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tsherv 05-20-2009 01:27 PM

Rheem water heater gas valve issue
I have a Rheem 40 gallon powervent gas water heater (model# 21VP40E-1). This morning we had no hot water. The powervent fan runs. About every 5 minutes or so, the igniter clicks a bunch, and has a good flame by the burner plate, but the burner plate will not ignite, and after about a minute, the pilot flame goes out. It will go through this cycle a few times, and then suddenly after several tries, the burner plate finally ignites, and heats the water. When the burner plate ignites successfully, I can hear the gas control valve "click" and then the burner plate will ignite. When the burner plate fails to ignite, I don't hear the gas valve click.

I talked to a guy at a water heater parts store, and he said he is 80% sure it's the gas control valve. I'm thinking of just buying it and taking the chance that's the issue. The price is $135.

My question is, how hard is this replace? It looks like it's 3 gas fittings (main line, burner tube, and igniter tube. I'm assuming I just need to put thread sealer (tape) on all of the fittings. Besides that, is it just a couple mounting bolts?

Any advice would be appreciated!



plumber Jim 05-24-2009 12:41 PM

Sounds like a bad or dirty flame sensor rod to me. use a dollar bill and clean the white stuff off of it.

hayewe farm 05-24-2009 01:46 PM

I agree with plumber Jim. Then flame sensor usually looks like this or Ash residue on the tip insulates it so it doesn't heat up like it should. Clean the sensor and try again. Replacing the gas valve should be done by a pro to make sure there is no leaks and to make the proper adjustments.

al's sewer 05-25-2009 07:51 AM

Don't mess with gas!!! let a pro do it.

tsherv 05-26-2009 09:38 AM

Problem solved!
You guys were right, the problem was the sensor was dirty. I removed the burner, cleaned everything up and it all works fine! Thanks for the help!

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