Gas Water Heater from Sears without parts -Alternated solution

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by oz19454, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. oz19454

    oz19454 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    PA
    I have friend who has welding business. His wife stated, her husband will fix the gas water heater without the manufacture parts from SEARS Kenmore. I am an engineer. I know when we designed something, I need to work with a lot engineers and deliberate the solution for small thing. I know the parts like thermal control designed need to have test numerous times and need to con and gas valves designed for specific volume for water heater. We need to consistently adjust the the design according to a lot variable. -- valves opening, temperature setting , water flow etc.

    Right now as design go to universal, for safety of human being, what is feasibility for the repair man to make the gas water heater work without special manufacture parts.

    Is SEARS water heater Kenmore use universal part ?

    Thanks. I am learning some thing new every day.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Kenmore is a Sears trade name, and Kenmore appliances are manufactured by numerous companies to Sears specs. It is likely that if you know the manufacturer, the parts for appliances made under their name will fit the Kenmore. I would not consider these parts as "universal" although some components could be. I would be more concerned about this welders ability as an appliance repairman.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2011
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If the heater is leaking, which is about the ONLY repair a welder could do, then the heater has to be replaced. There is NO economical way to repair it. There are also NO "manufacture parts" that a welder would need to repair a heater. What is the problem with the heater?
  4. hey_moe

    hey_moe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    Most standard gas valves are universal. The only difference is some of these valves have course threads the rest are standard. The biggest problem we have seen so far with the newer hotwater heaters are when they went to the sealed combustion chamber. It has been nothing but problems. In most cases we end up having to replace both valve and complete burner assem and sometimes that doesn't work.They have also changed the air intake and some clown decided to put a screen at the bottom of the heater and also another one under the main burner. The clowns also put a thermo bi-metal by the burner that also causes problems. A hotwater heater use to last 25 to 30 years and once in a blue moon the thermocouple needed to be changed. The so called newer HW last between 6 to 10 years. What does that tell you.If the tanks leaks within a year it has either been drop and a crap job on the glass liner.80% of the time we are seeing a valve problem but sometime when we replace the valve it ends up being the burner assem. So what we have been doing now is replace both. When we call the manufacturer about this they find every excuse you can think of, it has low gas pressure, the flue pipe isn't installed right, it's not level...ect..ect...lol.Bottom line is furnaces,gas packs,heatpumps, all major appliances are junk. I don't care who made it.I am a senior district tech/ CFC cert. I do HVAC.water pumps,water softeners,chemical feed pumps,refh,HW. I have been at the same company for thirty seven years we employ over 6900 service techs nationwide. I have been reading in this forum for a right good while but decided to join and add my unless two cent...lol. I don't want to step on anyone's toes here but if I did it wasn't my intention.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  5. oz19454

    oz19454 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    PA
    The part I need is thermostat gas valve combination.
    The water heater is made by AO Smith. The SEARS did not recommend any part and due to liability issues. My contractor will not replace other part. Thanks.

    I do not think we intend to step on some one toe. We are exploring the possible to do thing better.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2011
  6. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    There are lawsuits involving some water heaters made by AO Smith. If your plumber will contact AO Smith, they may be provided with the correct replacement parts for free. Some of the older models used a special fused thermocouple with left hand threads. I don't think you can get those...you need a whole new assembly. Water heaters go "boom" ....don't take chances.
  7. hey_moe

    hey_moe New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Virginia
    If you are near a Lowes,Home Depot, or better yet Cashwells, all three carry that Gas valve. You can also Google the part number on the gas valve and get the same.In a meeting we had yesterday A O Smith is coming out with a HW Heater that has a lower blower to give more aIr to the burner assem and they also will have a electronic valve....oh boy. What they are saying now is the reason there are so many failures is the burner isn't getting enough air. I find this hard to believe because on a dirty flame it soots up and I haven't see that on any model I have worked on unless it has the wrong orifice or is a NG burning on PP gas. BTW, the only reason a HW or a gas heating system goes BOOM is you either have delayed ignition, or a plugged burner or a gas leak.To change that gas valve is a piece of cake, shut off gas,take off the thermocouple (3/8 wrench) take off main burner tube ( 3/4 wrench) take off pilot tube ( 7/16 wrench). You don't have to drain tank. Shut off water supply above tank and release the water pressure by opening a hot water valve somewhere in the house. don't forget to close it this will create a vacuum in the line. You might spill a few oz of water. Take a pipe wrench and loose the valve till you can hand turn it and have the other one ready to go. Finish removing the valve and slip in the replacement one. After hooking up all the tube and lines take some liquid soap and a brush and check for leaks. It will take a few seconds to get a good flow of gas to th the pilot assem. Keep pressing the ignitor. Look through the little gas window and hold down the gas valve knob until the pilot stays lit.Also don't forget to just snug down the thermocouple. DON'T over tighten it.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
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