AO Smith GPCR 50-100 water heater not working

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by jmyjob, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. jmyjob

    jmyjob New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    California
    Hi everyone,

    I have an A.O. Smith GPCR 50-100 (natural gas) power vent water heater that does not
    seem to want to turn on so there is no hot water now. And I don't know much about
    water heater at all.

    I recycled the power and I heard sounds that seem to make the water heater turn on. Then,
    it shuts down immediately. I then reviewed the LED status code from a manual downloaded
    online and found that there is an "error with hot surface ignitor circuit." I then called
    the manufacturer and found out from technical support that the problem maybe the
    Combination Gas Valve or the Hot Surface Ignitor Assembly. Does that sound correct?
    Or are there other potential problems that may cause the LED status to output the error code.

    BTW, I am not sure if it is out of warranty. How do I find the date when it is installed?
    I live in a condo. Should I call the HOA to find out when the item was installed? Would
    this be a valid proof? And is there usual requirement for replacing water heater in HOA?
    Do I need to get the same type of power vent heater?

    I am thinking about getting parts from **** because one of the part (the valve) is $388.
    Is that a good idea? Is there a way of refurbishing the valve DIY style? :D

    Finally, if I need to replace this water heater. What would you all recommend from home
    depot?

    Thank you in advance for response.

    J
  2. jasonbaur

    jasonbaur New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    California
    I don't know anything about the heater issues but if you do buy a new heater at the HD make sure to get yourself a 10% movers coupon that should at least even out the tax and if your military you get another 10% off that can stack.

    Best of luck fixing it and I'm sure someone on here soon will respond concerning the problems.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    He has a power vent, which HD does not likely carry.

    Yes, it could be the igniter or the gas valve, but it could be the power vent system as well. This is a little beyond DIY for troubleshooting.

    If this water heater is just for your unit, then in all condos I am familiar with...you own it and are responsible to get it fixed or repairded.

    Absent a purchase receipt, the warranty could be based on date of manufacturer. That date is on the data plate on the unit, and may be the first part of the serial number. You may find your unit coded like this: ....the letters A to M, excluding the letter I, are used to designate the months 1 to 12 followed by the two digit year. For example,*H06****would be Aug. 2006
  4. jmyjob

    jmyjob New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    California
    How does one check power vent system? How would a local service provider that A.O. Smith would have special equipment to test this? Or is it simply removing the power blower
    assembly and do some cleaning? It looks like the motor is turning when I recycled the power.


    Yes. It looks like the warranty has expired. I am thinking replacing a water heater w/o a power vent if the parts are too costly.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    To verify if the warranty has really expired call A.O.Smith again and give them the serial number. Unless the dealer had the unit is the warehouse for a long time it should be approximately the installation date, and some manufacturers guarantee the units for a few months after the serial number's date to allow for storage time. The most likely problem IS the ignition plate since it functions ever time the heater has to be lit.
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Here is the parts list http://www.hotwater.com/lit/partslists/185284-000.pdf

    Here is the manual, with some trouble shooting. http://www.hotwater.com/lit/im/res_gas/185171-001.pdf which you may already have. Did you replace the hots surface igniter like it said?

    Factory service technicians have access to factory service bulletins, plus the experience of having "btdt" many times. Water heaters, especially gas, are not something that should be "tinkered" with. Safety of you and your family is at stake.
    It is probably against the law to attempt to modify or repair the gas valve. Don't go there.

    There is probably a reason you have a power vent unit installed. Depending on where it vents to, you may or may not be able to replace it with a direct vent or a conventional gravity vent. Around here, anyway, HD does not stock power vents or direct vents.
  7. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I can't speak for all Depots, but my local one handles Rheem/GE power vents. I an swear to this because I bought on there last year. These are good quality heaters.
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