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Old 06-01-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater


OK Guys, I just walked in the house at midnight and found that my New Sears Economizer 6 52 gallon NG Hot water heater is stone dead. I installed it on 8-23-11. It is installed very well as I have been doing plumbing work for a very long time. I can post pictures but take my word for it, I do things right.

This heater has a White Rogers Gas Valve with the Led's on the top to change temperature etc. I will post the model number etc tomorrow, but I wanted to know if anyone has has trouble with these things. It does have a HSI and I will check that in the AM but it has been working perfectly since I installed it till now. It is stone dead. No Led's lit, nothing. And yes before you ask, I did plug it into another outlet via a 12 guage extension cord with a good ground.

Frankly I am flabbergasted, as I have never had a 2 year old gas water heater fail on me. These things used to be as reliable as the day is long, and they screwed these up too??? Why???

I swear we are going backwards.............

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Old 06-01-2013, 12:54 AM   #2
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Control panel went bad. If you do not have a whole house surge protector on your main breaker panel, it does not take much to fry electronic circuits on appliances.

Majority of these water heaters with the control panel, you just have to remove the power vent unit at the top, unhook the jumper that is from the control panel to the harness to the temp control at the gas valve, and then just connect the harness in the power vent hood, back to the harness that goes down to the gas control valve, and go from there.

It should also be flashing a code as to what is going on, if there is any power. BTW, it does not happen to be plugged into a gfci outlet or gfci protected circuit per chance? If it is, unplug the unit, and plug into a non-gfci protected circuit/outlet and see if power returns.

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Old 06-01-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
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Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater


If it's plugged into a GFCI should be no problem unless there's a malfunction in the water heater.

There's an old tale out there that appliances should not be plugged into GFCI's. That's all that is a tale. If you have a GFCI on an appliance circuit and the GFCI is tripping there's a problem with that appliance.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Control panel went bad. If you do not have a whole house surge protector on your main breaker panel, it does not take much to fry electronic circuits on appliances.

Majority of these water heaters with the control panel, you just have to remove the power vent unit at the top, unhook the jumper that is from the control panel to the harness to the temp control at the gas valve, and then just connect the harness in the power vent hood, back to the harness that goes down to the gas control valve, and go from there.

It should also be flashing a code as to what is going on, if there is any power. BTW, it does not happen to be plugged into a gfci outlet or gfci protected circuit per chance? If it is, unplug the unit, and plug into a non-gfci protected circuit/outlet and see if power returns.
Thanks Greg, I took a quick look last night, and I know what you are talking about. There is an on off switch in a black plastic box attached to the blower on top. I looked inside and there is a pressure switch in there. There is a harness plug on the side of the box with a gray wire that runs down to the gas valve.

I did not quite get where your instructions are going though. Where is the board? I am thinking there must be a fuze on the board as this thing is really dead. I mean like nothing. I already checked power by running a heavy duty grounded No. 12 ext cord to the heater, nothing.

Thanks for sticking with me on this. this heater is only two years old, for gods sake. I was going to check the HSI, but I have no led,s at all, and no attempt to light off, so Im thinking it cant be the HSI. Ill pull the board once I know where it is, but I dont want to pull the engine to work on the rear end.
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Last edited by jagans; 06-01-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater


Here are some pictures. I have not yet removed the cover on the gas valve. as I am waiting for your help regarding this. It looks like there might be little black tabs on the bottom that press in but I figure I would wait on you guys, as you have dealt with these before. Again. I really appreciate the help
Attached Thumbnails
Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0001.jpg   Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0008.jpg   Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0012.jpg   Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0015.jpg   Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0018.jpg  

Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater-img_0020.jpg  
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:25 AM   #6
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Anybody Home? I just did a parts lookup for a new gas valve and they want 409 dollars for a replacement valve. This HWH is barely 2 years old. If I end up having to buy a new gas valve you are going to read about me in the news, as I will throw this water heater through the front plate glass window of the Sears store where I bought it. Water heaters used to last 30 years and ran flawlessly for the entire time, now they are laden down with electronic crap that is obviously the result of litigation driven safety devices.

If this keeps going the way it is you wont be able to walk down the street without training wheels.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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Maybe start at the top where the power switch is and check for power after the switch.
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Old 06-01-2013, 02:48 PM   #8
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Maybe start at the top where the power switch is and check for power after the switch.
Thanks DJ, My son and I just finished doing that, and we have power down to the control board. This thing has all the stuff a typical furnace with a hot surface igniter has, so Im thinking the start up sequence would be the same, blower kicks on to clear the burn chamber, pressure switch makes, then hot surface igniter glows, gas valve opens, gas ignites, and flame sensor tells board all is OK. Is this about right?

I am getting absolutely nothing at the led's on the board. It is dead. I can find no reset switch, no fuze soldered on to the board to replace, nothing.

On top of this I called Sears to get a new gas valve with board as they are supposed to provide parts for years 2 through 6. They said they had to send a tech, because they had to make sure which part needs to be replaced. OK I can understand that, as they dont want to replace a board if a pressure switch is bad. I said OK. Then they told me that the soonest a tech could come out is the 8th of June, so I have to go without hot water for a week, or probably more, because dollar to a doughnut, the guy will show up here without the part even though I gave them the model, serial no. and build date.

I asked the lady if she considered making someone wait for a week to get hot water as being good service, as they continually advertise how wonderful they are. I asked if since they were so busy, why did they not hire more technicians, since so many people are looking for work these days. I said I might just as well go out and buy a new hot water heater and install it, as wait a week or more to get hot water.

Now here is the kicker, she says to me, "would you like me to turn you over to our retail department, so you can buy a new sears hot water heater?"

This is a true story. It just happened to me today.

"Sir, we just shoved a pitch fork up your axe sideways, and we enjoyed it so much that we would like to do it again"

I told her that nobody would ever see the name Kenmore, or craftsman on anything I buy for the rest of my life, and I will tell the story of how I was served by Sears to everyone.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:23 PM   #9
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Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent Water Heater


Sears is on the way to disappearing. Your start logic is correct. That's what mine does. Maybe you can get the board from eBay or some other source vs replacing the valve. I suppose you could bypass the board as Greg suggests but you run the risk of it overheating it.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Control panel went bad. If you do not have a whole house surge protector on your main breaker panel, it does not take much to fry electronic circuits on appliances.

Majority of these water heaters with the control panel, you just have to remove the power vent unit at the top, unhook the jumper that is from the control panel to the harness to the temp control at the gas valve, and then just connect the harness in the power vent hood, back to the harness that goes down to the gas control valve, and go from there.

It should also be flashing a code as to what is going on, if there is any power. BTW, it does not happen to be plugged into a gfci outlet or gfci protected circuit per chance? If it is, unplug the unit, and plug into a non-gfci protected circuit/outlet and see if power returns.
Hi Greg. I know, I thought it would be flashing a code. It is flashing nothing, it is stone dead. I was going to check the HSI, but I did not think that if it was open that all would be dead. We are getting power down to a 6 conductor harness at the gas valve/control board that comes from the blower above, but no lights at all on the LED's I can scan and post the schematic, and maybe you can tell me if the HSI is open I would get no lights at all. Would this help?
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #11
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Control board is that object on top of the face of the gas valve. I was thinking that yours was like how mine has an option to place a control box towards the top. The Solenoid at the top is what controls the temp up or down, or shuts it off, when you press the arrows on that control box.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
Sears is on the way to disappearing. Your start logic is correct. That's what mine does. Maybe you can get the board from eBay or some other source vs replacing the valve. I suppose you could bypass the board as Greg suggests but you run the risk of it overheating it.
They could just remove it all together and go with a mechanical unit, but then they risk not having the power vent turn on when running, unless they can find one that is compatible with their unit.

I was thinking of adding the control panel to our WH, but never got a response to Rheem, every time I have contacted them, what the cost is for that accessory. Now that I think about it, I am glad that I do not have that part, and the control box on ours is still a mechanical unit.

The only thing I hate, is trying to decipher what the flashing light means, and then having to read the tiny print on the label on the side of the unit, to figure out what is going on.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jagans View Post
Hi Greg. I know, I thought it would be flashing a code. It is flashing nothing, it is stone dead. I was going to check the HSI, but I did not think that if it was open that all would be dead. We are getting power down to a 6 conductor harness at the gas valve/control board that comes from the blower above, but no lights at all on the LED's I can scan and post the schematic, and maybe you can tell me if the HSI is open I would get no lights at all. Would this help?
I would say that if you have power all the way down the harness to that control box, then the control box is bad. Keep pressing Sears on this issue. BTW, their units are actually rebranded from other companies. You may have to just call some plumbers around your area, and see if they can get the other version of the control box, that is the mechanical control, but that also means replacing the gas valve, since yours is controlled with the Solenoid at the top.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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Found some info on the Intelli-Vent control http://www.waterheatertimer.org/pdf/...oubleshoot.pdf AO Smith, Ruud & Rheem use it. My guess is that your unit is a rebadged AO Smith, Reliance or Ruud.

Also see:

Flammable Vapors Sensed (FVS) Reset Procedure

After a flammable vapor lockout has been initiated, a manual reset must be performed to restore operation. The following should be done by a qualified service person after the hazard has been removed:

1 Manual reset is accomplished by first, turning off power to the water heater for 10
seconds.

2 Restore the power to the water heater.

3 Within 10 seconds of restoring power, press the two temperature adjust buttons
simultaneously until the left (green) "Vacation" LED begins to blink (approx. 5 second
delay). Once the Vacation LED begins to blink, release both buttons.

4 Again, within 10 seconds, press both temperature adjust buttons simultaneously until the Vacation LED is on steady (approx. 5 second delay).

5 Release the two buttons, the microcomputer will clear the FVS lock-out and normal
operation will then be restored.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Reset_code...r_water_heater

Classroom training pdf I found http://www.hotwater.com/lit/training...nt_booklet.pdf
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Last edited by gregzoll; 06-01-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:36 PM   #15
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Yeah, I just tried that too. I checked the VOC sensor and it checked out fine. I checked the pressure sensor and it checked out fine. I actually found the service manual for the Intellivent Control I have and it basically says if the pressure switch is OK change the control board. I have never gotten any led's at all, this board is really dead, and I cant see at all how it happened. I figured out how to open the box, I looked at the control board and it looks pristine. Nothing melted, no burned smell, nothing. All the components except a couple are surface mounted and encased in a clear coating so the board cant be worked on. I just wish someone sold a replacement board, but the whole valve goes with the board. If it was a through hole component board, My son could probably repair it, but no dice on this one. I guess Ill have to sponge bath for a week or more. Waiting for a Sears tech is a crap shoot for me, I found a new valve/control board assembly for around $250 and I could have it by the 6th, but I dont know what the tech will hit me for. I know damn well its the board and I would like to empty the tank and do the prep work but he probably has to go all through what I already did to prove its the board. Have you heard of many issues with these things? I was leery when I first saw the Led's I appreciate your help a lot. Thank You. Oh yeah this is an AO Smith unit, rebadged for Sears.

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