Question about Reliance Natural Gas Water Heater Control

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1991 RELIANCE MODEL 501, THE PILOT LIGHT WILL NOT STAY LIT.

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Gene Haynes

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Anonymous

  • 82 Answers

SOURCE: need to empty reliance 501 hot water heater how?

1) Shut the breaker off to it at the panel. 2) Hook a hose up to it (the bottom has a drain). 3) Close the valve to the water heater (on the cold water supply). 4) Open drain on the bottom of water heater. 5) Open the relief valve to allow air into the tank (it won't drain otherwise - think if you put your finger on one end of a straw - the liquid stays in until you let go). Why are you draining it by the way?

Posted on Jan 31, 2010

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Anonymous

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Pilot won't stay lit in Reliance 606 gas water heater

The Reliance 606 has an enclosed thermal couple. Before you try taking that assembly apart take a wire brush to the bottom opening directly under the burner. There is a metal filter on the very bottom of the water heater. It could be that the filter has gotten filled with dust or animal hair. It took a serviceman 2 days to figure this out for me. The water heater has to have good airflow through that filter to work well.

Posted on Sep 29, 2010

Anonymous

SOURCE: The pilot light went out

The paid answerers might have a specialist in your model of water heater.
As a free answerer, I specialize in providing resources that might help you for free.
When you say the gas control pieces, I assume you mean you replaced your entire gas valve with a generic dial-type gas valve.
You replaced thermocouple, but you did not replace burner assembly that includes the pilot tube.
Your other gas appliances are working fine.
You have not installed a new gas furnace with a blower that is vented up the same chimney as the water heater.
You have put your hand near the vent hood to see if there is backflow coming into the water heater when the furnace turns on.
You have removed the vent hood to give you access to the vent pipe, and you lit a match and the smoke from that match drafted upwards. You have done the lighted-match test when the furnace turns on which reveals the general condition of the venting stack.
You have checked your outdoor vent stack to make sure there is no obstruction, or the vent hood is not missing.
The burner flame on the water heater is a clear blue color with very little yellow. This shows the quality of the combustion air and reveals if amount of gas flowing to burner is restricted.

http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/prod/gas.html
Reliance is an AO Smith company
The site doesn't have a manual for the 501
I e-mailed Reliance several weeks ago asking for a 501 manual.
They send a generic gas water heater manual with no troubleshooting

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/lit/om/g616.html
Link above shows a typical Reliant heater, the 616
Age of your water heater can be seen on serial number.
The two numbers following first letter are the year water heater was made.

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/lit/om/manuals/186486-002.pdf
Troubleshooting begins on pg 29
Troubleshoot flowchart begins on page 31
The new gas water heaters have the FVIR system so troubleshooting includes that information.
I don't think the 501 would have a FVIR flammable vapor prevention because it is older
The new systems have an igniter
The troubleshoot flowchart gives valuable information

Posted on Oct 30, 2010

dd9090

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have a Reliance water heater - 40 gal Model

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

Anonymous

SOURCE: Our 40 Gallon Reliance 501

Many problems are solved by replacing thermocouple, but usually pilot will not light if thermocouple is bad. And some Reliance water heaters, the thermocouple is grouped with TCO and not generic part from hardware store.
If the combustion chamber is sealed with gasket, you might need spare gasket on hand before taking out the burner assembly to replace thermocouple.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0aBPsNg6vo

Gas water heaters can malfunction for many reasons.
Service tech is best resource unless you have manual and can take time learning parts and how to replace.

Gas water heaters require periodic cleaning of combustion parts and tubes.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot

Other ez problems include:
Gas shut off valve not fully open and handle is not parallel with gas line, so gas is partially shut off
If water heater flooded, then replace heater.
Excess water vapor from bad venting rusted out the burner parts. Inspect burner for rust.
Not enough combustion air, for example the house was recently weather-tightened, or a louvered door replaced with solid door. Or air intake screen located on bottom of heater is clogged with lint or dust.
Very hot attic can cause pilot to go out.

Trace amounts of pool chemical, laundry chemical, process chemicals, wax, etc can cause damage to burner parts.
Low gas pressure can cause problem.
Air in the gas line.

Bad gas control valve.
If ECO was tripped, there should be no gas to pilot.
Gas control valve might have debris or water from gas line.

If FVIR event tripped FV sensor, that would explain problem, and you would need service technician.

If repairs cost more than $330, then buy and install new water heater yourself, same day.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html

Upvote the help.
And 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.

Posted on May 24, 2011

Testimonial: "Thank you for your response. We ended up cleaning the burner parts the best we could and flushing the tank. Whatever it was it worked! Thx again."

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1 Answer

My water heater pilot light won't stay lit


I would try cleaning the thermo couple surfaces with some steel wool... Both where the flame contacts the sensor, and the electrical contacts. Even a small increase in voltage may be enough to hold the pilot valve open. Both black, and white soot on the sensor end, can act as an temperature insulator, lowering the output voltage.
As for finding the part numbers for replacement: http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/media/48391/242117_RPPCR01111-Reliance-Parts-Catalog.pdf

Feb 17, 2016 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

Pilot light not stay lit


Copy following links:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-light-gas-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html
http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/
Reliance is made by AO Smith company, and air intake located on bottom of unit.
Make sure you have adequate incoming air and vent is working.
Remember, the pilot is located upwards from the viewing sight-glass, so it is sometimes difficult to see pilot.
Pilot flame must burn clear blue, with bits of yellow and red. Yellow flame means inadequate air supply or venting.

Gene
h

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Sep 26, 2013 | Reliance Natural Gas Water Heater Control

1 Answer

I have a Reliance gas 501 water heater model #5 40 PORT980. Yesterday, we had no warm water. I looked and the pilot lit was lit. I turned the temperature knob to very not and it lit the


Reliance
2nd and 3rd digit of serial number is year
C05 is 2005

What color is flame? Should be clear blue.
Pilot is burning so thermocouple is good, and sitting in pilot flame.
Pilot flame should be clear blue.
Otherwise clean burner parts.

Is water at tank hot??
If burner is not turning on, the gas control thermostat is probably bad.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/How-to-replace-water-heater-gas-valve.pdf

Otherwise more information is needed.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-troubleshoot-gas-water-heater.html

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Sep 19, 2012 | Reliance Water Heaters

1 Answer

Reliant 501 Natural Gas won't stay lit


Reliance water heater?
Thermocouple is good if the pilot stays lit continuously.

501 is older model. Unknown if this unit has FVIR protection and sealed combustion chamber or open air intake on front of unit.
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Reliance-2006-Service-Handbook.pdf

With FVIR protection:
Get more fresh air to the unit.
Clean the flame arrestor screen.
Test and replace the thermocouple:
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-test-water-heater-thermocouple.html
Inspect and clean burner and combustion parts
Test gas pressure, bleed air out of gas line.
Replace gas control valve.
Test draft air by lighting match and see if smoke is pulled into the vent pipe at draft hood on top of tank.

If you need further help, I’m available over the phone at https://www.6ya.com/expert/gene_9f0ef4df2f9897e7

Aug 20, 2012 | Water Heaters

1 Answer

Reliance 606 natural gas water heater - model #640YORT - water does not stay hot. pilot has to be clicked to heat and then u can use hot water til tank empty and it will not continue to heat water.


If I understand correctly, the pilot light is not staying lit.
You light the pilot and water in the tank reaches temperature.
Once hot water is gone, then pilot light has to be lit again.

Gas pressure is good, and gas is flowing.
Thermostat is working at high end because it cuts off heating.
Vent is working because tank heats up.
Air intake is working.

Gas control thermostat might not be reading low temperature. Replace gas control valve.
Pilot tube might be dirty. Clean burner parts and combustion chamber, and air intake, and vent.
Backdraft might be blowing out pilot. Check for constant updraft by running water heater 5 minutes, and then light match under vent hood and see if smoke goes up.
Very hot air can put out pilot, especially when water heater located in attic. Add ventilation.
Improper vent might have water dripping back down into combustion chamber and putting out pilot light and rusting out the parts. Inspect for rusted parts and water.
http://waterheatertimer.org/How-to-install-gas-water-heater.html#troubleshoot
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Pilot-light-will-not-stay-lit.pdf

Aug 09, 2011 | Reliance Natural Gas Water Heater Control

1 Answer

I light the piuolot button and when i let go of the pilot button the pilot goes out does not light burner wont stay lit


When you light the pilot lite you have to hold the button down until it gets the element hot enough to stay lit. If you hold down the button and lite the pilot and let it go right away it will go out. What to do is hold down the button and lite the pilot and continue to hold the buttn down for about 45 seconds to a minute then let it up very slowly and you will see if it is going to go out by the flame getting smaller as you let up on the button. If it does start to get smaller conitnue to hold it again for a few seconds and repeat the process of letting it up slowly. when the control element gets to the right temperature it will stay lit then turn your valve to "ON" and the fire will start up and continue to heat the water.

Mar 15, 2011 | RELIANCE ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

1 Answer

The pilot light went out on our Reliance 501 water heater.....no hot water. We replaced the thermol coupler (sp) and re llit the pilot. We got some hot water, but only one tank ful. We then replaaced...


The paid answerers might have a specialist in your model of water heater.
As a free answerer, I specialize in providing resources that might help you for free.
When you say the gas control pieces, I assume you mean you replaced your entire gas valve with a generic dial-type gas valve.
You replaced thermocouple, but you did not replace burner assembly that includes the pilot tube.
Your other gas appliances are working fine.
You have not installed a new gas furnace with a blower that is vented up the same chimney as the water heater.
You have put your hand near the vent hood to see if there is backflow coming into the water heater when the furnace turns on.
You have removed the vent hood to give you access to the vent pipe, and you lit a match and the smoke from that match drafted upwards. You have done the lighted-match test when the furnace turns on which reveals the general condition of the venting stack.
You have checked your outdoor vent stack to make sure there is no obstruction, or the vent hood is not missing.
The burner flame on the water heater is a clear blue color with very little yellow. This shows the quality of the combustion air and reveals if amount of gas flowing to burner is restricted.

http://www.thetankatwaterheaterrescue.com/forums/forum3/

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/prod/gas.html
Reliance is an AO Smith company
The site doesn't have a manual for the 501
I e-mailed Reliance several weeks ago asking for a 501 manual.
They send a generic gas water heater manual with no troubleshooting

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/lit/om/g616.html
Link above shows a typical Reliant heater, the 616
Age of your water heater can be seen on serial number.
The two numbers following first letter are the year water heater was made.

http://www.reliancewaterheaters.com/lit/om/manuals/186486-002.pdf
Troubleshooting begins on pg 29
Troubleshoot flowchart begins on page 31
The new gas water heaters have the FVIR system so troubleshooting includes that information.
I don't think the 501 would have a FVIR flammable vapor prevention because it is older
The new systems have an igniter
The troubleshoot flowchart gives valuable information

Oct 29, 2010 | Reliance Water Heaters

3 Answers

Pilot won't stay lit in Reliance 606 gas water heater


The Reliance 606 has an enclosed thermal couple. Before you try taking that assembly apart take a wire brush to the bottom opening directly under the burner. There is a metal filter on the very bottom of the water heater. It could be that the filter has gotten filled with dust or animal hair. It took a serviceman 2 days to figure this out for me. The water heater has to have good airflow through that filter to work well.

Feb 13, 2010 | Reliance & 50gal Electric Water Heater

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