Almost stripped nut on gas valve

Users who are viewing this thread

sherms82

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
chicago
I have what I believe to be a faulty thermocouple in my Kenmore Power Miser 9 water heater. The flame has started going out randomly, and it will spark and hold the pilot as long as I'm pushing down the button, but then goes right out after releasing. I can hold it up to five minutes and it won't keep the flame lit.

After trying to remove the burner assembly in order to replace the thermocouple, there's one big center brass nut holding the main burner arm to the gas valve that is stuck. The two smaller ones are easy to remove, but that center one is completely seized although it has no noticeable signs of corrosion. It's almost getting to the point where it's stripped out, so I'm trying to figure out where to go from here. Would it be safe to remove the four security torx screws from the panel in order to get a little bit of wd40 dropping down onto those threads? I of course have the gas turned off on the main line feeding the valve. My next step is getting some better quality open-ended crescent wrenches and trying after a little wd40 on q-tips, but I'm getting desperate so I figured take a long shot here if someone has a good idea other than "just do it very carefully", which is the ultimate answer to my problem.

IMG_20191121_062209605.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

sherms82

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
chicago
If the heater is over 10 years old replace it
I would love if this was an option but unfortunately it is not at this time. I do have extensive experience in the repair/troubleshooting department, just not specifically water heaters, so this plants me firmly in the "knowledgeable enough to be dangerous" category. Meaning, at first glance I refuse to become involved, but a day later I'm neck deep in a new field, sitting idly with the last stuck nut firmly fused into a housing and wishing I had the money to let other people handle the job.
 

phog

Active Member
Messages
454
Reaction score
83
Points
28
Location
Rochester NY
There are no "open ended Crescent wrenches", but you do need a proper sized open end, or flare nut, wrench before you completely damage it.

+1 to flare nut wrench. That looks like a rebranded AO Smith manufacturered unit.
 

sherms82

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
chicago
+1 to flare nut wrench. That looks like a rebranded AO Smith manufacturered unit.
Sounds right according the intranets, it's a 182791-004. I will get myself a properly fitted flare nut wrench for sure. It's not quite at the beyond-hope status and still has a chance of being loosened if I do it correctly.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20191121_062114533.jpg
    IMG_20191121_062114533.jpg
    53.1 KB · Views: 284

dj2

In the Trades
Messages
2,611
Reaction score
257
Points
83
Location
California
My concern is, and I'm sure others will agree here, you run a risk of creating a gas leak. You see, the gas valve body is soft metal, easy to get damaged.
Get a new WH, if you don't have the money, borrow it. It looks like this WH outlived its life already. Don't invest good money on this old WH.
 

mliu

Active Member
Messages
580
Reaction score
81
Points
28
Location
Colorado
You have an old water heater that's on its last legs. Parts are already failing. Now you want to DIY swap out the gas burner assembly, admitting that you know just enough to be dangerous. You're even considering spraying WD-40 into your heater's gas control valve. You need to step back, put down the tools, and focus on the "just enough to be dangerous" part.

How much is your house worth (and all your possessions within)? How much is your life worth? How about the lives of anyone else in the house?

Like others have said, buy a new water heater. And consider hiring a professional to install it.
 

sherms82

New Member
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
chicago
Well, to the people that were actually helpful, thank you, a flare nut wrench perfectly solved my problem. Apparently I made the mistake of giving too many details and should have remained nut-focused.

As to the other few, I alluded to the fact that not everyone has $500+ in a rainy day fund. So sometimes, one must weigh the options and perform some risk assessment before coming to the most logical conclusion based on their specific circumstances. I am aware natural gas can be dangerous, and perhaps the joke I made above was ill-received by some, but not everyone that asks a question in an online forum is an inexperienced hack with a death wish. So I'll leave this with the reiteration that hiring a professional was highly considered and desired compared to the time spent successfully repairing my water heater, but unfortunately was not an option, which left me in a position of either having no hot water, or using 20yrs of industrial electronics repair/troubleshooting/testing experience to aid in replacing one component in a home appliance.
 
Top
Hey, wait a minute.

This is awkward, but...

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. We get it, but (1) terrylove.com can't live without ads, and (2) ad blockers can cause issues with videos and comments. If you'd like to support the site, please allow ads.

If any particular ad is your REASON for blocking ads, please let us know. We might be able to do something about it. Thanks.
I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks