbow on one end and into the hood on the other end, allowing it to detach. Apparently, when atmospheric conditions were right, the burner idled down from heating up the water and extinguished the pilot light because the intake was saturated with CO2 from the connection failure.

I purchased a section of 3” pipe that was long enough to be installed in one piece. I connected it to the elbow using a stainless steel hose clamp. I had to disassemble the pipe 3 times to make adjustments to the length and position before I got it right, but I should not have any more problems with the pilot light.

The problem here is time. It takes a lot of time to get this right. When the plumbing contractors installed this unit during the construction of the house, there was no one around to make sure that they got it right. It is probably common to use a 2 piece slip joint type connection, but I feel like it should be attached with screws or clamps. In my opinion it is not rigid enough and can detach easily, especially if it is not installed properly. A one piece connection that is attached at one end with a hose clamp and then held in place at the other end by the hood is fool proof.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

heatman101
  • 43501 Answers

SOURCE: Pilot will not relight properly

Hi,
The thermocouple needs to be replaced. That is what keeps the pilot light lit. The thermocouple is the little metal probe that sticks up into the pilot flame. Very easy to replace.

heatman101

Posted on Mar 26, 2010

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: Thermostat and reset button (GIANT 152ETE) - no hot water

I have the smae problem but my element on top works fine it is the element on the bottem that does not go on so what is it that i have to change the element or the thermostat. on the bottom or the one on top. I have voltage on the top but none on the bottom element and are they suppose to go on the same time.

Posted on Apr 16, 2010

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1 Answer

Hot Water Pressure from taps


Hard water deposits from the water heater in the supply lines to the faucets. Sounds like your water heater needs to be cleaned out -- not just drained of water. You need to get inside and clear out the deposits in the bottom of the tank. You also need to remove the hot water supply lines to your faucets and see of you can get the lines to run free from the deposits -AFTER you clean out the water heater. Remove the drain -put on a 3/4 in. ball valve for the drain and a hose bibb on that - you can hook up a 5/8 - or 3/4 inch hose to get the particles out of the drain of the water tank. You may have to blow back the water line, from the faucets, the hot water lines- to get the deposits out of the water lines. You also may have to blow out the faucets with the water line disconnected to clear the calcium out of the hot side of the faucet.

Feb 18, 2014 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Is my water heater leaking?


You have water leak that you can hear running water.
Could be broken pipe under house.
Could be water running out of tank at TP valve.

Turn off all water taps and put ear against each pipe at tank.
If TP valve is leaking, then replace TP valve.
If pipe is broken under house, then call contractor.
Copy following links for troubleshoot walk-thru.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Ear-against-pipe-200.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-electric-problems-with-water-heater.html#listen

Aug 28, 2012 | Reliance 606 Series 40 Gallon Electric...

1 Answer

Rheem pronto tankless water heater just barely warm model # 74pvn-1. This is in a house we are just purchasing. Also it looks like it may be attatched to another tank water heater , Help please


Before calling service technician, open following link for Rheem troubleshooting resources.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-Rheem-Tankless-water-heater.html

Sometimes people attach tankless to tank-type heater to preheat incoming cold water.
Additional tanks are also used to store solar heat, and some installations have tank-type because tankless is unreliable. Service technician can sort out the function correctly.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Tempering-tank.html

Owner should read tankless manual thoroughly, especially troubleshoot and maintenance sections. Tankless require yearly maintenance.

Since tankless are expensive to repair and replace, you might be able to fire up the tank-type water heater and provide hot water without much cost.
You can also install tank-type gas water heater yourself. Lowes sells 40 gallon for $317.00, and then you offer 10% less.
http://waterheatertimer/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

Apr 19, 2011 | Rheem RTG-74PVN-2 Natural Gas Pronto Whole...

1 Answer

I have a model 606 40 gallon the reset bottom keeps poping


It is possible that the bottom element is covered with calcium, and other deposits fro the Minerals i the water settling out, in the heating process-

How old is the unit?-- and how hard is your water?-- any water softener in the system?

Are you interested in digging into the repair enough to: Shut off the water, drain out all the water in the tank, (opening a faucet somewhere, allowing air into the system, and getting the water out of the tank)
to disconnect power, then the wires to the element at the bottom, remove the element, scrape out the solids settled there, clean it out, and re-install the element, and re-wire it?

Let us know how far you want to go with this repair...

Mack B

Jan 20, 2011 | Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

1 Answer

I have a Rheem 40 gal. tank that is leaking water front the top where the vent stack is. It is pouring out. Can it be repaired?


A leaking water heater cannot be repaired, assuming it's the tank leaking and not nearby water pipe.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-leaking.html

First thing is to protect your property from catastrophic tank failure where tank ruptures and water runs until it is shut off:
Tanks are under pressure when they are hot.
Close cold water shut-off located above tank.
Turn control knob to 'pilot' so pilot is lit but burner will not turn on.
Open hot side on tub for few moments to relieve tank pressure.

Now your property is safe.
You need a new water heater.
In mean time, gas water heater makes 41 gallons hot water per hour.
Shower used 5-9 gallons hot water.
Bath uses 10-15 gallons hot water.
You can turn on water heater for short stretches and limp by until you get a new heater.

Steps for installing gas water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

Dec 20, 2010 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

2 Answers

Water leaking from the base of the tank


If you'r really lucky you may find a leaking fitting on top of the water heater thats draining down inside the shell and out the bottom, otherwise its time to replace a rusted out water heater.
Sorry

Nov 08, 2010 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

1 Answer

No water coming from hot valve on faucets


Have you thought about possible calcium buildup in your hot water tank/pipes? I am helping a friend in Palm Springs CA (California not Canada) and we are going to pour a really huge pile of vinegar into the hot water tank (let it sit for a day) then open up the hot water taps to the kitchen (where we don't have hot water flowing very well), then going to let everything sit for another day. Remove the aerator from the kitchen faucet after letting the vinegar/water solution sit in the pipes for a day, and turn on the kitchen hot water tap. Once all the **** is drained out, you must of course drain out the vinegar/water solution from your hot water tank or you will smell like French Fries (in Canada we put vinegar on French Fries) when you shower for a few days.

If you don't understand what the basic chemistry of dissolving calcium via this method is all about, then please call a professional plumber. Hope this helps, and remember that Google is your friend (sometimes), but be careful...

Apr 27, 2010 | Rheem 40 Gallon FVR NATGAS Low WATER...

1 Answer

40 GALLON WATER HEATER


the hot water tank may be filled with scale buildup on the inside. drain a few gallons out of tank until the water runs clear. it is best to drain out water heater at least 2 times a year.

Jan 09, 2010 | Rheem 40 GAL ELEC TALL Water Heater 6YR SC...

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