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Does anyone know why this water heater carbonized?

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Joseph_4
Joseph_4 Member Posts: 278
Water heater carbonized. The only info I have is that the water heater was off for a few years. I checked the draft, which was drafting well and there was nothing in the area inside by the flu baffles (birds nest etc.) I lit it up 6 weeks ago and it was fine till 2 days ago when the customer called me. 1) does is pay to clean out? 2) would the same thing happen if I put a brand new unit in? (in my 13 years of doing this, I have never seen one carbonize)

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  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,390
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    Hello, You're doing well to have a heater from 1979 still running! My experience with carbon build up in heaters is that once it starts, soot accumulates very quickly. I've found that pulling the baffle out and hosing it down, and vacuuming the combustion chamber go a long way towards getting good draft, which helps prevent the return of the soot. May I assume the heater really is hooked up to natural gas and not propane? :o

    If you're going to work on this tank, do check the anode rod as well. ;)

    Yours, Larry
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,847
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    Either you have a plugged chimney/flue pipe and no draft or way to much gas. Check the gas pressure and chimney do a combustion test, Co2, Co and 02.

    That thing is dangerous and is/was dumping Co into the house.

    You can't walk away from it unless it is right
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,497
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    adequate combustion air into the room? A good visual on the value of CO detectors in every fossil fuel home or building.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,011
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    If I had to guess, I'd say the gas pressure regulator in the control got stuck from lack of use. Troubleshooting it would be interesting. But that thing was made in 1979- time to completely replace it.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    HVACNUTdelta T
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    @Steamhead 20 years ago
    Steve Minnich
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,011
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    @Steamhead 20 years ago

    Our point exactly.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Some of us were made on or before 1979.... Do we need to be replaced as well? :#
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
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    I was made in 1960. I hope not. I’m not done yet.
    Steve Minnich
    Solid_Fuel_Man