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Power vent water heater troubleshoot
Power vent Back to 14 things for troubleshoot gas water heater
12) power vent water heaters
Power vent water heater can vent combustion gas through a sidewall vent.
How it works: "When the thermostat senses a need for hot water, a valve is opened which allows gas to flow to the closed solenoid valve. As gas pressure builds up within the solenoid,  the gas pressure switch closes and 24 VAC flows to the blower relay.  The  blower  relay  contacts  close and  send  115  VAC  to  the  vent  blower  which  turns  it  on.  Air  flow  from  the vent  blower  closes  the  air  pressure  switch    sending  24  VAC  to  the  solenoid  valve.  The  solenoid  valve  opens  and allows gas to flow to the burner which is lit by the pilot or igniter"
Blower: less than 5 amps consumption @ 120 volt. 120 volt x 5 amp = 600 watts running with 1200 watts start-up.

Power vents:
Power vent water heater issues
Anode covered by power vent

water heater blower motor  Blower
Power vent water heaters use a blower to vent gas by-product from water heater. Blower requires 120 volt grounded outlet. Electric outlet for power vent and flue damper water heaters should be dedicated, and surge protected. Do not use extension cord for power vent and flue-dampered water heaters.
Blower is connected to gas control valve with a wire, called the control cable. The gas control uses a firing sequence to activate the blower and start moving air upwards just before the burner fires up.
Blower, control cable, gas control valve, and pressure switch are part of troubleshooting. Eliminate the obvious: Check the blower first, and gas control valve last.

Buy blower:
Water heater blowers at Amazon

Blower troubleshoot
Test pressure switch
Power vent troubleshoot
Troubleshoot power vent hot surface ignition
How to check blower motor
Check blower motor
water heater blowers Blowers: Fasco, AO Smith, Bradford White, Rheem power vent water heater exhaust draft-induced blowers
Buy blower
Water heater blowers at Amazon
Other types blowers
Fasco multi-purpose blowers
AO Smith multi-purpose motors and blowers
Furnace blowers
water heater pressure switch Pressure switch / same as vacuum switch
What does a vacuum switch do? What does a pressure switch do? The vacuum switch measures the vacuum created by the blower and verifies the blower is operating at speed. This ensures the blower can evacuate combustion gasses and support complete burning of fuel so no unburned fuel is inside the vent pipe.
Generally, to check if blower is good and pressure switch is bad, you bypass the pressure switch and connect blower directly to 120 volt outlet, running a pigtail to the blower or plugging blower directly into outlet.
Pressure switch troubleshoot
Test pressure switch
Air pressure switch testing
Intellivent wiring
Pressure switch replacement
Bradford White pressure switch replacement
Check pressure switch
water heater pressure switch Pressure switch/ Vacuum switch for water heaters
There are 3 major water heater manufacturers, AO Smith, Bradford White, Rheem, that make all the other brands from Kenmore, Craftmaster, Whirlpool, American, Reliant (AO Smith) to Reliance (Rheem)
Buy water heater pressure switch:
Rheem water heater pressure switch
Bradford White pressure switch
AO Smith pressure switch
Outlet polarity Polarity
If gas valve is connected to electricity, the outlet polarity must be correct
Water heater must be grounded. Poor ground can prevent flame. GFCI circuit can cause short cycling. If outlet is not dedicated or has GFCI, other loads such as florescent lighting can cause short cycling.

Unplug cord. Test for continuity between ground prong on plug and manifold tube on gas valve.
Connect water heater to different outlet. Test outlet with circuit analyzer
Minimum distance of vent pipe from window   
Larger image with more information
Minimum distance of vent pipe from window
Side-wall vent pipe must be 4 feet away from windows and doors. And 3 feet away from inside corners.
Power direct-vent clearances
Venting a gas water heater
Conditions where outdoor air supply is needed
Power vent Venting for power vent models
Read product manual for venting specifications
Example power vent manual p17
Minimum vent distance from window
Power vent tables
Power vent troubleshoot
Typical power vent manual
Typical power vent manual2
Typical service manual
Gas venting specs
Conditions where outdoor air supply is needed
Soot on gas burner
Soot on top of heater also implies danger of improper vent and backdraft.
Improper location of vent on roof, and incorrect clearances, or windy location can stop vent gas from leaving vent pipe. If vent gas cannot escape at top of pipe, it can be entering house at the vent hood. Soot on top of heater is evidence. If pilot goes out, the improper draft can be blowing out pilot light.
Soot on top of heater can be caused by backdraft where vent gasses are being blown back onto water heater because of shared vent pipe with furnace or other gas appliance. Read next section.
Backdraft Is your furnace causing water heater to malfunction? Furnace, kitchen-bath bent fans etc can affect vent draft on water heater. Called negative pressure.
Is there evidence of rusting etc on top of heater, next to the draft hood? Is the furnace room particularly cold or wet? This is evidence of backdraft.
Here is a simple, but telling test. When the water heater first fires up, a little heat will spill from the draft hood. It should only spill for a second or two under normal circumstances. So, with the furnace off, turn the temperature on your heater up to cause it to fire up (you might make a mark on the thermostat dial so it can be put back to the same place). Quickly, put the back of your hand to the draft hood to feel any heat spilling out. Count the seconds. Return the heater to normal. Now wait a bit and fire up the furnace. Feel for any spillage at the water heater draft hood with the water heater off. Count seconds. Now fire up the water heater (furnace running) and check for spillage again.
If furnace and water heater both vent into same chimney, the draft might not work properly. Water heater should have dedicated vent. For example the chimney vent pipe is is eight inch, but the two vents (from furnace and water heater) going to it are both four inch. That bigger vent might be oversized and hard to warm properly for good drafting.
If the furnace is power vent, and fan or vent will overpower natural draft. Having the furnace and water heater vents combined will cause problems. Likely the
right fix is to run two, separate three inch vents.
Water on top of heater. Rusted vent pipe. White condensate on pipes.
Inadequate draft, or improperly installed vent pipe can cause condensation inside pipe that will rust and cause white condensate.
Missing roof cap will cause water on top of heater that will rust out the water heater.

Never install more than 1 elbow on sidewall vents
Straight shot is always best shot. Elbows slow venting and cause backdraft.
Gas venting specs
Direct vent clearances
Conditions where outdoor vent is required
Vent Gas Odor
Lack of air supply
  -Clean air intake screen, open window
  Ventilating tight-house/ pdf
Improper vent
  -Read product manual for vent requirement
Poor combustion
  -Clean combustion parts, service unit
CO poisoning
If joints fall apart, or vent is improperly installed, hot gases enter home posing risk of odorless CO poisoning. Symptoms: headache that goes away when outside in fresh air. Unconsciousness.
Remove affected people from home and lay on sides, not on back. Call emergency help.
call plumber. Attach vent pipe sections with 3 screws and then cover joints with aluminum tape.

Vent tape
Carbon monoxide detector

For power vent models
Range Low 90 - very hot 160
Average bath 110F, typical water heater temp 120
ECO limit 199 F, ECO trips, gas valve fails
Average bath 110F
ECO limit 199 F
TP release water  at 170
Example Honeywell gas control valve at Amazon
Reliance NG at Amazon
Replacement instructions
How to replace water heater gas valve

Adjust temperature/ error codes on Honeywell
How to light Honeywell gas valve
Dampered Fury gas troubleshooting codes
Induced draft troubleshoot codes
Error codes
Error codes2
Error codes
Icon gas valve error codes
Service manual
Bradford White service manual 2
Test gas control/ from BW service manual
Sequence of operation
How to clean burner

Water heater safety precautions
Water heater precautions/ pdf
Gas valve safety
Thermal expansion
Insulation blanket

For power vent models
Range Low 80 to Hot 150
Error C flashes at 160
Buy Intellivent gas control at Amazon
White Rodgers/ Rheem Intellivent gas control
AO Smith intellivent
AO Smith Intellivent at Amazon
AO Smith White Rodgers at Amazon

Replacement instructions
How to replace water heater gas valve

AO Smith Intellivent troubleshoot and FVIR test/ pdf
Error codes and adjust temp on Intelli-vent gas valve
How to light water heater
Troubleshoot Intellivent/ pdf
FVIR intellivent troubleshoot .pdf
Intellivent service manual
Intellivent FVIR troubleshoot and reset
Sample manual
Intellivent wiring
Power direct vent troubleshoot
Sequence of operation
Intellivent error codes-troubleshoot
Promax gas water heater manual
For resetting controller: After the unit has been off for at least a minute, plug it in, turn on the switch; within a few seconds, depress both arrow buttons on the controller, and hold them until the left light begins to blink.  Release them, and within a few seconds, push those arrow buttons in the following sequence:  L/R/L/L/R/L/R/R.  This should reset the controller.
gas valve setting
Larger image
Gas control valve thermostats at Amazon
Gas water heater thermostats at Amazon
Rheem gas control valve at Amazon
Gas control valve at Amazon
Camco White Rodgers at Amazon
Gas water heater timer fits this valve
Replacement instructions
How to replace water heater gas valve
Service manual
Service manual 2
Service manual 3
Operation and safety
How to light water heater/pdf
General troubleshoot manual /pdf
White Rodgers gas control valve replacement pdf
Power vent water heater issues
Magnet testing
Test thermocouple
Gas valve testing
How to light gas water heater
White Rodgers NG replace, install, set temp

Robert shaw gas control valve
Robert Shaw 120Volt input gas control valve
Wiper Control and Gas Valve assembly
Triangle pointed upward is 120 degrees F
Replacement for Rheem power vent/ 

Rheem wiper SP20123A thermostat KIT
Wiper SP20123B valve/ no thermostat

Larger image 
Error Codes and troubleshoot
Guardian power vent Robert Shaw error code
Rheem parts list
American power flex parts
General manual with lighting instructions
Replace water heater gas control and FV
Check pressure switch, blower, gas control
Sequence of operation
How to light water heater
To reset: turn the red control knob on and off 6 times within 30 seconds to reset the board.
White Rogers thermostat

Camco White Rodgers at Amazon

Troubleshooting/ pdf
How to light gas water heater
How to replace water heater gas valve

Remove gas valve
Buy universal gas control wrench

Gas water heater thermostats at Amazon
Robert Shaw natural gas
Robert Shaw propane gas
Replacement instructions
How to replace water heater gas valve

Robert Shaw models
Robert Shaw/ Unitrol troubleshooting/ pdf
General troubleshoot/ pdf
General troubleshoot manual /pdf
How to light water heater/pdf
Magnet testing
Test thermocouple
Gas valve testing
Operation and safety
Recalibrate gas control/ pdf
How to light gas water heater
Adjust pilot on unitrol gas control valve
How to test White Rodgers gas valve p14
How to test Honeywell Icon gas valve p23
How to test Robertshaw gas valve p14
14 things needed for gas water heater & .pdf resources
What you need for operation of gas water heater.
General troubleshoot
1) Basic parts and operation
2) Adequate incoming air supply ... issues: closed doors, tightly insulated house, very hot attic.
3) Adequate air supply getting to burner... issues: dirty vent screen, dirty environment, maintenance.
4) Thermal cutoff  ... TCO ... issues: failed part, maintenance, vent.

5) Flammable vapor lockout .... issues: exposure to vapors, bad FV sensor, failed FV system,
6) Fuel supply to gas valve thermostat ... natural gas and propane are different ... issues: wrong gas, low pressure, moisture in pipe, undersized gas meter, supply line too small for BTU rating.
7) Gas valve thermostat regulates fuel supply ... issues: not enough gas, failed thermostat, failed gas control valve.

8) Fuel supply from thermostat to burner ... issues: maintenance, thermocouple-thermopile, gas control valve.
9) Clean and replace burner ... issue: periodic maintenance requires burner inspection, cleaning, and possible replacement

10) Functioning thermopile-thermocouple-pilot light ... issues: misalignment, failure of part.
11) Ignition of fuel supply by pilot light or hot surface igniter ... issues: pilot light, piezo igniter, electrode.

12) Power vent water heater troubleshoot ... issues: pressure switch, blower, blower sequence from gas control, outlet polarity
13) Venting combustion byproduct .... issues: vent in disrepair, other vents in house drawing air

14) Misc troubleshoot manuals
Additional links
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