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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I go out and deal with a NG Ruud water heater 2 days ago, it was only a three year old tank, no pilot on at burner, self container burner, I was thinking therm-o-coupler but wait, how can it be the coupler if the pilot won't fire up at all, it can't be it, if pilot won't lite at all no way will the coupler work, fine that's not the problem.

I have a visual spark though the viewing window, maybe the gas is not there yet, so hold button down longer, not happening, no fire, ok so I'm kinda puzzled, since I have not had to deal with this type of heater before, so.

I check to make sure there is gas flow to the controller, which there was, okay so now what, so I proceed to remover the burner unit, disconnect and pull it out, after disconnect, flip it, reconnect so burner is outside the heater.

I check to make sure I have gas flow to the burner, yes there was , I could here it a smell it, so now I check for gas flow to the pilot, press the button down, nothing, ok at this time I was frustrated and contacted my supplier of Ruud, they gave me the number to there tech, call and told them what was happening what I have done to test the unit.

I told him there was flow to burner and none to pilot, he said, it is the controller, I said sweet, under warranty, overnight delivery, fix next day and be done. Next day no feakin delivery, :furious:, Called them back, they said they missed the freight, :furious:, why could they not tell me at the day I called it was late to ship that day, tenants now had to be put up in a motel by the property managers, the following day part comes in, cool replace the controller and I'll be done, guess what, it did not solve the problem, :furious:,

I thought they knew what the hell was wrong with this heater, after all they build them right. I took there word for it, believed it to be the controller, well since that did not work there was no way to fix this heater without more parts, not going to put the tenants up in a motel over the weekend, we come to the conclusion it was the pilot orifice that was more then likely clogged up, this heater was only three years old, so we wound up taking out the Ruud and putting in a Bradford White.

We are now hoping to do a swap out with the supply house, bad heater for a new one, call it a warrant swap, sounds fare, then keep the new one on hand for a new install somewhere else. Since we did not use a Ruud heater on the change out and put in a BW.

I'm not a fan of Ruud.

Thanks for listening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I tried it on the outside of the chamber so I took that out of the equation. I did see some soot, not a heavy soot layer, but you could see it on the burner it's self, not the entire burner. only a small area near the pilot, I thought it might have been normal but was unsure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did not have the proper tool to get that done, and at the time we were in a get it done situation to solve the problem all together. but, get this, I called Keller Supply a Rudd disto, asked if we could do a swap out of the burner unit, they called Ruud and got the ok, by this time our office manager said just put in a new one, so that is what we did, I'm sure the swap on the burners would have solved it right then and there.
 

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I tried it on the outside of the chamber so I took that out of the equation. I did see some soot, not a heavy soot layer, but you could see it on the burner it's self, not the entire burner. only a small area near the pilot, I thought it might have been normal but was unsure.
are you sure that was soot and not the dye they use when there is a flamable vapor ignition? when that happens a plate closes off the air suply to the chamber and its toast.

Plumber Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't really know what the problem was, with the unit outside the chamber, I could get gas flow to the burner but nothing to the pilot, I was able to get the flow though the controller if I disconnected the lead to the pilot, but on reconnect no flow, so that would tell me it was the lead/orifice clogged up. In my career this is the 1st I had to work with this problem, we have more electric here then gas heaters.

So I have a better understanding on this orifice, what is needed to clear that out?
 

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About a month ago i had a B/W water out of box that pilot light would not stay on. Called tech support and guy had me try a couple of things...still no pilot light. Tech support told me to call manu. rep and get pilot assembly, burner, and control valve. Manu. rep (also got a run around...told me i was not holding button down long enough...10-15 minutes shoulda been enough:eek:) told me to get parts from supply house...supply house does not stock all parts because they have no issues with B/W units. Supply house says let call it a leaker and replace whole unit. I drive to suuply house and replace whole water heater...because of no pilot light!
 

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Plumbing and Gas SCO
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Many times simply blowing hard down the pilot tube will unblock a plugged orifice. If it is lodged tight and is hard you will need to use a drill bit to clear it. But remember, use the bit 2 sizes smaller than what the orifice needs to be when you are hand drilling it. The orifice size will be marked on the side of the orifice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many times simply blowing hard down the pilot tube will unblock a plugged orifice. If it is lodged tight and is hard you will need to use a drill bit to clear it. But remember, use the bit 2 sizes smaller than what the orifice needs to be when you are hand drilling it. The orifice size will be marked on the side of the orifice.
I tried to blow through the tube, I was not able to make that happen, and was not sure how that worked, is it free and clear with no pressure required, or does it require a curtain PSI.
 

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I would use my jetter nozzle cleaner thingy I got from US Jet.

It is a bunch of little "tooth pick" things that are made of metal the are different sizes.

You are better off with Bradford White, although they have their problems also, there isn't a better water heater.

MADE IN THE USA ALSO!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would use my jetter nozzle cleaner thingy I got from US Jet.

It is a bunch of little "tooth pick" things that are made of metal the are different sizes.

You are better off with Bradford White, although they have their problems also, there isn't a better water heater.

MADE IN THE USA ALSO!

Thanks WCP, I'll get a set of those cleaners, I know the ones you are talking about, so the next time I come across another heater with this problem, might be 24 years from now but what the hay, I'll be ready then. :laughing:
 
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I was just about to say the same thing. Same thing I use to clear clogged orifices in flushometer diaphragms.

I had a similar situation about a month ago and replaced the burner, pilot assembly and gas control valve. That did the trick, and yes it was still under warranty and I had no problem getting the parts.

Check this out and read the bit about jumpering the electrical terminals.

http://www.justanswer.com/questions/1tl9e-rhemm-gas-water-heater-pilot
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Dr S

Thanks. the pilot assemble is more then likely what was wrong with it, why did Ruud Rep not catch on to it, he could have sent a new assembly.

When I said we were going to replace the burner unit, I meant the complete unit to include the pliot assembly and thremo with it. Can the pilot assembly be unclogged on site?
 

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Reread my previous post. I think the answer lies there. Since I replaced basically everything I wouldn't know exactly what the problem was, but I am now curious if indeed the ECO had tripped.
 

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And btw, if indeed the ECO trips, you have to replace the entire gas control valve. Its an easy fix and you don't even have to drain the water heater to do it.
 
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