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Jerry
Jerry, hearth products
Category: Home Improvement
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Experience:  owned and operated stove retail and service 12 yrs
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I have a Reliance 606 hot water heater, about 3 years old.

Resolved Question:

I have a Reliance 606 hot water heater, about 3 years old. We have water in the basement on occasion, and the unit has gotten wet. The thermocouple fails, which I've replaced a couple times previously and all is well again with no issues. This weekend, we got a significant amount of water in the basement, to the point where the entire burner assembly was submerged - it did not get up to the thermostat control unit though. I took the burner assembly out as usual, blew it all out thoroughly with a compressor, and replaced the thermocouple. I dried and aired out the combustion chamber with a fan, put the unit back together and now the pilot will not remain lit. I light it and hold for 60+ seconds, release pressure from the pilot knob and pilot fades out right away in about 2 seconds. As long as I hold pressure, it stays lit, but as soon as I let go it's out.
Bad new thermocouple? I did buy it from Menards this time as opposed to Farm and Fleet where I got the water heater. Compared them and they look identical in every way...
It almost looks like the pilot is not quite as big of a flame as previously, but I can't be sure of that.
Not sure what to check/do next.
Thanks,
Fred
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
Welcome to JA! Thermocouple is the issue most likely, however if you got water inside the pilot tubing that would reduce your flame capabilities. Which would create less voltage that us being produced by couple. My guess though is bad thermocouple
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, Jerry - that's at least an easy and cheap attempted fix, so I'll go grab another and see if it does the job.
I did blow out the main and pilot tubes well with compressed air. I noticed that the pilot tube allows hardly ANY flow...80+ lbs of air pressure, and barely a hiss comes out the other end. Is it designed like that to restrict the amount of gas that comes through?
Fred
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
The pilot orifice is very small. Pinhole. I doubt any water went in and if it did you may need to unhook and drain it out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok, I'll let you know shortly the results.
Trying a new thermocouple.
I also just asked you an unrelated question about our fireplace.
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
I'm there now in chat.
Jerry, hearth products
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 3321
Experience: owned and operated stove retail and service 12 yrs
Jerry and 2 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Jerry -
That was it. New thermocouple - same brand even (Honeywell), although it was a slightly different package and the one end was just a hair different.
We have hot water now!
Sorry I missed the chat...I was already out the door to the store.
I'll reply back now.
Thanks!
Fred
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jerry -
The Reliance is giving me fits again. No water in the basement this time, pilot light just went out and won't stay on. Replaced with brand new thermocouple of the exact same type, and still won't stay on. Combustion chamber and intake filters are clean and dry. No clue what's up.
Thanks!
Fred
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
You put in another new thermocouple besides the one 39 days ago?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jerry -
Yup, just put in another new one to see and it's still not staying lit. No reason it went out last Friday - we were heading out of town on vacation and my wife said hey, think we're out of hot water. Checked and the pilot was out...tried to relight and won't stay lit. Unit has not gotten wet and the combustion chamber is clear. Got back in last night and put a new thermocouple on today just hoping that would do it. No go. Pilot still won't stay lit.
Any ideas?
Fred
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
Well... if your pilot flame is good and sharp, and the last 1/3 of the t couple is fully engulfed, and there are no other safety switches such as flammable vapor sensor, then the actual gas valve is bad. I would check these other things first then decide if installing a new gas valve is worth it on a 3 year old heater that's been flooded.
Jerry, hearth products
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 3321
Experience: owned and operated stove retail and service 12 yrs
Jerry and 2 other Home Improvement Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jerry -
T Couple is engulfed, flame looks a-ok when lighting - where is the flammable vapor sensor? Sounds like maybe that's more of a 'custom' part specific a model, or are those fairly generic?
Fred
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I accidently accepted the answer...not entirely sure how the system works, but hopefully you still got my question on it! Lol...
Thanks Jerry,
Fred
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.
Sorry about the lag time. Not all water heaters have these sensors and I have no reason to believe you have this sensor. If you had it and it was a problem, then it wouldn't have worked before by changing the t couple. If you have access to a digital multi meter we could check the voltage on your thermocouple but my guess is something is going on in the gas valve.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Jerry -
Just wanted to follow up here and let you know what the issue was. After replacing the gas valve and that didn't work, FINALLY Reliance told me to check the temperature sensor - and it was out. So they ended up sending me a whole new burner assembly, as the sensors are apparnetly one-time use and you can't replace just the sensor. Installed, done, working. If Reliance would have included that in their initial tests with me (easiest thing to test - should have done that FIRST), it sure would have made my life easier.

Anyway, thanks for your help.
Until next time, take care.
Fred
Expert:  Jerry replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the update!

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