State Censible 510 Gas-fired hot water heater

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Thomas Lichioveri, Sep 16, 2018 at 7:10 AM.

  1. Thomas Lichioveri

    Thomas Lichioveri New Member

    Joined:
    Sunday
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Hi;

    I'm not sure if this question has been asked already although I've searched the forum and did not find. Please forgive me if this has already been answered/addressed. Here is my problem/issue:

    I have an old (1991) State Censible gas-fired water heater, model # PRV 40 NORT6 F, serial # 892433298. Recently, I've found myself having to relight the pilot in order for the unit to operate properly. However, it keeps going out. If I try to restart right away, the pilot does not stay lit when the button is released. If I wait a couple of hours, I can light it with success, turn the knob to 'on', and light the burner. At some point, I haven't actually timed it, the gas shuts off again. I've already replaced what I suspect may have been a bad thermocouple though my suspicions are leaning toward a faulty gas control valve/thermostat. The label reads "37C73U-622" which appears to have been manufactured by a company called White Rodgers based on images I've compared online. This is an obsolete item and there are no recommendations for a replacement. I've searched high and low for this control valve with no success. I phoned the manufacturer and they informed me of what I already knew - this part is no longer available. I asked if this '622' version could be replaced with another, ie; 605, 178, etc... all of which are prefixed with 37C73U to which they replied, "No". I read a document online that stated something about units manufactured prior to 2005 were made so that one could simply go to a local plumbing supply store, purchase a new gas valve, and you're back in business. I'm not sure if this is possible or if the ability to purchase any model 37C73U-XXX as a replacement can/should be done. I realize this heater is old (really old) but I prefer to fix it rather than replace it. In my experience newer appliances aren't made as robust/long-lasting for example, I replaced an old washing machine that lasted more than 20 years, fixing it until I could fix it no more, with a newer one and in just a short 6 years, I was under it, replacing the motor. Two more years passed and again, I was tearing it down to replace the shaft. If anyone on here has any experience with this, in short, I am simply trying to find out if I can replace the existing gas control valve with another that is not exactly the same?

    Thank you - sorry for the long, winded post.

    Thomas
     
  2. phog

    phog Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Hi Thomas, have you replaced the sacrificial anode periodically over the years? I don't know the answer to your gas valve question. But it's hard to see how putting money & time into a 27yo unit makes sense unless you've been diligent about performing preventive maintenance over its working life.

    I definitely do agree that older appliances were made better. I sense you are a kindred spirit as I have the same philosophy. But even top-quality tanks don't last indefinitely.

    If you do end up replacing and want to go with something that is really well-built with the potential to last "forever", perhaps you might want to take a look at the HTP Phoenix Light Duty series. They are very expensive but they have a stainless tank, instead of glass-lined mild steel.
     
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  4. Thomas Lichioveri

    Thomas Lichioveri New Member

    Joined:
    Sunday
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Thanks for the quick response, Phog. No, no routine maintenance/changing of the anode rod/nothing since being in the house since '94. Too late for that now I guess. Anyway, I had a friend who is a licensed plumber come to my house for his opinion on my original question about interchangeability of the gas valve and he doesn't recommend it. Like you, he had a strong opinion about replacing the entire unit. After 27 years, when these things typically have a life expectancy of around 10 - 15, he (and I) figure I got my money's worth out of it. Time for a new one. Given my financial situation, I had to settle for one of those Home Depot Rheem models. I just picked it up and planning my approach for installing, (supposedly) simple I hope. Thanks again
     
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