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Gas Water Heater Flooded

Jimbo_5 Member Posts: 218
The water heater in my daughter's basement was "flooded" up to the vent on the bottom, which I guess knocked out the pilot light. The heater is barely a year old, 40 gal commercial grade AO Smith. The gas valve and controls were not touched at all.

Any suggestions for salvaging this tank?


  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,153
    edited April 2022
    Any electrical or gas valve that has been under water is no longer reliable. Replace everything that has been submerged. This may be the burner parts, or the entire combination thermostat/gas valve. Even if the insurance company does not cover the reason for the flooding, the damage caused by the flooding may be covered. Check with your insurance company. A broken pipe might not be covered, but the water damage is. OR the beam that fell and broke the pipe may not be covered, but the broken pipe and water damage may be covered. It all depends on the coverage and how you tell and the insurance adjuster hears the reason for the failure. Norman wear and tear is not covered, but cutting the pipe while doing household repairs might be covered.

    BUT do not use that water heater until it is checked/repaired by a pro.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,940
    Many Code authorities and insurance companies require completely replacing the heater- even if it's barely a year old.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,385
    FEMA requires it to be replaced. Age is not a factor.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
    If the water got that high it submerged the flame arrestor, which is also a problem. Needs to be replaced.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,354
    edited April 2022
    Hi @Jimbo_5 , No doubt a tech could go over it and install it in his or her own home and not worry much. That said, a good tech could never be comfortable doing that for/to a client. Even if the chances are very slim, should that heater ever fail in an unsafe manner, the dollars saved would be meaningless. If you cleaned it up and got it running but later it managed to hurt your daughter, it would haunt you. There are places to be "overly" cautious, and this is one.

    As an aside, I've see the high limits on tank-type heaters bypassed. There are people out there who will do the quick and dirty fix, but they are not the ones who think about protecting our health. Maybe insurance can help take care of this so the cost isn't too much of a burden.

    Yours, Larry
  • Jimbo_5
    Jimbo_5 Member Posts: 218
    Thanks for all the responses. I took care of it completely.