Rheem Delayed Ignition Issue?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Grfillinger, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Grfillinger

    Grfillinger New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Hello,

    I'm having some issues with my Rheem water heater and hoped someone here might be able to help. Very basically, when the burner fires up, there is a "boom/whoosh" sound. (I've linked a video of this event below). All my research has pointed to a delayed ignition problem; however, when I've had plumbers out, they can't seem to figure it out. We've replaced the whole pilot assembly, cleaned the burner, cleaned the air flow areas on the sides and bottom. (We took the whole water heater out, disassembled the bottom, and vacuumed everything!).

    Beyond all this, some plumbers have said it could also be the water heater thermostat/gas valve, but this is starting to get quite expensive just to diagnose.

    --Does anyone here have an educated guess as to what the real issue is? Any tips to help me get it fixed? Is it simply time to replace?

    Here's all the water heater info:
    Serial No. RHUN1111U00031
    Model No. 22V50FN
    MFG. DATE: 01 NOV 2011
    Input BTUH: 40,000
    Natural gas

    Link to the video of the water heater making the "boom/whoosh" sound. https://photos.app.goo.gl/nnRVYeMnSsoLmGaj6

    Thanks very much for your help!
     
  2. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    When I hear a boom/whoosh when I first light a new water heater, I say thank God, it works. You're expecting dead silence?
     
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  4. Grfillinger

    Grfillinger New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Definitely not :) It's just that this unit is seven years old, and it didn't make this sound for it's whole life until now. When it fires up in the supply closet, the wall vibrates with the rumble of the water heater. It's happened at a friend's house with his rheem water heater too, so I figured (hoped) there was some kind of common fix that the pros might be able to point me toward.
     
  5. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    Check around the base of the appliance and see if there is a black plastic screen. It may be clogged with dust bunnies or pet hair, causing a delay in ignition of the burner.
     
  6. Grfillinger

    Grfillinger New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    No go. I vacuumed everything. Even took the whole bottom of the water heater apart.
     
  7. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I see this is called a FURY ULTRA LOW NOx MODEL.

    Does this unit have a pilot light, or a spark ignitor (hear snap snap snap during ignition) or a hot surface ignitor?

    discusses a fix for a pilot light unit. It seems to me to be a very nice video.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  8. Grfillinger

    Grfillinger New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2018
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Definitely a nice video. There's a pilot light in my water heater.

    I used the videovid a reference when I replaced the pilot assembly . The issue is that the new pilot assembly clips on to the bottom of the burner, so there's no way to adjust the distance like in this video. Unfortunately, the old clip doesn't work with the new assembly either. It's super weird. Things still fires up and it still make the same exact sound, despite having a different pilot assembly.
     
  9. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Have you tried to get answers from Rheem?
     
  10. Snets

    Snets New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    California

    Grfillinger, I had the same issue with my Rheem 38 gallon natural gas water heater. I watched a video where someone bent something to get the pilot closer to the burner. I had a great plumber come out, phoned a friend and was told there is no fix other than bending the bracket to get the pilot closer to the burner. The advice given to me was call the number for tech support on the water heater (mine was Home depot purchased) and tell them that the tank is leaking. they will walk you through a questionnaire about fittings, wet insulation, where it is wet, etc. Tell them it's only wet on the bottom, the insulation is wet and nothing else is leaking.

    they will mark your serial number as a leaky tank warranty and un-repairable. they will tell you to take it back to where you bought it and get a replacement. It may cost a couple hundred bucks but you should not have to pay for full price. it's defective. Nobody will ever actually check to see if the tank actually leaks.
     
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