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Two Water Heaters Break Back to Back

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We recently purchased our house. About a week after moving in our water heater went out. It threw out a code of “failure to ignite”. The water heater was 10 years old so we figured that was the problem and purchased a new one which was professionally installed. Two months later our brand new water heater went out and is throwing out the same code. 

The water heater is propane powered and our other propane appliances don’t seem to be having an issue. What could be causing this issue?

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  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,902
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    What make and model heater?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2023
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    The current one is a reliance 606. The old one was a Lochinvar with a Honeywell electric igniter 
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988
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    where is the water heater located in relation to the other appliances? are others using the same chimney?
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
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    It has its own chimney and it has a blower on it. It has its own “closet” and the only thing around it is our water filtration system. Our propane powered furnace is in the crawl space and our dryer is down the hall from it. 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,447
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    Has anyone actually checked the gas pressure when the water heater is running -- or trying to? What size and length is the gas line?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988
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    when you say blower do you mean on the top of the water heater (power vent) or a draft inducer cut into the flue?
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
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    Has anyone actually checked the gas pressure when the water heater is running -- or trying to? What size and length is the gas line?
    I do not believe anyone has checked the gas pressure, we aren’t sure how to go about it. And we’re not sure on the size and length of the gas line
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
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    pedmec said:
    when you say blower do you mean on the top of the water heater (power vent) or a draft inducer cut into the flue?
    It is a power vent
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,263
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    A blocked vent?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988
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    into the chimney? did you bring the pvc/cpvc flue all the way out thru the roof. you can only use the chimney as a chase and it has to be the only applance in the chimney. you cant pressurize a chimney
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
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    hot_rod said:
    A blocked vent?
    We can double check tomorrow to make sure, but we don’t think so. The pipe comes off the roof a pretty good amount and when it’s blowing it does not sound like there is an issue
  • dimo
    dimo Member Posts: 7
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    pedmec said:
    into the chimney? did you bring the pvc/cpvc flue all the way out thru the roof. you can only use the chimney as a chase and it has to be the only applance in the chimney. you cant pressurize a chimney
    The power vent is connected to pvc that runs through the ceiling and through the roof. I thought you were referring to the vent as a chimney my bad 
  • pedmec
    pedmec Member Posts: 988
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    OK. how big is the room that the water heater is in? and just to clarify you only have one pipe and it's an exhaust.
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,865
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    Could be a bad ground.
    Could be gas pressure. 
    Could be the flame sensor. 
    Could be condensation dripping on the burner. 
    Only one way to find out for sure.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,447
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    What I'm thinking is if I have two similar items -- in this case water heaters -- and they both fail in a similar way fairly close together, they are very likely not the problem. Something common to them is.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,159
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    If the exhaust stack is not set up with a double elbow to protect the exhaust flow that may be an issue just as spider webs and bird nests can be in a standard chimney.

    If the door is closed in this "closet" you have a very small amount of square area available that will allow air for combustion to enter the firebox of the water heater.

    You may need to install an air vent grid in the bottom of the door to allow enough combustion air into this "closet". Your installer should have told you this to begin with.


  • Lyle {pheloa} Carter
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    When checking with the Reliance website model 606 keeps coming back as an electric hot water heater. To identify better, we need the model number. Some power vented water feeders rely on ambient air (room air) for combustion. Possibly when the door to the closet is closed, there isn't enough air for proper combustion and It fails to ignite.
    GGross