Question about RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER
Open following link to help identify type of water heater gas control valve.
This will help isolate the possible causes, and give access to possible service manual
Posted on May 10, 2012
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
In my first 15 years as a plumber I never saw a pilot light issue on a gas WH that a new thermocouple didn't fix. Since the government mandated a redesign of the fire box, I've seen three that nothing ever fixed - two Whirlpools and one (my usually ultrareliable) AO Smith - including replacing the entire burner assembly and the regulator. And I've heard of many others.
Check the thermocouple connection for tight. (Don't strip.. threaded soft metals.)
Check the microvents on the bottom ? of the burn box for dust, even if it is new.
Call Reliant and demand new units until you get one that works.
Try another model. Consider a 52gal electric.
I've always recommended gas over electric, and AO Smith and Rheem were my recommendations (and "Reliants" were "lumber yard" water heaters. Sorry.)
Since the mandated redesigns, I don't really have a "proven reliable" model to suggest. I increasingly believe the restricted air flow design is the ultimate culprit, including any changes to the thermocouple/regulator construct to accommodate the restricted air flow design. Just my hunch.
Offered for what its worth. -- plumber in Indiana.
Posted on Jan 11, 2011
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