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Marc
Marc, Plumber
Category: Plumbing
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Experience:  Plumbing heating & home maintenance contractor
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Rheem brand new hot water heater will not light. It is a

Customer Question

Rheem brand new hot water heater will not light. It is a standard vent not a power vent. I cannot tell if the ignitor is firing or not. I put the heater on today and have not been able to get the pilot to light at all.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

hi, i am dan, i can help you with this. first lets start with can you see it sparking on the inside through the little window. i know it is hard to see but you will be able to see a little spark most likely on the left hand side

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cannot see sparking at all. Not sure if it is sparking. Window does not provide much viewing area. I suspect it is not sparking.
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok now lets just check a few basic things. can you confirm that all the valves are defiantly open by cracking the union and smelling gas out of it and could you please give me step by step of how you are trying to light the pilot

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The valve is open.. I know there is gas to the inlet of the gas valve. Not sure if there is gas out. Should I remove the tubing from the bottom of the gas valve ?
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

no we dont need to do that yet but i would like to verify that you are lighting it properly

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am following the instructions. I put the setting to pilot.... Push the knob in and repeatedly push the ignitor button. I tried for almost a half hour. And, yes I do hold the knob in the whole time.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Btw I am familiar with lighting hot water heaters.
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok, now if you remove the 1/4" line from the bottom of the valve when you push the button down you should get gas coming out of it

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK give me a few minutes and I will get back to you
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok let me know

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK.... No gas coming from the bottom port on the gas valve when I hold the knob in at the pilot position
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No smell
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Inlet to valve does have gas
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok just to confirm it is the small pilot line not the main burner line correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK ... Sorry main burner line. I thought the small line was the T/C. Will be right back
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok standing by

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK ... Gas does come out of the small tube. You can feel it with your finger.
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok next thing i would try is if you use a flashlight you should be able to locate the pilot assembly inside if you can locate that it would help alot. also another thought make sure the spark wire is securely attached and not damaged

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Spark wire is in good shape.. I disconnected the connector and sparked the output to the pilot line so I know the button works. I reconnected it. I will try to contort my body to see the ignitor.
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok your problem is defiantly inside the heater because everything outside it is working but i would like to at least verify a spark inside before we go through removing everything.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK I looked the best I could and cannot see the ignitor. I see the pilot gas tube, main gas orifice, burner and I think I see the thermocouple. The ignitor eludes me.. But itnis very dark inside behind the cover. I do not see any light inside when I press the. Ignitor button.I assume I should not remove the door.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What do I do if the ignitor is not working ? I have no replacement gasket for the door/cover.
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

there is no ignitor exactly in there. it is just a tinny mettal post next to the pilot that makes a spark to the burner. if you follow that pilot line it will lead to the pilot burner then when you push the ignitor in you should see a tiny spark at the pilot burner

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No spark by the pilot
Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

ok then there is something going on at the pilot burner. either something is damaged or the pilot burner is not aligned. you do not need a new gasket for that little door. the first thing i would try is lighting it with a match, first remove the door just enough to get a match in there to light the pilot and then try lighting it like that

Expert:  Daniel Plourde replied 1 year ago.

were you able to light it like that?