BW gas water heater problem


  #1  
Old 03-01-23, 03:41 PM
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BW gas water heater problem

I bought a manufactured home 40 gal gas water heater from Lowes. A plumbing company installed a Bradford White RG2MH40T6X on 18 Oct 2022. Here is the series of events that have since ensued as best as I can recall:


  • The plumbing company returned after I complained that after a few days the water heater was putting out only warm water and for not too long. Tech said that he thought that sediment got stuck in the orifice and he was able to blow it out by removing the gas regulator cap and pushing the piston in which he says forces more gas to flow. He say when he did that, he heard a whoosh and when he observed the burner, it looked normal. He said before he did that, the burned looked like it wasn't getting enough gas.
  • City came out to do the permit inspection and I mentioned that I had smelled whiffs of gas in the area of the water heater. It is located outside my home in a closet that is part of the home. The inspector also smelled gas and so she said I should have the gas company come out. She didn't sign off the permit.
  • The gas company came out and could find no leaks. Tech said he thought the water heater was putting out half the BTUs it should. He was taken aback when he saw that the water heater was a propane water heater but I told him it can be converted for natural gas. Smell wasn't present. It kind of comes and goes.
  • City came back out and signed off the permit.
  • The plumbing company returned after I again complained that the water heater was putting out only warm water and for not too long. Before the tech arrived, I looked at the burner and sure enough it looked anemic. Same problem, same solution.
  • I can't remember if they had to come out again for the same problem but they finally said that sediment in the gas line was the problem. They suggested I have the gas company come out to check the filters in their meter.
  • The gas company comes out and checks the gas pressure at the water heater. No problem. Tech observes that the burner flame doesn't look right. Like the water heater is set for propane maybe. He suggests having the water heater gas valve repaired/replaced. He checks the gas meter and finds no problems. He's skeptical about sediment clogging the orifice. He say there is a sediment trap in the line at the water heater and the gas line is looped high so it would be difficult for anything to get to the water heater.
  • Since I now know the fix, I get the water heater working again but the problem continues to return. The plumbing company now refuses to come out. They say the problem is sediment in the gas line after the meter. They offer to blow out the line for a fee of course. I told them I'd think about it.
  • Currently the problem persists. Every morning I check the hot water. If it's hot, great, I can jump in the shower. If it's not, I have to go out and pump that little piston to get it going again.

    Any suggestions on what I should do next?

    Thanks
    Fred
 
  #2  
Old 03-01-23, 04:26 PM
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Have the water heater repaired/replaced if still under warranty.
 
  #3  
Old 03-01-23, 09:03 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I've never been a fan of converting appliances between propane and natural gas.
Just curious.... why was a propane heater bought for natural gas use ?
1/2 price sale.... one day bargain ?

Tech observes that the burner flame doesn't look right. Like the water heater is set for propane maybe.
I agree 100%. It sounds to me like the conversion was not done properly or the wrong conversion parts were used. I've seen it with furnaces as well as gas stoves.

Not sure if water heater is defective but doubtful you could return that propane model for a natural gas one.

There are no filters on natural gas lines that I know of.
A proper natural gas installation includes a sediment/drip trap to keep the crap out of the valve.
 
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Old 03-03-23, 05:01 PM
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If the flame is weak or anemic it will take longer to heat the tankful of water but the temperature should finally get to hot (typically 120 F).

Try this.

Next time you find the water too cool, go down and very slowly turn the water heater temperature (large) dial up a few notches and then very slowly turn it back down to where it was. Does the heater kick on and keep going for more than ten minutes?

Each time you
a) found the water hot enough so you did not have to do the above, or
b) had to do the above and you waited for the burner to kick back off, or
c) had to do the above and the burner kicks back off immediately when you turned the dial back down,...
... was there enough hot water for a good shower?

The above typically means that the water heater thermostatic controller is not sensing cool down and the need to kick on.

Also worth trying:

After nobody using hot water for a few hours, flush a few gallons of water from the water heater drain valve (leaving the cold water supply turned on). Do you get sediment out? If so, then repeat two days later, again and again until you do not get visible sediment out.
 
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Old 03-04-23, 03:13 PM
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The OP is experiencing a burner issue. .... not a thermostat issue.
Not sure how flushing a 6 month old water heater will help.
 
 

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