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Q: I have a Richmond water heater Serial number RMLP 1003107995 Model number 5VP40E-1P A. It is a continuous retry it will click and start to light then it goes out after about 5 seconds then clicks again.

A: Since you are getting to the point of ignition then most likely it is failing to approve the ignition. If your pilot is of adequate size then take some sandpaper and clean off the flame rod that is next to the pilot. -- Ej (1/7/12)

Q: I have a Sears Economizer 6 Power Vent, model 153.332980, which keeps shutting down after igniting the burner. The LED status code indicates "system lockout". The solutions are supposed to be: 1) gas supply is off or too low, 2) hot surface ignitor is not positioned correctly, 3) Low voltage to the heater, 4) electric polarity to the unit is incorrect. Numbers 1,3, and 4 have been checked out and all are OK. I don't know how to correct the positioning of the hot surface ignitor. Any suggestions?

A: Any chance the power supply is a GFCI receptacle? One job I had involved a power vent unit which had similar symptoms as you listed. The plumber pulled an extension cord from a different circuit. WH functioned perfectly. Something about the GFCI receptacle was the issue. -- Energyexpert

A1: There should be a flame sensor next to the igniter. Take a piece of sand paper and run it up and down the rod to clean the surface. Don't break your igniter. Make sure the wire connection is solid. A millivolt reading off the flame sensor would be needed if the above doesn't work. Also, is this a new install with the heater never working?. -- Ej

Q1: David, I tried using a non GFCI circuit and it didn't make any difference. Thanks for the suggestion though. (-: Ej, The tank has been in for five years and has worked fine for the previous owner. We just bought the place. I noticed both the sensor and the igniter but didn't know the purpose of the second probe. I'll give the sandpaper a try. Any suggestions on grit. The previous owner had some insignificant problems but suggested vacuuming out the burner area which had worked for him Maybe the sensor is dirty too. Thanks for the suggestion.

A2: Then there is a good chance the flame sensor is a good start and fairly easy. If the sensor's metal is off color then change it out. And emery cloth works well. -- Ej (1/25/11)

Q: I have a 9 year old Rheem Power Vent water heater and the fan runs constantly. The gas is not even on at this time and of course it is not in use. I turned off the main switch to the unit to stop the fan. Is the control module the problem? Thanks for any help.

A: The fan will come on when calling for heat. There is a purge cycle where just the fan will run. As soon as the fan starts to run, the air switch should close and let the thermostat do its thing. If the thermostat was failing, chances are the heater would go into lock-out mode and shut down the heater. It sounds like you are not getting to this point and your air switch is not closing. At this point the fan will continue to run. After the fan starts to run, try lightly tapping on the switch to see if it closes. If you know how to use a volt meter you can check for continuity. You can't jump out this switch because it needs to see an open condition before the fan gets energized. This is to stop the homeowner from bypassing the switch and causing bigger problems. -- Ej

Q1: Does this mean that it could be working fine but the gas is just turned off and the thermostat is calling for heat? I am doing some remodel work and have the gas turned off but the fan just kept running. As far as I know, it was working fine before the gas was turned off. Thank you for your time and help.

A1: No if the gas was turned off it would go into lock out and shut down after several attempts to light. If the fan sticks on it is either a stuck air switch or a controller. Sometime sanding drywall during a remodel around the heater will plug the air switch. -- Ej (5/21/09)

Q: Purchased in 2006, the water tank heater (John Woods Superflu power vented gas fired water heater - model 6G40NVH-04), operated trouble free. A year later it started to shut it self off. The red light on the thermostet would blink. I had to unplug the power, wait 10 minutes and replug it. The water tank would come on and sometimes operate for a month or more and other times I would have to unplug it the next day. I dismantled and cleaned my blower ( aside from normal dust the blower was clean) and had trouble free operation for about 6 months. Now I have to unplug the water heater every couple of days. Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?

A: The blinking LED corresponds to an error code listed usually on the heater somewhere. Count the number of flashes before the pause in flashes, then match up to the codes. A error code of lockout is basically a one-size-fits-all code and further troubleshooting would be needed. -- Ej

Q1: Came home today and again it's off. Great, I'll go and count the flash sequence. I watched it for 5 minutes. Just a steady blink on and off, no variation. Unit was professionally installed, but the person I bought it from has retired and no longer owns the business.

A1: Lets do a test. Your heater parts breakdown is at https://www.johnwoodwaterheaters.com/eparts/breakdowns/3rd-generation-Superflue-parts-breakdown-40-gallon.htm?name=6G40NVH-04. Look for the air switch and pull the tubing off the switch. Then start your heater up and see if it gives you an error code. -- Ej (5/17/09)

Q: I have a RUDD PVP 50-1a power vent gas water heater -- the flame goes out over time and the vent stays running. I power off the unit and restart with no issues -- works like it is supposed to. Come back the next day and it happens again -- I find the power vent running and no flame, cold water. When it is working I pulled off the pressure valve and the flame goes out with the vent still running. How can I test the pressue valve or what else could it be?

A: Look at the thermostat and see if a blinking light is present during failure. The number of flashes usually corresponds to identifying the problem. A pressure switch failing during a cycle is unusual and if this is happening you should look for a restriction in the flue pipe or the cap. A voltage meter will also test for current during a failed mode. -- Ej (5/4/09)

Q: I found this when I googled my model number. It is the same problem i'm having. I could not see if anyone replied to him. "I have a Bradford White power direct vent water heater, mo. # MITW50L6LN10. There is a green led light which comes on and off intermitently,it seems to be tied in with the EOC sensor? Anyway, the burner will ingnite and run for a few seconds, then shut off. The exaust blower is constantly running. Could it be the EOC or the (mother board). Any ideas?"

A: The flashing light is a code for diagnosis of a problem. One flash means one thing, two flashes mean another, etc. The manufacturer should be able to forward you information on this diagnosis if you have misplaced your owner's manual. Be sure your water heater is not supplied by a GFCI receptacle; a GFCI could be a problem in itself. -- David

Q: I have a power-vent water heater by the American Water Heater Co. Cold air pours in through the vent pipe and comes out the air intake of the fan. I had a 45 degree pvc fitting at end of pipe , I then changed it to a tee but I still see little difference in the amount of cold air entering. If I had known what a ineffiecnt heater this was I would have purchased a electric. Is there any remedy to this. Is there an add on kit that will fix this and yet not confuse my water heater into shutting down.

A: Our knowledge of power-vent heaters is somewhat limited. I think you ought to call American and ask them for a solution. -- Randy

A1: This may not be a heater problem at all. If cold air is coming in the vent all the time, than air must be leaking (or being blown) out of the house somewhere else. Are upstairs windows always open? Is an exhaust fan running? If you can isolate the heater from the rest of the house, do so and see if that changes things,: Another possibility is that it's wind driven. If so, the vent termination may need to be moved to above roof line. Lastly, perhaps American knows of a damper that can be safely put in the line to prevent back draft. -- Larry

Q1: I called American they suggested the tee but it isn't much better. (12/9/07)

Q: I have installed a new Rheem heater in place of my old Ruud heater. It fit perfectly with no mods, gas pressure the same, plastic vent pipe lined right up, worked great for six months,now won't light up.The fan blows for two minutes and shuts off. The LED flashes three times, then three seconds pass, then flashes two times. Code chart indicates lockout condition, fvd interface failure/miswired. I checked wiring on flammable vapor detector. OK, this thing has got me baffled! Any help?

A: Actually, we don't have much to offer, since we see very few power-vent heaters here. Best talk to Rheem tech support tomorrow. -- Randy

A1: If the WH is supplied by a GFCI receptacle, run a drop cord and connect the WH to a non-GFCI receptacle. I have seen error codes flash on a WH before. When the WH was connected to a non-CFCI receptacle the problem went away. So the problem was the receptacle, not the WH. -- David (9/16/07)

Q: I have a water heater issue. The pilot light will start without an issue, however, the burner will not light. If I leave the heater unplugged for about 10 minutes the burner will light for about 10 seconds and then shut back off. What could be going on here? Don't really want to call for service if I should just purchase a new one. This is a 40 gallon Richmond power-vent that is about 12 years old.

A: If their is and air leak then the burner fan will continue to run. Make sure your power cord is wired correctly at the wall. Black wire should have 120 ACV. Reverse polarity can cause this problem. Also make sure there is a good ground.. -- Ej (11/8/09)

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