flooded water heater
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Flooded water heater  

Applies to tank-type gas and electric water heaters
Read PDF on flood-damaged water heaters
Read article on flooded water heaters
AO Smith policy pdf
Avoid electrocution/
Stand on dry boards
Do not touch metal
Wear dry clothes
Do not touch wet water heater


Flooded water heater
Flooded gas water heater.
Burner parts and gas control are unreliable after flood.
Electrocution from touching wet water heater connected to outlet or grounded pipes
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flooded water heater
Flooded electric water heater
Electrocution from wet insulation and shorted parts.
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What to do when water heater floods: Replace water heater
Manufactures recommend replacing water heater that has been flooded.

Caution: Do not touch gas or electric water heater that has been flooded.
Gas water heater with electronics are plugged into outlet.
Most water heaters are connected to pipes that are connected to main breaker box with ground wire. Out-of-code wiring can be extremely dangerous.
Electric water heaters are connected to main breaker box directly.
Turn off all electric power, disconnect water heater connections and remove water heater from premises.
Inside each water heater is insulation. Water will soak the insulation, and it will not dry immediately. This poses risk to operation of electric water heater and any gas water heater requiring electric current.

Electric water heater: the insulation will not dry without covers located on side of tank being removed,
Thermostats will not work if covers and insulation are removed.
Electric water heater thermostats exposed to room temperature will misread temperature, causing water heater to overheat.
After insulation is totally dry, and parts that got wet are replaced, electric water heater can be put into service, but warranty is void.
There is no way to know when insulation is totally dry, or if mildew and other problems will develop.
How to replace thermostat  How to replace element

Gas water heater: Is unreliable after flood. Warranty is void. Combustion may not fully burn gas, causing fire and explosion hazard. It is possible to restore functionality of gas water heater by replacing burner, and cleaning air intake, but gas control valve should also be replaced, even if control valve was not under water. Identifying number for gas valve located on side of gas control valve.
Resettable ECO must be replaced if installed on water heater, and FVIR system might need replacement. Dirty and shorted parts are dangerous and unreliable.
Off-the-shelf parts might not be available locally or available quickly.
Cost of do-it-yourself part replacement can be greater than cost of new heater,
People report cleaning parts after a flood, and unit still doesn't work. No guarantee that function can be restored.
How to clean burner parts and clean air intake

Recommended action: Install new gas water heater yourself:
2011: New water heater and connections cost $350. Project takes a few hours. Easier with a helper.
Local box store has everything.
Open following link for step-by-step.
How-to-install-gas-water-heater

All brands of water heater are good:
Water heater manufacturers

Leaking washing machine hose is cause of flooded home. Install braided washing machine hoses.

Flooded gas water heater: what happens:

Flooded gas water heater
Flooded gas water heater
Flooded gas water heater
   Do not touch wet water heater. Turn power OFF

1) Warranty is void

2) Parts are clogged and incorrect. Result: Unreliable gas combustion. Combustion gas may not completely burn, causing fire and explosion hazard.

3) Insulation is wet. Result: shock if water heater connected to outlet, or if water pipes connected to out-of-code wiring.
Water heater must be completely dry before it is safe, but insulation is sandwiched between metal shell and galvanized tank. There is no way to tell when insulation is dry.

4) What must be replaced: Burner assembly, ECO, Gas control valve, FVIR systems need to be replaced. No guarantee that repaired water heater will work.

5) Best action: Replace gas water heater: How to install gas water heater
Gas water heater
Gas water heater
Gas water heater burner assembly
Burner assembly must be replaced.
Burner is clogged. Gas may not burn fully. Result of unburned gas is explosion hazard.
Resources:
More information
How to install gas water heater
Whirlpool ECO thermal switch
Typical ECO located on burner door connects to gas control valve with wires. ECO is shorted and must be replaced.
Resource:
More information
Buy:
Thermal reset
Gas control valve and Piezo igniter
Piezo igniter and gas control valve must be replaced.
Identifying numbers printed on side of control.
Resource:
More information
Pilot orifice
Pilot tube and orifice is clogged.
Pushing wire into opening will damage the pilot tube.
Burner assembly and pilot assembly must be replaced.

FV sensor must be replaced.

FVIR shut off
FVIR system must be checked out, cleaned and dry. Sensor must be replaced
Resource:
More information


Air intake can be clogged. Improper air can lead to unburned gas, resulting in explosion and fire.

Flooded electric water heater: what happens:

Flooded electric water heater must be replaced or out of service until dry
   Do not touch wet water heater
Do not touch water heater standing on wet surface
TURN POWER OFF

After a flood:
1) Water heater cannot dry out unless covers and insulation are left off tank. If covers and insulation are missing, then thermostats cannot read correct temperature.
2) Wet insulation will be continuous shock and electrical danger
3) Wet water heater is shock hazard. All parts must be replaced, wires checked, and insulation totally dry.
Read about flooded water heaters
flooded water heater

electric water heater
Metal shell and insulation protect & cover electrical parts
Dry insulation must cover thermostats to read correct temperature.

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