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Old 12-27-2009, 09:20 AM   #1
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A O Smith 40 water heater


I have a 40 gal gas AO Smith water heater2 years old. I am having the same problems as all the others with this unit. I relight the pilot light and turned the unit back on and it runs for a while, then the whole unit shuts down, pilot and all. I relight the pilot stays on, turn to on runs for a while them the same thing off!! I have read here that I need to vacuum the air baffle in the center. What is the best way to do this?

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Old 12-27-2009, 10:26 AM   #2
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A O Smith 40 water heater


I don't know about the baffle but is the heater in a garage or other area that might be getting a blast of outside air when the door is open? Also, how strong is the pilot flame? The pilot gas orifice (openning) is very tiny and may need to be expanded with a slightly larger orifice.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:18 AM   #3
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A O Smith 40 water heater


it's in my laundry room (no drafts). The pilot light goes out when the unit shuts down. When I relight the pilot it stays lite until it trys to heat again
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:20 PM   #4
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A O Smith 40 water heater


It may have an oxygen depletion sensor. Get a can of air (like used to clean computer keyboards), turn the pilot off and stick the nozzle tube of the canned air just inside the pilot tube and give it a couple of blasts. That will clear any dust of spider webs that can cause the OD sensor to shut off the gas.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:31 PM   #5
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A O Smith 40 water heater


Have the same problem for about 8 wks. After several trials, I might have fixed it, or at least it has stayed on for 2 wks now, much longer than all previous attempts. My conclusion: the combustion chamber must stay as clean as possible, to prevent the thermocouple from getting dirty. From Googling and reading all complaints regarding this hot water heater, I vacuumed the ceramic flame arrestor at the bottom center of the chamber, the chamber itself, the plastic screen and the space behind it. With a combination of 400 grit sandpaper and steel brush, I thoroughly cleaned the thermocoupler. Then I made sure insulation on the door is properly aligned and the chamber door is completely tightened. Did not do both at the last attempt and pilot stayed on for only 6 days. Properly sealed door keeps all the dirt out - been remodeling. Virginia law forbids supply house to sell me parts. Problem started when the area round the heater became momentarily filthy from remodeling.
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
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A O Smith 40 water heater


I had a water heater do that. My outside exhaust was not high enough.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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A O Smith 40 water heater


Well, the pilot went out again last week and it appeared to have the same problem. The thermocouple has a small ring of soot. I again blame the soot on the continuing remodeling in my house. After cleaning off the soot and unfortunately, in reinstalling the burner assembly, I accidentally broke a wire on a round disc in the thermocouple line. I decided to replace the entire burner assembly. That's when I found out that my 2004 model (FCV-40) now has a min 6 digit part lists. A O Smith publishes a parts list at its website: http://www.hotwater.com/lit/partslists.html. I bought the entire burner assembly for about $68+$10shipping at www.jupiterheating.com/ao-smith/parts.html. It was shipped UPS and I received it in 2 days. I now have hot water again.
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:42 PM   #8
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A O Smith 40 water heater


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Originally Posted by tlchua View Post
Well, the pilot went out again last week and it appeared to have the same problem. The thermocouple has a small ring of soot. I again blame the soot on the continuing remodeling in my house. After cleaning off the soot and unfortunately, in reinstalling the burner assembly, I accidentally broke a wire on a round disc in the thermocouple line. I decided to replace the entire burner assembly. That's when I found out that my 2004 model (FCV-40) now has a min 6 digit part lists. A O Smith publishes a parts list at its website: http://www.hotwater.com/lit/partslists.html. I bought the entire burner assembly for about $68+$10shipping at www.jupiterheating.com/ao-smith/parts.html. It was shipped UPS and I received it in 2 days. I now have hot water again.

while the burner is out blow compressed air from the inside of the chamber down through the flame arrestor and vacuum the areestor from below. also make sure the room the heater is in has fresh air. If it don't have enough cumbustion air you will get the same problems. the thermocouple getting dirty is no likely your problem. this all assumes you have enough gas pressure to the gas control vlave and that the gas control valve has been tested and also working properly.

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