Question about Rheem 81VP6S/430126 Water Heater

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Noisy Rheem 16 instant hot water heater

We have a Rheem 16 instant gas water heater - probably 10 years old - that is making a constant annoying buzzing/whirring noise when operated and while reheating.
We have requested a service call for next Tuesday, however are wondering whether it would be more cost effective to replace the unit.
How long are these heaters expected to last and is there an easy fix to this issue?
Many thanks

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  • Rheem Master
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About the only device in that heater that could cause the noise you describe is an electrically operated valve that controls water flow. Rheem is a better-than-average company so I would give them a call and describe your problem to them; I'll bet that they will be glad to tell you which part you need and supply it to you.
We had a heat pump system from Rheem that needed only the replacement of one large relay and the outside unit fan motor during more than 25 years of service and is still operating at age 30 in our former home.

Posted on Oct 03, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Squeeling sound and lower pressure from gas water heater


Probably the factory-installed heat trap nipples are clogged.
Open following links.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Low-hot-water-pressure.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/Low-hot-water-pressure.html#trap
Noisy whistling and humming and low pressure are common problem with heat trap nipples and inserts from factory.
Replace heat-trap nipples with pex-lined nipples, or remove heat trap inserts with screwdriver or needle nose... careful not to break insert so it falls into tank ... which can then get lodged in hot water line elbow or under-sink shut off.
Factory-installed heat traps are part of overall strategy so manufactures can claim more efficient water heaters, without requiring customers to any thinking.
Other strategies include foam insulation instead of fiberglass (so that wires cannot be replaced on electric units), reducing factory-set temperature from previous 130-135 to 100-120, and re-estimating downward the hot water use for average family.
So some of the strategies are useful, while others problematic or imaginary.
Call manufacturer to pay-for or provide new pex-line nipples. Warranty for fist year covers Labor and parts, and after 1st year, warranty covers parts
http://waterheatertimer.org/Water-heater-manufacturers.html
Save $10 a month in future replacement costs: maintain water heater so it lasts longer:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-maintain-water-heater.html

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Before calling service technician, open following links for Rheem troubleshooting resources including error codes.
Error codes are considered start-point for troubleshooting.
http://waterheatertimer.org/Troubleshoot-Rheem-Tankless-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/ErrorcodeTroubleshooting.pdf

Error 11 is no ignition.
This problem can probably be solved by routine yearly maintenance shown in instruction manual which recommends: Yearly cleaning, adjustment and inspection of burner and combustion parts.
The yearly maintenance would check incoming gas supply, venting, wiring and grounding, and burner and ignition parts.
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Read following technical bulletin from Rheem:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Noisy-gas-water-heater.pdf

Find age of water heater:
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/WaterHeaterSerialNumberDecoder.pdf

There is no valve inside the tank.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-it-works.html
The constant noise sounds like water heater is running full time, except same sound after electric was turned off. Is there a check-valve nearby? What happens when you open-close shut off valve located on cold water line above tank?
Is there a water leak inside house, or is TP valve running water into a drain line?
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-clean-sediment-out-of-electric-water-heater.html

Post question on professional water heater forum
http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/

Add a comment with your experience so others with same-similar problem can benefit.

Also take advantage of fixya expert assistance live.
For a price, expert works with you while you work on water heater or any do-it-yourself project.
Fixya is always less expensive than a service call.

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