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temporalshadows 07-16-2012 09:13 PM

Gas hot water heater - overheating?
I have a 40-gallon gas hot water heater, and yesterday I noticed that the water wasn't as hot as it should be. I checked the pilot light and sure enough, it was out. I relit the pilot light per the instructions and let it go.
Today I got home and checked it again just as a follow-up, and it was out again. I relit it again and set the thermostat, then after heating for 10-20 minutes or so, I heard it turn off. Thinking all is well and it's done heating, I looked at it again, and not only was the pilot light out, but the bottom area of the hot water heater was too hot to touch.
Now I don't want to turn it back on for fear that something's really wrong.
I'm hoping someone can give me an idea what's wrong and what I can do about it.
Thanks for your help,

plumberinlaw 07-16-2012 09:30 PM

clean all the lint out of the screens you might have to make an extension for your shop vac to get under it if that is where the combustion air comes from

temporalshadows 07-17-2012 11:59 AM

There is a small vent on the bottom - I removed this and cleaned it, but there was only a small amount of dust on it, not enough to block airflow.
Is it possible that the exhaust is blocked somewhere in the heater or the exhaust vent to the roof? I would think that the buildup of exhaust could cause the high temp in the burner area and extinguish the pilot once the burner shuts off. I'm not sure what the best way to check that is.
Thanks for the replies, it's much appreciated.

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