Problems with NEW hot water heater...

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by ferherr, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. ferherr

    ferherr Artist

    Nov 17, 2009
    Hello, I am desperately hoping somebody can help me solve my hot water heater woes.

    Last week my husband and I had a new hot water heater installed. It is a 40 gallon, gas, professional series Rheem. Since having it installed we have had a laundry list of problems. With-in the first 24 hours the pilot light went out. My husband tried to light it but it would not hold a flame. The plumber who came to service it said the safety device that cuts off the gas was maybe a little loose. He said he "tapped" it and it seemed to fix the problem. This did not fix the problem ... four days later the pilot went out again. This time my husband was able to light it ... but now he can't get the pilot light to go out. Once again we had to have somebody come out to the house to check it out. They were clueless ... and told us they would have to research it and get back with us.

    Other problems started right after having the hot water heater installed ... my husband thinks these things are a coincidence. I am not convinced of this.

    First let me explain ... the gas hot water heater is on the first floor. The problem is with the hot water pipes ... faucets ... on the top (third) floor. Sometimes when I turn the shower on - only the hot water - it will make this high pitched whining sound ... but only when it first comes on. It screams and shakes... but only sometimes. Also, when I turn the hot water on at the sink in this bathroom the pipes start to rattle ... very loudly. My sink in this bathroom also started to leak. My husband said the pipes were not secured behind the shower ... so he bought pipe insulation to keep them from banging around. Also he fixed all three leaks under my sink. However, I am afraid that he is fixing the symptom as opposed to solving the problem... if that makes sense. I don't mean to sound like I don't trust or have faith in my husband... I do ... but he is not a ... plumber.

    I think my fear is that this is more of a pressure problem. Something clearly isn't right. Unfortunately when the hot water heater was put in ... my husband was not here. I don't know if these guys cut any corners. I know when the guys had to come back to light the pilot the first time ... my husband had to have them put in an emergency cut-off for the gas. It should have been done when they put the hot water heater in.

    If anybody can help me... please. I worry that this hot water heater is not safe. If you need more information ... please let me know.

    P.S. The plumber just called and told my husband he thought it was either a venting problem or a gas pressure issue. They are not coming back until Friday. Is this safe?

    Additional information: Our Estimate Quote included: Expansion tank, new
    T & P discharge line (3/4), all copper piping, brass ball valves for hot and cold, pan and old water heater removal, Rheem RGHPRO40-40F, Watts WDS Flood Safe.
  2. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Aug 27, 2008
    A bounty hunter like in "Raising Arizona"
    A "coincidence" is one of four possibilities. It could be the heater causes the problems, the problems cause the heater to malfunction, or some other root cause is making all the problems.

    For the time being, get at least one CO detector and check the T & P valve like the owner's manual recommends. The gas company might give you a free, impartial check on the gas pressure.

    High pitched whining sound = loose washer?
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2009
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  4. Inspektor Ludwig

    Inspektor Ludwig Journeyman/Inspector

    May 11, 2006
    In the good ol' UPC
    Sometimes when a hot water heater is replaced the fittings that were used are replaced also. They are usually very corroded depending upon how old the heater is. When they put new fittings on, not only do you see an increase in water volume, sometimes a dramatic increase and you also see quite alot of "sediment" which may have accumulated in the pipes and fittings. This new gush of full bore 3/4" hot water could cause that sediment in your pipes to come loose and get stuck in valves and faucets heads. One problem is low flow to your all of your faucets and shower heads. Try unscrewing the screens that are on the tips of your faucets and see if you have any debris (looks like little bits of dirt and rust flakes), if you see some then be sure to clean out the screens (don't forget to remove your shower heads) and run the hot water for a bit full blast to try and remove anymore sediment. You can also get bits stuck in the shower valves and faucet valves themselves restricting flow and making noise. Just give it a good flush of hot water without the shower head and faucet screens. I've seen it before so that may be the issue. You could try to start there and see what you come up with. Good luck!
  5. Master Plumber Mark

    Master Plumber Mark Master Plumber

    Feb 6, 2005
    Sensitivity trainer.. plumber of mens souls
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of

    your husband is going to love me for giveing you all this information..:D

    occasioinally, with Rheem we have heard a little chattering noise at the heater,...

    their are little "heat stopper balls" that sit inside the nipples that out of the heater ....they trap the heat in the heater when not in use... when water comes on the hot side
    some seem to rattle loudly...

    usually when the heater is intsallede we go around and flush out the lines in the home, first at all the bathtubs.... to blow out any nasty grit that might be in the lines...

    did they do this for you??
    if they did not do this you might need your hot lines back flushed..down to the heater.

    .also, it sounds like you probably have a bad thermostat ...perhaps somethign was loose but it sounds like the problem..

    it cannot be a venting problem for a Rheem heater to shut down..

    if it keeps going out you will need the thermostaT changed..

    I suggest you tell them to JUST bring out another heater and take that one back and back flush the lines.....

    instead of fooling around with it...

    the supply house will usually do this and if the plumber is legit and reputable he will try to make you happy...

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