Just installed a Rheem ECO180XP3, outdoor, fueled by propane tank. Used 3/4" hardpipe about 4' long from regulator to unit. Used 3/4" pipe for cold water inlet and hot water outlet. Problem: unit fires up okay (i.e., fan goes on, hot air comes out the exhaust vent) and the flame indicator light on the controller goes on, but it only lasts 3-4 seconds and then shuts down. Gives a P3 message. The user/installation manual doesn't have any instructions on how to troubleshoot this. Seems to me -- absent any other information -- that the unit is starved for gas, since after I wait a minute and repeat the startup the same thing happens. Did I get something in the hookup wrong? How do I troubleshoot this? Thanks, XXXXX XX Paauilo, Hawaii
Checked all connections. Water lines and gas feed aren't leaking.
Do you have a 3/4" meter? Have you checked to be sure you have the proper gas volume and pressure? Did you have a gas water heater before you changed it and do you have it vented properly? There are two things you can do. Get a permit from your town and before you get it inspected have your gas company inspect it. The gas company inspection should be free and they may find they need to enlarge your meter. The town inspection will make sure you have done everything to code.
The Rheem ECO180XP3 is an outdoor unit, so it's fastened to an exterior wall and directly vents to the atmosphere.
The unit doesn't connect to a metered natural gas line; the fuel source is dual 20-lb propane cylinders, feeding into a regulator with a flip switch so that you can change tanks if one reuns empty. The outlet connection from the regulator is 3/4" steel pipe 4' long to the unit. And yes, the unit is made for propane and not naturral gas.
This is a direct replacement for an old Paloma unit that worked fine until it finally crapped out. So there's no question about the adequacy of the gas volume and flow. I haven't changed the layout at all, so it seems to me I should have been able to just slap the Rheem unit in, flip it on and have a hot shower.
Then I got a new regulator, but that didn't help.
Does water flow through the unit? If you have a gate valve on the water line feeding the heater the gate in the shut off may be broken and not allowing water through. You will need to replace it if you have little or no water flowing through the unit.
Did my explanation make sense? The stem turns and lowers the gate and shuts off the water and the stem breaks. You turn the water on and the stem turns and begins to open the gate(or it may not begin to open it at all) and the stem separates at the break. The handle continues to turn and you hear the water going through the valve but it is very little because the gate is mostly closed and not allowing all the water through.
i have been doing plumbing work for 20 years. lots of work on high end homes along with a lot of service work.
No, I've got ball valves on both cold water and hot water lines. Thanks for your help, but I finally got through to Rheem tech support. They ran through a diagnostic procedure and it turns out that the impeller that senses water flow was defective and wasn't turning, so even though I had full water flow the machine thought it was zero. I returned the unit to Home Depot and got another one. All is well now.
Well it's good to know I was in hot pursuit of the correct answer. Keep me in mind when you have another plumbing question. I'm a man who knows things! Thanks. Mike
Don't forget me on your next plumbing question.