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GE 40g gas Powervent intermittantly fails to start requiring  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 11:39 am
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joaklay
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    Hi,
Over a year ago, 12/06 I replaced a water heater with the Powervent and had no problems with it for 1 year.
  Last december it started acting up. It'll fail to light the burner and flash a code.
A simple "re-boot", on/off with its power switch gets it going everytime and it'll be fine for a day to a week or two without needing another re-boot.

 The codes possible cause: Lockout condition. Ignition failure after third ignition attempt.
  If I'm down there, I do hear the ignitor clicking away for what seems to be longer than usual before it ignites.

  One of the less permanant listed possible cures is to clean any scale buildup from the burner and pilot assembly but is that likely with such a new unit?

 Another, "check spark ignitor assembly for damage", possible?

A friend of mine said he knows someone else with one of these and it had something to do with wind blowing through its exhaust vent. Like mine, his also vented on the west side of the house so perhaps on windy days it's an issue?
He changed the vents direction or angle to cure it. There is no pilot so it's not as if a pilot lights blowing out. Anyone hear of that?
  The model # is GG40T06PVJ

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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 03:25 am
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Ej
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Do you have a wiper control or  honeywell gas valve?  Both can have their pilot gas redirected by wind coming in through the venting.  A simple wind guard should prevent this from happening.  If you can catch the problem while it's happening you can extend a lighter to the pilot during the non-lighting ignition stage and see if the pilot lights from the flame.  If the pilot gas is not present then replace the wiper control.  If it lights from the flame and you have spark then you need to reset the gap so the spark lights off the pilot gas.  If your pilot lights from the spark but the sparking continues then from my experiance it is the wiper control. 

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 Posted: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008 11:52 am
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joaklay
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There's nothing in front of the water heater, no gas valve besides that which is part of the water heater itself.

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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2008 01:51 am
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Ej
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Here is a parts breakdown so you can correctly identify what I was talking about in the above post.
 
http://waterheating.rheem.com/content/resources/documents/parts_catalog/PartsGuide_Contractor.pdf

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 Posted: Thu Apr 24th, 2008 11:42 am
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joaklay
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I see but in my owners manual with parts list, they just call that a gas valve.
 The water heater has a 6 yr parts warranty but labor isn't covered.

I never catch it failing but when I'm down there and hear it starting, it seems that the ignitor's sparking alot IMO. I wouldn't think that it'd normally take that much sparking to light a flame.
 Perhaps the ignitors air gap isn't right?

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 Posted: Fri Apr 25th, 2008 01:18 am
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Ej
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I would suggest calling rheem and see what company they recommend to help you diagnose the heater's problem.  It a more advance ignition system than most heaters.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 28th, 2008 01:10 am
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joaklay
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I called the 800 # on the hot water heater, talked to a tech support guy, told him the code and he overnighted me an ignitor assy, free of charge.
 
So today I opened it up and to my surprize, there was alot of rust particles all over the pilot and burner assy. I wouldn't have suspected that in 1 yr of service and it's likely that that rust in itsself was the problem but having the new part, I still went ahead and replaced it anyway.
   I vacuumed up all the rust.
 It now starts up without hearing the ignitor clicking excessively so I'm sure it's fixed, at least until more rust re-appears.
   Maybe that only happened initially? I'll see.
Either way, it's very easy to remove the burner assembly and clean it out.

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