Troubleshooting Gas Water Heaters

Like to welcome you to our digital  classroom  brought to you by HD supply I’m Jerry  Winslet along with Jason Leonard  everybody and today what we’re gonna be  talking about is gas water heaters  particularly we’re going to talk about  troubleshooting gas water heaters but  before we start I just want to tell you  a few things if you have questions about  anything we’re covering here today you  can use a chat feature which is on the  right-hand side of your screen  on the other side of Jason over there  just type in your question we’re going  to have a question answer session at the  end of the program you know you don’t  have to wait till the end of the program  you can do it any time during the show  also we’ve got something new we’ve got a  couple of things that are down below the  screen here we’ve got a couple of PDFs  that you can download and it’s really  cool because what you can do with these  PDFs is you can follow along with us as  we go through the troubleshooting we’ve  got step-by-step instructions on what  we’re going to be covering today so you  can download this follow along with us  you can use it whenever you go out to  the job site it’s a it’s a you know all  detailed out yeah it’s a great resource.

I mean you print these out keep them  with you you can watch the show learn  everything that we’re going to tell you  to do but you may forget some of these  smaller details print this guy off keep  this with you keep it in your service  truck keep it in your office keeping it  wherever you need to if you run into one  of these issues you’ve always got this  with you step-by-step process of how to  resolve those issues yeah and there’s  also at the bottom of that PDF there’s  also our the website where you can go to  where you’re at right now you can always  go to that the website and we’ve got a  number of different videos on that  website but let’s go ahead and talk  about gas water heaters and  troubleshooting but first you know we  we’ve got you know a gas water heater  we’ve made a couple changes over the  past couple of years on how the they  operate in really we’ve got a couple  different gas valves up here let’s talk  about the gas valves and what kind of  makes sets them apart first off they.

They’re different looking I know that  they are in depending  on you know the year of the heater this  you’re working on you’re going to see  one of these two styles this is the  mechanical version this is the  electronic version of course this change  kind of happened for us around 2010-2011  right so if you’re looking on a heater  about that age that’s where you’re going  to start to see this transition between  the mechanical and electronic we’ll  start out with the electronic and just  look at some of the differences if we  can get an overhead we can kind of see  one of the big differences you’re going  to notice is the temperature probe that  sticks into the water these are the  temperature probes here this is our  mechanical style here’s our electronic  this is the part that actually reads the  water temperature okay  you can kind of think of this in terms  of digital and analog right the older  style was more analogue wasn’t quite as  accurate as of course the digital style  what we’re looking at here this is your  old rotten tube style temperature probe  is what it’s referred to as this one’s a  little bit shorter you’ll notice that’s.

Because the only thing inside here is a  thermistor okay again we’re taking this  temperature electronically that allows  us to get a little bit more accurate in  that water temperature so this is our  digital this is what’s this do or be  able to get more accurate at temperature  readings on this one that’s exactly  right  it runs a thermistor and thermistor you  can actually get to about a tenth of a  degree oh really  now this one is what’s referred to as a  drywell thermistor which means  thermistor itself doesn’t actually  contact the water tails inside this  housing but that allows us to get a  about a two degree differential on  temperature so we’re definitely getting  very accurate in terms of temperature  control where this one the parameter is  a little bit wider because again it’s an  analogue style so you just can’t get  that accurately okay and another thing  too I noticed that we had two knobs on  this control and we just went to one  knob with the electronic yeah that’s the  other difference on this one here you’ll  see that this one has one knob and this  knob kind of does are off or on or pilot  everything you may see this one with a  red knob also there may be two knobs on  top there could be a red one here that  would be your pilot / okay.

This one just  happened  to have all of those incorporated into  one so you may see either one of those  two style on the electronic you see that  everything is right here on the front of  the dial here we have our temperature  control on the mechanical style and our  pilot and off and on everything here on  the electronic is housed inside this one  switch right this one dial we can push  in on this this gives our pilot purge  then we turn it to on and then of course  at our temperature control everything is  doing with this one dot instead of  multiple dials okay little bit easier  for the end-user as well if they need to  make adjustments and those thing or  relight a pilot or some write that just  a little bit easier for them and another  thing too that has changed is with with  the newer style we’re able to have  status codes which is different because  with the older style we weren’t able to  do that let’s talk about status codes  and what they mean really yeah that’s  really the the big deal with the  electronic gas valve because it is  electronic now it has the ability to  communicate with you a little bit if we  have an issue with the valve with the  mechanical style there was no way to  know we’re out physically going in  running some diagnostic tests seeing  some numbers that would tell you what  was going on with it  this valve actually has the capabilities  of doing its own diagnostic testing  there’s a board on the inside that’s  monitoring the control and if it sees a  failure or a fault or something like  that.

It can actually throw a flash code  if we can look at the front of the valve  we can see that there’s a status light  right there now what’s going to happen  is that status light will blink in a  normal operation it’s going to blink as  well it gives what we refer to as the  heartbeat rash they just let you know  that everything is fine  if it goes into a status code then  you’re going to see a different series  of light say an error code to is going  to give you a two flash and a  three-second pause to flash three-second  pause but again the valve is a lot  smarter you can communicate with you a  little bit so if we have some of these  internal failures or something the valve  can tell you that right you have to do  the test on your own right and and one  of the things about the code though the  only way you can have a code is if you  have a pilot that’s exactly because you  know we have to we don’t plug these  water heaters in  and we have to generate enough  electricity to run that the gas valve so  let’s talk about how we run the  differences between this water heater  and the older mechanical style how we’re  generating that power sure as you stated  we don’t plug this water in right  traditionally atmospherically been in  water heaters do not need to any type of  wall outlet or anything like that now  once you go to an electronic control  then of course we wouldn’t have to have  a little bit more power right if we’re  going to run things like status lights  those type of things and we’re going to  have to have more power than the old  mechanical stop now as we stated they  don’t plug into the wall.

So they need  their own internal power source okay now  for decades that’s been done with what’s  called a thermal couple right on the  mechanical style gas valve and we have  one right here this is just a standard  Honeywell 24-inch thermocouple right  this was the standard for decades and  decades and decades this is what ran the  older mechanical style valve now the way  this thing works if we can go to an  overhead this area on the end here this  is the area that would sit inside the  pilot flame okay okay so once we get the  pilot lit this is going to be sitting  inside the pilot okay the other end that  we see here this is the end that  attaches to the gas valve itself okay so  we get some power generated from the tip  of this we’re basically turning that  heat energy into electric energy okay  that gets converted throughout the  length of the thermocouple so that pilot  is going to start to heat up this tip  produce millivolts okay.

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