Like any other appliance, your Helotes, TX home’s water heater might have a problem. However, DIY water heater repair is highly advised against. This is because it may result in you exacerbating the issue even more, sustaining personal injuries, or even voiding the manufacturer’s warranty. Hence, you should enlist the help of a water heater repair pro to repair the unit properly.
The technicians are appropriately trained and licensed and have the necessary tools to complete the job. The water heater might develop one such problem as the gas burner and lighting. This is a problem for the gas-powered water heaters. So, what are the main reasons why the gas burner might not light?
Dirt within the Gas Lines
The gas lines may develop a blockage, obstructing the normal flow of gasses for various reasons such as debris, dirt, water, insects, rust, plant roots, or even physical pipe deformation. Leaving the gas lines unrepaired might impact the proper working conditions. This may also result in a risky situation. The loose debris also can block the gas control valve or the orifice. This will make combustion unsafe and unreliable.
Hence, you should have a plumber install a sediment trap or a drip leg on the gas line. Whenever you notice improper combustion of gas within your water heater, you should inform your local gas technician immediately. If the water heater has a slower hot water recovery time, that is a good sign of gas supply issues. You might even smell gas. Although there are some DIY tips that you might have collected over time, you should hire a water heater repair professional to address the problem correctly.
The Water Heater Is Installed at a Confined Place
Do you have an indoor gas water heater at your home? Whether it uses propane or natural gas, it can’t operate properly if there isn’t enough air for combustion. Clean air should first enter the water heater’s combustion chamber from its base and the flue vent beneath the draft hood. The gas heaters may be installed in unconfined or confined areas, provided there is ventilation and combustion air. Failing to provide the right amount of combustion air might result in improper combustion, health hazard, and property damage.
Here, a confined area refers to a space. For instance, a basement or a closet with a volume below 50 ft3/1000 BTU per hour. Besides this requirement, the gas-powered water heaters might require approximately 12.5 ft3 of air per every BTU of generated heat. The air for the gas combustion may come from the interiors of a building or even outdoors.
If this air comes from within your home, the confined space should have two permanent openings that have an adjacent room with enough volume. If the air is coming from outdoors, the water heater repair technician will ensure that there are two permanent openings either using the air ducts or directly. The openings are typically located about 12 inches from your ceiling. However, their sizes depend on the calculated BTU of the gas appliances installed in that space.
When the Flame Arrestor Openings Are Clogged
A flame arrestor is a device made from fireproof ceramic material built into the water heater’s base. Whenever flammable vapors, be it gasoline or paint, occur within the combustion chamber, the flame arrestor prevents the flames from escaping from the combustion chamber. Hence, it is critical to avert accidental explosions and fires.
A flame arrestor is usually protected by some LDO screen designed to ensure minimal dust, lint, and other oil-based particles. Whenever the screen is blocked, the water heater might suffer a pilot outage, poor combustion, and high temperatures within the chamber. Eventually, this triggers the TCO switch, which shuts down your water heater. For this reason, the flame arrestor should be regularly cleaned to ensure that the combustion air can reach the gas burner freely.
Hence, have a plumbing professional provide routine inspection and maintenance to the water heating unit. During the inspection visit, the professional uses a vacuum cleaner to remove the lint, dirt, and dust that might be stuck on the LDO screen. They will also clean the bottom and top of the flame arrestor. The water heater repair technician will also inspect the flame arrestor for damages and cracks if there is a flammable vapor ignition. If damaged, they will replace it.
A Defective Thermocouple
Does the pilot light go out immediately after lighting, or does it not relight? A defective thermocouple is the most probable cause. The adequately operated thermocouple is usually designed to ensure that the gas control valve remains open only whenever the pilot light is lit. The thermocouple will remain hot if the pilot light stays lit. Hence, it generates a small electrical current, ensuring the gas valve remains open, averting any gas leakage. This ensures that gas is seamlessly delivered to the gas burner.
Unfortunately, if the pilot light is properly lit, but the thermocouple can’t correctly sense the flame, the primary burner will not turn on since the gas valve doesn’t open, and there isn’t any gas flow. You should have a water heater repair technician in Helotes, TX, inspect and fix the issue whenever this arises. They will clean off any deposits or corrosion from the thermocouple. For it to sense the flame properly, the thermocouple should feature a tip, and the component’s length should be immersed into the pilot flame.
A Damaged Gas Control Valve
The other reason why the gas burner in your water heater might not light is if the gas valve is defective. If the water heater’s gas control valve is damaged or faulty, you should immediately call a water heater repair professional. Never try to repair a broken gas control valve yourself. This is because it is a safety component of your water heater, meaning it should be fixed correctly and by following all the precautions.
Interruptions in the Combustion Air Intake
Like other plumbing and electrical appliances, the gas-powered water heater also needs sufficient airflow to run correctly. If there isn’t enough oxygen supply for the gas burner, some issues, including shooting, yellow flame, pilot outage, unstable flame, carbon monoxide poisoning, and burnt gas smell, might arise. Hence, have a plumbing professional in Helotes, TX, inspect the water heater, and clean the flame arrestor using a vacuum cleaner.
Expert Plumbing Services You Can Depend On
Have you noticed that your water heater has developed a problem? There are many issues, including non-lighting gas burners. However, you should have a professional water heater repair technician inspect and fix the unit. Call our licensed plumbers at bluefrog Plumbing + Drain + HVAC of San Antonio today for water heater repair, inspection, maintenance, and installation.