The Tank › HOTWATER tank burns outside of the burner
- January 30, 2005 at 7:29 am #3214Guest
I have a question, we have a propane hotwater tank… and this is the second time it was burning on the out side of the tank… where the burner(flames) is , what could be the proublem with this… I found this out this morning it was burning outside of tank. husband turned off the propane to the tank for know .. how can we fix it with out spending to much money.. I don’t know how old this tank is , but was told 5yrs ago it was new. it is confined in a small space btwn bedroom and bathroom. seems it was burning during the night with out us knowing this untill i awoke this morning .. could it be that piece that is the were ya light it that needs to be replaced.. MY husband would know what to do if instructed… can you direct us on how to fix the proublem..
lugnutJanuary 30, 2005 at 9:31 am #3215Randy SchuylerKeymaster
What you describe is usually the last result of either backdrafting or sooting. Backdrafting occurs when the flue and vent don’t draw properly. Sooting occurs when the orifices of the burner are clogged. Gas water heaters draw air from beneath to enable combustion. If the floor is dirty, that can be drawn into the burner. Once the orifices are clogged, the gas burns incompletely and sooting starts to occur, blackening the burner chamber and flue.
Another possibility is that there isn’t enough air flow in the space you describe. There should be ventilation screens near the top of the space and near the bottom to ensure enough air for combustion. If those become dirty, that can cause problems, too.
Whether it’s that, dirt or a problem with the vent going outside, you should get it fixed since having fire flowing outside the place it’s supposed to be is highly dangerous.
Randy SchuylerJanuary 30, 2005 at 1:18 pm #3216Larry WeingartenParticipant
Hello: I’d like to add that this really IS quite dangerous. The heater is in a small space which possibly could be caught on fire while you’re asleep. Also, carbon monoxide is almost certainly being produced. It’s a killer. So that you can rest easy, get a technician in who knows how to troubleshoot and who has the right equipment to check draft, flue gas temperature and carbon monoxide levels. It will be money well spent.
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