rheem power vent water heater troubleshooting

13 Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Troubleshooting Tips

This is a complete guide on Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Troubleshooting where I will walk you through 13 common water heater issues, including

  • Condensation
  • Yellow flame or soot
  • Unable to light the main burner
  • The main burner doesn’t stay lit
  • Rumbling noise
  • Relief Valve producing popping noise
  • Not enough hot water
  • Too hot water
  • Rheem Power Vent 2 water heater blinking red light
  • Rheem Power Vent Water Heater keeps shutting off
  • Rheem Power Vent Blower Noise
  • Flammable vapor sensor fault detected
  • Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Error Codes

Indeed, you can learn how to troubleshoot Rheem electric water heaters. 

In other words, you don’t need to call customer service if you read this entire troubleshooting guide. So, let’s dive deeper, shall we? 

Table of Contents

Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Troubleshooting [13 Easy Solutions]

Let’s troubleshoot each problem and discover their solutions as well.  

01. Condensation

Condensation can form on the tank when you fill the water heater for the first time. Apart from this, condensation might occur: 

  • With a heavy water draw and very cold inlet water temperatures
  • Moisture from the products of combustion may form condensation on the tank surface
  • A water heater that fails to meet your minimum requirements will also occur condensation. 

How To Fix: 

Condensation on the tank is not unusual. It will go away in time: 

  • When the water in the tank warms up
  • Take your eyes on every fitting and piece of pipes for leaks if the problem still persists
  • Size up your water heater so that it aligns with your daily usage or take advice from a qualified water heater technician regarding this

02. Yellow Flame or Soot

Yellow flame or soot is the byproduct of: 

  1. Scale forms on the top of the burner 
  2. Restricted vent or combustion air inlet openings
  3. The unit is installed in a confined space where it gets insufficient air for combustion and ventilation

How To Fix:

Remedies for yellow flame are: 

1. Remove the scale buildup that forms on the top of the burner. If you are fairly handy, remove the burner from the water heater. Yes, it involves gas piping disconnection and removing the burner assembly. 

Then, use a vacuum cleaner on the burner and floor shield inside the unit to remove dirt & debris buildup. Alternatively, you can use a mild detergent to scrub away scale formation from the top of the burner. 

Caution: For your safety, it’s a must recommendation for you to hire a qualified service personnel for performing burner cleaning workflow. It’s because this task involves the disconnection of gas piping and leak testing. 

If the burner access door is removed, the gasket of the access door should be replaced when reassembling.  

2.  Get rid of obstructions or debris buildup from the vent or air inlet openings.

3. Proper operation of the unit requires air for combustion and ventilation. I recommend you check the user manual regarding this. Or, take a look at the following screenshot to get sufficient air for proper operation of the heater: 

03. Unable to Light the Main Burner

You will fail to light up your main burner for the following reasons:

  • Air in the gas line
  • You can’t position the Gas Control Knob correctly.
  • The vent pipe or exhaust gets blocked
  • Pressure switch issue
  • Loose wire connection
  • Gas control issue

How To Fix:

Purge the air from the gas line. You can hire a certified technician to do this task for you. Also, position the gas control knob correctly by hiring a professional technician. 

Next, inspect the vent pipe or exhaust for a clog. If there is any blockage, release it. Afterward, ensure the pressure switch hose doesn’t get kinked. Call a certified electrician to inspect all the wire connections. 

Lastly, contact a certified service technician to solve the gas control problem. 

04. Main Burner Doesn’t Stay Lit

Due to one of the following reasons, the main burner of your power vent water heater won’t stay lit: 

  • Tripped combustion shut-off device
  • The thermal cut-off device gets tripped 

How To Fix:

Fixing either the tripped combustion shut-off device or the thermal cutoff that gets tripper is not a DIY task. You must hire a qualified service technician to inspect and resolve both of the issues. 

05. Rumbling Noise

The Rheem Water Heater will make a rumbling noise if there is scale & sediment buildup in the tank. 

How To Fix:

Draining water can easily remove scale and sediment from the water heater tank. Continue to read as I described the procedure of draining water in the ‘How To Drain Rheem Power Vent Heater’ section in this article. 

06. Relief Valve Producing Popping Noise

Thermal expansion in a closed water system is the caveat behind producing a popping noise. Due to this reason, the temperature and the pressure relief valve on the water heater discharges periodically. 

How To Fix:

It is an unacceptable condition and you need to correct it. Regarding this, contact the water supplier or your plumber on how to correct this issue. And of course, never plug the relief valve outlet. 

07. Not Enough Hot Water

You will get no hot water from your Rheem power vent water heater if:

  • The gas pressure is low
  • You may set the temperature too low
  • Water usage may exceed the capacity of the water heater
  • Open hot water faucets
  • You may forget to plug the blower


To resolve this Rheem Power Vent Water Heater problem, go along with the following troubleshooting steps:

  • Inspect the gas supply pressure and the manifold pressure. The inlet gas pressure should not exceed 10.5 in W.C. for natural gas or 13 in w.c for LP gas. 
  • Adjust the temperature setting by turning the thermostat control knob. 
  • Wait for your water heater to let it recover after an abnormal demand.
  • Ensure all the hot water faucets are closed and they are not leaking.
  • If the blower remains unplugged, plug it back. 
  • Lastly, don’t forget to check the Rheem power vent water heater troubleshooting codes

08. Water Is Too Hot

You may set the thermostat too high which produces excessive hot water. Therefore, a faulty gas control or defective thermostat is responsible for too hot water. 


You should adjust the temperature setting to fix this issue. If you don’t know how to adjust the water temperature, check the Rheem water heater manual. Otherwise, you need to replace the thermostat if it gets defective. 

09. Rheem power vent 2 water heater blinking red light

If the red light blinks two times between three-second intervals, we bet the pressure switch has failed. 


Correct the pressure switch wiring. If needed, you should replace the pressure switch. We recommend you download the error code information of the water heater manual. It will give you an insight into the flashing red lights.

10. Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Keeps Shutting Off

This water is equipped with a combustion shut-off device. It keeps shutting off the unit if an undesirable combustion condition occurs. Additionally, your power vent water heater will keep turning off because of: 

  • Presence of flammable vapors
  • Obstructions in the vent or air inlet openings
  • Dirty thermocouple or it gets twisted 

How To Fix: 

I highly recommend you contact the Rheem Customer Service if the combustion shut-off device keeps shutting off your power vent water heater. 

Next, remove the blockage from the vent or air inlet openings. 

Never forget to take a look at the thermocouple. If it gets twisted, replace it with a new one or clean the thermocouple if it seems dirty. 

11. Rheem Power Vent Blower Noise

The blower of your Rheem Power Vent Water Heater will make a rattling noise if: 

  • The impeller set screw comes loose
  • Bearings within motor gets clogged
  • Defective blower motor

How To Fix: 

You must disassemble the blower to detect the problem of this component. If you are not handy, the best bait is to call a qualified service personnel to resolve the blower noise issue. 

12. Flammable Vapor Sensor Fault Detected

This power vent water heater from Rheem is equipped with a flammable vapor sensor. It will automatically shut down the unit in the presence of gasoline vapors or other flammable vapors. 

If your Rheem Power Vent Water Heater has a LCD display, you can see an error code 47 which indicates about flammable vapor sensor issue. 

How To Fix: 

The first bait is to call a qualified technician to resolve this issue. You can also fix this problem by resetting the flammable vapor sensor lockout. And this guide on Honeywell Flammable Vapor Sensor Lockout Reset will help you in this case. 

13. Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Error Codes

Over time, your power vent water heater may display error codes like 12, 44, 47, and others. On the other hand, if your water has no additional display, the status light or LED will flash a number of times every 3 seconds. 

Each of the LED codes has a different meaning. For example, the error code 12 indicates there is a low flame signal. At the same time, you will observe 1 flash every 3 seconds on the LED status which notifies you about the same problem- low flame signal. 

Here, check out this in-depth guide on Rheem Power Vent Water Heater Error Codes. Till then, stay in tune with us. 

How To Drain Rheem Power Vent Water Heater

Don’t know how to flush a Rheem water heater? Then, check out the below steps to flush your Rheem water heater.

Firstly, ensure you have the following equipment at your fingertips:

  • A flat-blade screwdriver
  • A garden hose
  • Knee-high stocking
  • Rubber band or wire tie

1. Before starting the flushing workflow, ensure you turn off the power to the water heater at the circuit breaker. 

2. Fasten the length of the garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Run the other end of the hose to the nearest floor drain or outside the home. 

3. Close the shut-off valve at the cold water inlet line. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house that will relieve the system pressure inside the tank.

4. Open the drain valve and allow the water to drain. Keep in mind; that the water will be hot. So, ensure there is no one near the drain hose. Otherwise, they may get scalded. 

Note: We recommend you slide a knee-high stocking over the end of the hose. Then, use a rubber band or a wire tie to hold it in place. This mesh is fine enough to capture tiny particles of scale or sediment. 

You need to drain 3-5 gallons of water for proper flushing. Close the drain valve and remove the garden hose when the water stops.

5. Open a hot water faucet somewhere in the home and open the cold water shut-off valve at the cold water inlet line. You will hear the heater start filling when you have a steady stream of water from the open faucet. 

6. Turn off the faucet when the heater gets filled with water. Then, turn the power on at the circuit breaker. 

7. Finally, inspect the drain valve one more time to ensure it’s tightly closed. 


You can fix the common water heater issues by reading this entire guide on Rheem power vent water heater troubleshooting. However, this water heater incorporates a combustion shut-off device. If there are flammable vapors or blockage in the combustion air inlet openings, don’t hesitate to reach out to customer service. 

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