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Old 05-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Hello. First I am an electrician so I am not unfamilar with working with the tools.
I have A O SMITH promax gas hot water heater. I woke up to luke warm water on Sat. I re lit the pilot , Turned the thermostat up and down a couple times and the burner lit and turned off as expected. Then later I had cool water again later. Did the same thing. The pilot seems to be going out. The water heater is only say 5 years old. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Joe

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Old 05-18-2008, 08:42 AM   #2
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Hello:

Tell me is this a closed combustion chamber or an open combustion chamber?

If it an open combustion chamber (door can be removed without tools) then it should be as easy as replacing the thermocouple in the unit. Home depot and lowes sell thermocouples.....just need to shut the gas valve to off and remove/replace the thermocouple.

If it is a closed combustion chamber (need tools to remove the door)...if I understand correctly, warranty is voided if you disturb the gas chamber and don't replace the gasket/seal at the combustion chamber door after you replace the TCO thermocouple..so if closed system, make sure to talk to your local plumbing supply house and ask them to order you a new combustion chamber gasket and may need to order the TCO thermocouple and/or pilot assembly

Check out this website....plug in your model number and check out the information that comes up:

http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/r-gas.html

Can also give AO Smith a call at 1-800-527-1953 and follow the advise they offer you!!

Anyway, issue here sounds like the thermocouple is gone....should only take 30 minutes to replace once you have the right parts...

Good luck and please let us know how it goes or if have any more questions.


Last edited by Boston Plumber; 05-18-2008 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:35 AM   #3
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Thanks
Here is a pic.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:34 PM   #4
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Great advice Boston!
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:58 AM   #5
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Hi Guys:

Thanks MP...

Hey UK....that is a closed chamber for sure. I suggest you take the model number and the serial number over to the local plumbing supply house that sells AO smith heaters and purchase the thermocouple KIT with new combustion chamber gasket.

After you have the kit, it should be obvious what to do next!!

Let us know how you make out!! Good luck.
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Old 05-19-2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


After removing the pilot assembly I decided this water heater was at the end the road. I replaced it with a A O SMITH ProMax plus high efficency 50 gallon also.

I do appreciate the quick good advice given and have listed the site in my favorites so I will be sure to pop in from time to time.

Joe


PS It's Joe Yuk..... as opposed to Joey UK

Last edited by joeyuk; 05-19-2008 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Fat Fingers
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Old 09-16-2008, 12:47 AM   #7
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Boston Plumber View Post
Hi Guys:

Thanks MP...

Hey UK....that is a closed chamber for sure. I suggest you take the model number and the serial number over to the local plumbing supply house that sells AO smith heaters and purchase the thermocouple KIT with new combustion chamber gasket.

After you have the kit, it should be obvious what to do next!!

Let us know how you make out!! Good luck.
Hey guys, I'm having the exact same problem. Found out from my friend who installed my water heater less than two years ago that AO Smith knows of a problem with the thermocouple. It begins to develop soot on combustion area and stops from lighting. All that needs to be done is have it cleaned up. They would not cover it under warranty. It's my belief that if they know this is a problem and know how to remedy it, they should provide an improved replacement part. NOT. They want $300 for it!

That's half the cost of the whole tank! This is an inconvience that should be remedied by a company touting its products as being top quality. Luckily for me, my buddy will do it for a beer, but there has to be others like myself that have either thought their water heater was bad and replaced the whole thing or just paid for the replacement part. That's poor customer service. A plumber will take $90 just to show up in part of town, then to do the work. A.O. Smith should make this right.

Anyone out there have similar problem?
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:05 AM   #8
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyuk View Post
After removing the pilot assembly I decided this water heater was at the end the road. I replaced it with a A O SMITH ProMax plus high efficency 50 gallon also.

I do appreciate the quick good advice given and have listed the site in my favorites so I will be sure to pop in from time to time.

Joe


PS It's Joe Yuk..... as opposed to Joey UK
Good gosh!

After only 5 years and this water heater is at the end of the road?!?!
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:53 PM   #9
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


I have the same problems. I have the AO Smith ProMax (not even 4 yrs old, from installation). ABout two years ago, my pilot light started going out constantly. It would heat the water and then go out. It is a seasonal thing though. Starts doing this in the Fall and quits late Spring. Summertime it works fine. Well, it is Fall and now it the pilot light won't stay lit once I let up on the push button after lighting the pilot.

I removed the Assembly and noticed that the Thermocouple TCO was not 100% connected. A loose connection.

I called a plumber and he said I can't go buy AO Smith parts on my own anywhere except from the company. WHAT THE!? Has anyone or does anyone know if I can go to a hardware store and just replace the Pilot assembly or the Thermocouple AND TCO or am I screwed and have to go through AO Smith?
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Newer unit is probably starving for air.
Intermitent pilot failure is the clue.
Clean air screen (plastic) on bottom of tank.
If thermocouple is bad, will not relight.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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Wow! you guys are describing my problem exactly. My 3 year old water heater won't stay lit, so I kept relighting it. Then the gas valve went out (presumably because I broke the top off from turning it off and on so much). A.O. williams replaced that, and my plumber cleaned the therocoupler. It worked for about 6 weeks or so, now it won't stay lit very long (sometimes goes out right after it heats the water, sometimes stays lit for days).

If I get a new pilot assembly, will that fix it? Or will it eventually do it again?.....I guess thats the question I will have to answer for myself.

Do not buy one of these!
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Old 08-28-2009, 03:45 PM   #12
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


You guys have plugged flame arrestors more than likely. you need to vacuum them out. clean the black plastic screen and while its off you need to make a vacuum attachement that will go in that hole and vacuum the flame arrestor in the center of the heater. here is a link with a picture of the flame arrestor that american water heaters and now aosmith uses. the a.o smith one is more of a ceramic one in the center.

http://www.broomfieldplumber.com/wat..._cleaning.html
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:19 AM   #13
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Hi,
Everyone who has relit the pilot on a Promax hot water heater. How'd you do it?
I can't get the burner cover off to let the excess gas escape, which the instructions insist is necessary. I'm afraid to hit the ignition without doing that first.
Also, any instructions on how to remove the air intake screen to clean it are vastly appreciated in advance.
thanks!
Bruno B
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:52 AM   #14
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by joeyuk View Post
this water heater was at the end the road.
At 5 years you only used up 1/3rd of the average life of a gas water heater; you may have had a lemon or it has a design defect. Maybe there was a recall on this part.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 08-31-2009 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:06 PM   #15
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A O SMITH gas water heater problem


We have the AO smith water heater. If I understand it right it is a closed chamber heater.

It came with the place that we bought in april 2008 and so far it has bugged us atleast 4 to 5 times....

last time some 2 months back someone from the builders side came in and changed the copper tube on the outside...the tube that helps with the thermostat I guess.....

2 weeks back trouble started again....I thought I smelled gas and put it off...
I was wrong I donot think there was any gas smell...but since then my problem started again...goes off often...

As mentioned in the instructions I turn the thermostat to PILOT and ignite the burner. wait for a minute and then increase the thermostat from pilot to required temperature...of A,B and C I usually leave it on A.
The moment I take it to C the flame stays fine for 10 to 15 seconds and then goes all whacky and goes off in a few seconds...(I can see this through the small glass window)

If after igniting the flame I do not increase the thermostat from PILOT to C then at PILOT the flame stays for hours without issue....but no hot water of course at that small a flame...

I do not think it is an issue with the air intake screen...I have tried with and without the screen...have cleaned the screen also....

we have around 30 units in our community all with the same heater...have heard all of them having issues on and off....usually the screen cleaning has helped many.....but seems like I might be running out of luck..... -

I just hate the heater......

Model No - GVR 50 100
Gas Type - natural
Item ID - 9211706006
Build Date - 8/31/2006
Ser Number - H06J067799
City of New York Dept of Bldgs MEA - 376-04-E

Any one ? any ideas other than getting someone and spending 200 to 300 $ for someone to come take a loook and guess change the whole PILOT system...

Appreciate any replies !!


Last edited by redsky01; 10-11-2009 at 10:59 PM.
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