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Old 01-25-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default black smoke out of a gas water heater

Was wondering if anybody has run into this. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:27 PM   #2
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Just got a call, and the lady said black smoke was going up the side. I have to go check this thing out this afternoon. Just wondering if someone could save me some time running this down. I assume that it is in the burner, or the vent ( stopped up) with rust or who knows what. Anyway thought I would run this down on here just to see what yalls opinion was. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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Saw it once and it was frightening. There was a black soot trail that ran from the combustion chamber door up the face of the wh for about 18". The thermostat control on the front of the gas control valve was warped from heat. The ho had enough good sense to shut it down and call me. Someone may say different but when I see something like that, I would never trust any repair. Replace it.
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Old 01-25-2009, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post
Saw it once and it was frightening. There was a black soot trail that ran from the combustion chamber door up the face of the wh for about 18". The thermostat control on the front of the gas control valve was warped from heat. The ho had enough good sense to shut it down and call me. Someone may say different but when I see something like that, I would never trust any repair. Replace it.
i agree. don't repair. replace
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Old 01-25-2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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I would check for draft. blocked exhaust.
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Old 01-25-2009, 04:34 PM   #6
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Roll out due to blocked flue. You could remove the venting and pull out the baffle to clean it.
However, if there has been damage due to this issue replace the thing.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:02 PM   #7
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I have found collapsed baffles before but if I see something like that, I'm not even bothering to look at anything on the wh itself, I'm just going to tell them it has to be replaced. Too much liability at stake and as fine a plumber as I am, what if I miss something? I'm not even willing to take the risk. I'll replace it if you like, otherwise get someone else.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:24 PM   #8
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you should also check combustion and ventalation air. Never try to vaccum black sute. I did it once and it shot out the back of the vacum cost my insurance company 4500 dollars.
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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Just got back. The water heater was a Lp gas heater. It was just a year old, so I pulled the baffle and checked the flu pipe. There was black suit, but really nothing blocking it. I fired it up to find the burner was really yellow flame. I took apart the burner got all the black mess cleaned off it, and put it back together. Fired it up and everything seemed good. It had a nice blue flame, so I figure it just needed cleaning. Wonder if butane burns more dirty than natural? Anyways heater is out in the garage, so no real danger and everything seems back the way it should be. Anymore thoughts. Thanks
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:43 PM   #10
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Neither propane nor ng are supposed to do what you have described in your op. There is a problem and because you cleaned it up and it appears to be burning properly does not mean that the problem has been resolved. To me it wouldn't matter if it was brand new out of the box, I would never trust this water heater, but that's just me. What part of the country are you located in and why aren't new water heater installs (you said it's only 1 year old) since 2003 required to have sealed combustion chambers. What you have described would only be found on an older water heater.
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