Rheem/Richmond safety system

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by RRW, May 16, 2012.

  1. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Can somone give a short description of the safety system that Rheem uses? All references to it simply say that it is "one trip" if it is triggered by volatile inflammable material and would need to be reset by a "technician" Apparently something glass breaks if the system is triggered. TNx, RW
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    It is NOT glass, it is a mechanical system. Some models need to be replaced and others use a push button to reset it.
  3. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    I have now found a web site that shows the Rheem does have a glass vial in place. If the glass vial shatters the mechanical system is triggered. Thanks for your efforts. RW
  4. Runs with bison

    Runs with bison Member

    Messages:
    892
    Location:
    Midwest
    Can you provide the link to it? Controls and trips change periodically too so it is possible that it is or was that way in some models and has changed. I know I've read of the problem you refer to and the glass being broken.
  5. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,843
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The suggestion to 'bend' the contacts if the bulb breaks, sounds like the old practice of putting a penny under a burned out fuse. It looks like a piece of 1/4" bolt would also replace the bulb. They say to replace the heater under warranty, but I am not sure if YOU having a can of gasoline next to the heater would qualify as a "factory defect" when the FVIR was activated. The FVIR is a safety feature and when your actions cause it to work, it has done its job. It would be a defect if it DID NOT work. American also had a "one time" FVIR system, originally, with a left hand thread thermocouple. You had to replace the entire burner/pilot system when it failed, but no one carried the replacement so you had to get it from American. If you wanted it fast, you paid $40.00 air freight, otherwise you went without hot water for a week. The replacements had a resettable FVIR switch.
    Last edited: May 19, 2012
  7. RRW

    RRW New Member

    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois
    Several other possibilities listed that are totally labelled do not do this. In my case I would not do any of that but it would not matter as my furnace is right next to my heater and has an open pilot, so it would do the job by itself. Interestingly, before I had my Whirlpool 12 with 5 years left on the warranty I had my daughter reach under with a brush and try to clear the intake. Upon examining it after removal it was somewhat cleared in the middle but still pretty clogged at the ends of the grid. Hope the Richmond does better!
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