Question about Premier Water Heaters
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
This is a major problem with Kenmore power miser 6, 9, and 12's - we purchased a Power Miser 6 in Nov. 2006 and have had 5 service calls in two years - we are on our 6th call now - Go to http://baheyeldin.com/technology-in-society/mistaken-identity-help-with-kenmore-water-heater.html or Complaintsboard.com and you will see multiple complaints on these models. We had Sears out days after we purchased the water heater, and had parts replaced, then more problems in April 2007 - It worked ok until Nov, 2008 and now it has gone out 3 times. We were told it is lint collecting on the screen that sits under the burner (difficult to get to) - we made a vacume attachment out of PCV pipe (like the one the repairman had) and vacumed the screen when the pilot light wouldn't stay lit - that is what they told us was the problem - but this time, the vacuming isn't working - Ash also builds up on the pilot light burner which has to be removed - you can't replace the thermal coupler without replacing the entire burner unit in this model - In short, if you can get your money back and buy a more reliable model, do it! Sears sold us a maintenance agreement after they had come out 3 times ($290), and still we go for 2-5 days without hot water waiting for them to come out and not fix our water heater. They also told us we should build a platform elevated off the floor to increase oxygen and decrease dust - funny our last model was still working at over 10 years and never had an issue in the same location! Sears installed the water heater, and should have installed it on a platform if that was what was needed. Also, there was no warning about having to vacume the screen (UNDER the heater - very difficult) - when we purchased this model or we wouldn't have bought it - Kenmore water heater repair line now tells you to try scrubbing the screen - but who wants to do this every month??? I can't tell you how inconvenient this has been - Looks like there was a class action suit against LOWE's which included the AO Smith water heaters (which is who built the power miser heaters) - no class action suit yet against Kenmore - This has been a nightmare and at the websites I listed, you will see many more such complaints, and some creative solutions...but I doubt any will work for long. Good luck.
Posted on Jan 14, 2009
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.
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
The thermocouple has failed. It is the temp probe that goes from the pilot lite burner area to the control valve. Go to your local plumbng repair shop and buy one. Most appliance parts stores have them also. Take the old one with you and they will hook you up with an exact replacement. They are not that hard to change. Usually a nut or 2 screws in the temp bulb area at the burner end and a nut that threads into the control valve.
Make sure before you install the new one that the area where it mates to the gas valve is clean. Should be about a 20 min job including clean up with replacement parts in hand.
Posted on Jan 23, 2010
Testimonial: "exactly what I wanted yo know. thank you"
the white rodgers gas control needs to be replaced;
the way it works is: the thermocouple opens the pilot gas circuit and, holds it open
when it heats up by creating a magnetic field in the gas control then: when you turn
the knob on the gas control to "on" a valve inside the gas valve opens the main gas circuit and, electricity supplied by your RV keeps it open.
the main gas coil inside the gas valve is defective and, can not hold the main gas circuit to the burner open anymore.
Posted on Jul 24, 2010
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