burn chamber interior cover for 1997 53 gallon Craftmaster hot water heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by homeseller, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. homeseller

    homeseller New Member

    Apr 23, 2011
    albuquerque, nm
    I am a homeseller who recently received an inspection report requesting that we install a missing burn chamber interior cover to our 1997 53 gallon Craftmaster hot water heater. Since owning this house we haven't had any problems with the water heater and have never had a burn chamber interior cover installed. Does anyone have advice on locating and installing a burn chamber interior cover for this model hot water heater? Any input or advice is greatly appreciated. Thank You!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    If it's what I think it is, it's just a galvanized sheetmetal gate that fits in clips. I doubt you could buy one from parts dept on a unit that old, but you could probably make one with some tin snips and a 1/2-hour. If you open the access cover on the outer skin of the WH, and look in, you'll probably see some slots around an opening towards the burner. You need a piece of metal to slide into those slots and cover the hole to the burner; nothing fancy or exotic. Leave a tab on the top and bend it out so you can grab it if you ever want to remove it easily.

    I'd be more worried it is 14-years old and could go any time now.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    You have a VERY DANGEROUS situation there. That little metal cover prevents FIRE. You are at risk, and I urge you to fix it immediately. The fact that it has NOT caused a fire yet is just a coincidence.

    You are not likely to find a cover for an old water heater like that. US Craftmaster makes the whirlpool brand, and others. Yours is old enough that it predates the class action lawsuit, but it was never a brand to brag about. I urge you to turn it off NOW and replace the water heater immediately.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; That little metal cover prevents FIRE.

    It prevents fire in the space between the heater tank and the outer jacket, but since there is little that can burn in that space, it is probably NOT a "life threatening" situation at this time, meaning he has time to work out a solution. The easiest solution would be to fabricate a metal plate to close the opening.
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