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Does anyone know why this water heater carbonized?

Joseph_4Joseph_4 Posts: 196Member
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)

Comments

  • Larry WeingartenLarry Weingarten Posts: 1,549Member
    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-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,948Member
    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_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,749Member
    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
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,194Member
    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.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,467Member
    @Steamhead 20 years ago
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 13,194Member

    @Steamhead 20 years ago

    Our point exactly.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,644Member
    Some of us were made on or before 1979.... Do we need to be replaced as well? :#
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC, and Controls
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,467Member
    I was made in 1960. I hope not. I’m not done yet.
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
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