Water Heater issues. Can gas service interruption cause damage?

2 Replies

Any water heater gurus out there? We're remodeling a unit after an eviction. Gas was off for a few weeks, and now that it's back on the water heater isn't working. For a while the pilot would stay lit until the unit heated water, and then go out. Now I can't get the pilot to light at all. It's a 2015 Rheem, internal thermo-coupler kind I believe, I can't access the thermo-coupler to clean it or anything. Is it possible that the gas service interruption caused a problem with the water heater? The tenant says it was working prior to the service interruption. The gas furnace located right next to the water heater is working fine so I don't think it's a supply issue. Hoping to avoid replacing a water heater that is less than 3 years old.  

@Steve K.

Not a guru, but have dealt with many a gas-fired heater and boiler.  Unless it became cold enough for the tank to freeze, having the gas service off for such a short period should have no detrimental impact.  From your description, it is possible the burner needs cleaned and serviced and stopping operations just allowed buildup to harden and/or break loose and become an obstruction - or a spider decided to make its home in burner {we had a furnace not relight as a result of this once} ... though at 2(ish) years of age, it shouldn't be that dirty.

While it is possible a sensor has failed prematurely, I'd start with a service.

Unlikley from my limited experience that a interruption would be the cause.

If your pilot will not light or stay lit it is very likely your thermo-coupler. If it has failed it will not allow the flow of gas and will need to be replaced if possible.

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