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Mike R.
Mike R., Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 2666
Experience:  20 years of plumbing experience, including high end homes and service work.
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My 50 gal Kenmore tank is constantly letting water flow

Customer Question

My 50 gal Kenmore tank is constantly letting water flow through the pressure relief valve. Though my water at the faucet is only hot for a few minutes. Earlier, the burner kept going out. I called Sears and all they did is blow out the burner with some compressed air and charged me $84. The burner still would not stay lit. I disconnected the burner assembly, and soaked the burner in CLR, the burner fired up right away and has been going strong ever since. The thermostat seems to work, because when I adjust the temp, it lowers or increases the burner, but now I get constant water dripping from the pressure relief valve. Is the tank overheating? Or is the valve just bad? Like I said, the water is not that hot at the faucet, but maybe it is all coming out the valve? The higher I turn up the thermostat, the stronger the water flow running out of the pressure relief valve.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I also drained and flushed the tank before all this, bit did not see much rust in the tank
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Plumbers generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I have been in the plumbing field for 20 years. I will be glad to help you today. The pressure relief valve will have to be replaced. The cause is thermal expansion in the plumbing system. If you have city metered water you will want to replace your thermal expansion tank. If there is water leaking out of any other place in the water heater besides a fitting then the water heater itself would need to be replaced.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The burner keeps going out now, I didn't change the overflow valve yet. The water coming out of the overflow valve seemed to stop. However when the tank is lit, the water coming out of the tank is not as hot.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

Does the pilot stay lit? What setting is the thermostat on?

Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

Do you have a circulation pump for instant hot water?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Don't have circulation pump, or expansion tank. After I cleaned the burner assembly,the tank lights up with one push of the igniter button and stays on for usually at least a day. The tank is two notches below the hottest setting (about 140 F). I have an electronic gas valve (Honeywell) the igniter light flashes a steady single beep to show the burner is lit, and the fire is so full that you can see the flame through the heat shield window at the burner assembly. The problem is, at that temperature, the tank is not as hot as it would normally be, even when the burner is going strong. Also eventually the burner goes out every other day or so. I originally thought that the really hot hot water was spitting out of the overflow valve, but now the floor is dry and the tank keeps going out.
Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

Is the flame yellow or blue?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Flame is bright yellow/orange
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
far now the tank has stayed lit for two days straight. After I cleaned the burner assembly, it stayed on for about 3 weeks. But temperature was not consistent. Often temp was lukewarm at faucet at full blast, sometimes blazing hot. Today hot water was about normal. Kenmore 50 gal, model###-##-####serial G07A029815, built 7/11/2007, installed 3/2008.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Pictures
Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

Do you have a multimeter? Will you test the voltage on the gas valve if you do? What color is the flame on the burner when fired?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Don't have multimeter, but I know where you are going, I hope the electronic valve isn't going bad. I did check the flame again, it is blue at the bottom and orange at the top . Both the pilot and the burner are blue at the bottom. The flame is huge and full. When the burner is lit it is mostly blue. Whenever I jiggle the fire door/heat shield, the flame and the pilot shut off completely automatic. The heat shield door is a little loose, is that a problem?
Expert:  Mike R. replied 10 months ago.

There are a few things that can cause this. Could be excessive gas pressure, a blocked vent, vent not connected properly, failing gas valve, dirty or incorrect orifice, improper air shutter adjustment or blocked orifice. The orifice will need to be cleaned, vent checked for any blockage, be sure the vent is connected properly to the water heater, secure the shield door and check the voltage on the gas valve is 12v, otherwise a gas certified tech will have to test your gas pressure and check the air shutter in the water heater.

Expert:  Mike R. replied 9 months ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?

Expert:  Mike R. replied 9 months ago.

Without a response from you I am not able to tell if you found the information helpful. Did you find it helpful or is there any other information that I could provide?

Expert:  Mike R. replied 8 months ago.

I haven't heard from you. Was the information I provided helpful?