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Author Topic: What would cause my water heater to smoke?  (Read 6148 times)

JDMAG

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What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« on: March 15, 2012, 05:30:29 PM »
Next question! (I'm off today so I play) What would cause my water heater to smoke like this? it was heating and then I noticed this.
http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo234/lybrookj/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG-20120315-01865.jpg

http://i379.photobucket.com/albums/oo234/lybrookj/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG-20120315-01866.jpg
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Molaker

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 06:21:56 PM »
Smoke like that typically means not enough oxygen - fuel mix is too rich.  A likely cause is blocked air flow - wasp nest, dirt daubber, spider web, etc.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
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Water Dog

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 06:38:46 PM »
What is the block on the bottom of the bottom picture that looks like it's blocking the air intake vents in the burner tube? I agree with Molaker...definitely burning rich. If it's not that block obstructing the air, then pull the burner tube off and check it for an obstruction.
Dennis

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Molaker

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 08:03:20 PM »
What is the block on the bottom of the bottom picture that looks like it's blocking the air intake vents in the burner tube? I agree with Molaker...definitely burning rich. If it's not that block obstructing the air, then pull the burner tube off and check it for an obstruction.
I'm pretty sure that's a wind deflector and is supposed to be there.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 08:16:14 PM »
If no air blockage is evident, open the air mixture valve in the burner line a bit further. It's the air grate that shows in the second picture.
Gary
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2012, 09:02:41 PM »
I will investigate this again in the morning. Once again Thanks for the advice. Friendliest place on the innernet!
Could you discribe the air mixture valve so I know where it is?
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 07:54:53 AM »
On the gas feed to the burner tube you will see a sleeve over the tube that has air openings. There is a set screw that holds it in place. Loosen the screw and slide the sleeve a bit to enlarge the openings. That lets more air into the gas mixture.  That's the same area and tube that you should check for blockages, e.g. mud dauber or spider nests.

In your second picture, the air mixture admittance sleeve can be plainly seen at the bottom, just to the left of the igniter.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 07:56:39 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
Gary
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 08:32:45 AM »
Gotcha!  8)
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PancakeBill

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2012, 08:35:58 AM »
If it has been a little while since the last usage, it is likey a paper nest inside the burner,  I had the same  thing happen on mine a time back.  Paper wasp nest gets inside and once you start it up, it burns smokey.  Look in with the flashlight, will probably see remains.  If it is a nest like this, the smoke will stop soon as it incinerates, if it is the air mixture it will continue.  If air mixture you may notice the sleeve is loose, because it wasn't doing that before, right?  If tight, not lileky it is the mix.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Mopar1973Man

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2012, 08:46:45 AM »
While the heater is burning just look into the tube if the flame is lazy and yellow your air shutter is closed too much or the burner tube is blocked up. I would open the shutter fully and using compressed air I would blow the crud out of the burner tube and then reset the shutter back to the orignal position. Then check your flame again. Worse case you might pull the tube completely off to clean it.
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denmarc

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2012, 10:41:13 AM »
Ditto the above replies.  I have problems with spider nest in the burner tube all the time.  Not a big deal to clean it out.  Check the gas orifice too for obstruction.

The only other thing I can add is I had a similar problem way back when I had a propane tank close to the empty mark and the auto regulator didn't switch over to the full tank for some reason.  Not sure why.  Problem wasn't severe enough to effect frig. pilot.  But the water heater acted as your did.
Mark

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Clay L

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2012, 10:51:16 AM »
The following is from the manual for my Atwood water heater. My problem was due to the spreader tube being misaligned.

SMOKING AND SOOTING

 CONDITION _____________________SOLUTION
Gas pressure incorrect ___________ Set pressure to a minimum of 11 W.C. with two or more appliances running
Poor gas supply________________ Replace gas supply
Improper pilot flame _____________ Clean or replace pilot orifice
Improper air adjustment__________ Adjust main burner air shutter approximately 1/4 open
Flame spreader misaligned _______ Realign or replace main burner
Blocked main burner ____________  Remove blockage

Improper main burner alignment____  Realign main burner, main burner orifice holder and gas valve
Blocked U tube ________________ Remove blockage
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats)
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2012, 12:26:33 PM »
Dang Spiders! working good now. but it was clogged between the air mixture valve and the end of the tube. Now How can I tell if this unit has both Gas and electric option on the water heater? there are 2 switches inside on the monitor panel. (3 counting the water pump switch) one I know is the gas water heater, the other says water heater also, but does not illuminate when I turn it to the on position. so I assume its an option that isn't there, or it isn't functioning properly. I appreciate the learning experience I am getting!
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
Helper springs just in case.

JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2012, 01:03:42 PM »
The switch doesnt light up, but the water heater does work electrically.
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
Helper springs just in case.

PancakeBill

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2012, 02:31:48 PM »
The lit switch is usually for gas, will only light for fault.  For instance you turn it on, the igniter attempts to light, if after a short time it is not lit up, it gives up and lights that indicator.  This is a typical installation anyway.  YMMV. 
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2012, 02:37:22 PM »
It has a seperate fault light for that. DSI FLT  what is the YMMV?
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
Helper springs just in case.

JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2012, 07:07:32 PM »
Well every thing seems to be in working order now Thanks to ya'll and a couple of emails to Dutchmen. 8) :o I appreciate the info. I know I'll be back.  and PancakeBill....MTFBWY!.. ;D lol
JD
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06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
Helper springs just in case.

Gary RV Roamer

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2012, 11:56:04 AM »
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary... The classic caveat that your results may differ from what was just advertised/stated.
Gary
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2012, 01:31:18 PM »
MTFBWY .......... May the force be with ye! lol ;D
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
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Mopar1973Man

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2012, 01:30:32 PM »
Like in my RV the 110 VAC element has a seperate switch on the wall like a normal house wall switch. But the gas water heater switch is on the monitor with the tank levels.

Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2012, 04:48:20 PM »
mine has a switch on the monitor panel for the water pump, gas water heater, and the electric water heater. I dont know what happens if I switch on both. I hope one would go off. ? might have to try that later. ???
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
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Ned

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2012, 05:18:08 PM »
You can turn on both the gas and electric for the water heater, it will just get hot faster.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2012, 05:37:17 PM »
Cool! 8)
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
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Gary RV Roamer

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 08:43:25 AM »
Not cool -  Hot!
Gary
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JDMAG

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 09:23:34 AM »
tru DAT!
03 keystone hornet toy hauler. (1st)
06 Kodiak by scamper.(2nd)
02 Silverado 1500 HD w/2012 Jasper 6.0 engine.
LT285/75R-16 Goodyear Wrangler MT/R with Kevlar E
Helper springs just in case.

Mopar1973Man

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Re: What would cause my water heater to smoke?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2012, 09:35:45 AM »
You can turn on both the gas and electric for the water heater, it will just get hot faster.

I find that propane gets hotter than electric. If I just flip the electric on leave it on all night then flip on the propane it actually fires up and burns for quite a bit more but man talk about hot water! WOW!  :o
Mopar1973Man (AKA: Michael Nelson) located out in the state of Idaho with...
2002 Dodge Ram 2500 5.9L Cummins Turbo Diesel
2000 Jayco Eagle FBS 296
http://articles.mopar1973man.com/members-rides/17-mopar1973man/27-2000-jayco-eagle-296-fbs
2013 BigTex 70TV Utility Trailer