This is a complete guide on Richmond Water Heater Troubleshooting. Throughout this article, I will break down:
- Condensation Issue
- Yellow Flame or Soot
- Fail to light the main burner
- Main burner won’t stay lit
- And a lot
The best part is- I also provide the solution to each problem so that you can follow the troubleshooting steps to bring your water heater in normal condition. As a result, you can save your precious time and money.
So, let’s get started right here.
Table of Contents
- Richmond Water Heater Troubleshooting [Common Problems]
Richmond Water Heater Troubleshooting [Common Problems]
This chapter will walk you through the most common problems of a Richmond Water Heater and how you troubleshoot them.
Condensation! It’s not a problem in the real sense. It actually happens when you fill your new Richmond Water Heater for the first time. Moisture from the products of combustion condensing on the tank surface also cause this issue.
Besides, if you install an undersized water heater that fails to meet your needs, it will produce condensation.
How To Fix:
It’s normal. The condensation will disappear once the water in the tank warms up. However, if this problem persists, go forward to check piping and fittings for leaks. Finally, ensure you install the correct size of water heater for your home to avoid the condensation issue.
02. Yellow Flame or Soot
The following reasons are responsible for the yellow flame or soot issue:
- Scale buildup on the top of the burner
- Restricted flue or combustion air inlet openings
- The location where you install the water heater doesn’t get sufficient amount of air supply for combustion or ventilation
How To Fix:
Clean every dirt, dust, and scale formation from the top of the burner. What you should do in this case is, just remove the burner from the unit. Before pulling out the burner, ensure:
- Turn off the gas supply to your water heater and set the pilot to the off position.
- Detach everything from the gas control valve like the wire connectors and the pilot tube or gas tube.
- Once you disconnect everything, remove the burner from the unit.
- Now, clean the top of the burner with soapy water to remove debris or scale buildups. Afterward, let the burner dry before installing it.
- Install the burner to the unit once it gets dried.
- Connect everything you detach with the gas control valve.
- Set the pilot to the on position and turn on the gas supply.
- Finally, turn on your water heater.
Secondly, check the flue or combustion air inlet openings for obstruction or dirt. Release the obstruction for proper water heater operation.
And thirdly, ensure you install your water heater in a well-ventilated area. For proper water heater operation, you must install the water heater in an unconfined space.
However, if there is any obstruction, there should be 1 inch gap between the combustion air inlet openings and the blockage. Avoid blocking the flammable vapor sensor by all means.
I always suggest you check the manual and maintain the installation guide the manufacturer provides. It would be best if you install the water heater professionally.
03. Fail To Light The Main Burner
You can’t light the main burner of your Richmond Water Heater if:
- There is air in the gas line.
- The vent or exhaust pipe gets blocked
- Kinked or clogged pressure switch hose
- Loose wire connections
- Faulty gas control
How To Fix:
There should be no air in the gas line. If yes, you must purge the air from the gas line. Otherwise, the main burner of your water heater will not light. To purge the air, just pop up the pressure relief valve to allow the air to get out of the water tank.
In that way, the more water can come in and the air will go out. When you pop up the valve, you can hear a hissing noise, which indicates the air is going out of the gas line.
Be careful. You should turn the pressure valve off when the water level starts getting up. Otherwise, it will flood your floor.
The next step you should follow is to turn on your hot water at the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, and in the shower too. What will happen then is- it’s going to spit some air out in a little bit of water. You should keep the hot water faucets turned on until a nice steady stream of water is coming.
Next, inspect the vent piping for a blockage. You can disconnect the connection point of the vent piping and visually check it. However, contacting a qualified technician for checking the exhaust pipe will not be an offensive decision.
Thirdly, be sure that you examine the pressure switch hose for a clog. If it gets blocked, clean it or straighten the hose if it gets bent.
You also can’t light the main burner due to loose wiring. Ensure every wire connection is secure and tight. If you are not electrically inclined, hire an electrician to inspect the wire connections of your water heater.
Nonetheless, a defective gas control can also be the culprit that causes the main burner to not light. If it’s at fault, you must replace the gas control valve.
04. Main Burner Doesn’t Stay Lit
Richmond Gas Water Heater features a combustion shut-off device. It automatically shuts the unit down whenever it senses the presence or flammable vapor or the air inlet openings get blocked. If the combustion shut-off device is at fault or gets tripped, it will turn off the unit and the main burner won’t stay lit anymore.
How To Fix:
Dealing with the combustion shut-off device requires professional knowledge. So, I highly recommend you call a certified service technician to inspect the combustion shut-off device. If needed, replace it.
05. Rumbling Noise
If you hear a hissing or rumbling noise from your water heater, I bet scale or lime forms on the bottom of the water tank. The only way you can stop this noise is to drain water from the tank. In the below ‘How To Fix’ section, I will show you how to drain water.
How To Fix:
Before draining water, shut off the gas supply to your water heater. Next, turn on hot water faucets somewhere in your house to allow cold water into the tank to avoid scald injury.
Once the tank of the water heater is cold, shut off the cold water supply to your water heater. What you need to do next is- attach a garden hose to the drain valve at the bottom of the water heater. Then, place the other end of the hose to the nearest floor drain.
Now, open the drain valve to let the water drain.
06. Relief Valve Making Popping Noise
Pressure buildup caused by thermal expansion is the main culprit that causes the relief valve to produce a popping noise. It’s such a dangerous situation you can’t ignore. Otherwise, it may blow out your water heater.
How To Fix:
Thermal Expansion is an unacceptable condition and you must solve it right off the bat. Whenever the relief valve generates the hissing noise, turn off your water heater. Then, call a certified service technician to fix this issue. Keep in mind; replacing the relief valve will not solve this problem.
07. Insufficient or No Hot Water
You will get little to no hot water from your Richmond Water Heater due to the following reasons:
- Your demand or water usage may cross the capacity of the water heater.
- Low gas pressure
- You may set the thermostat too low.
- You may keep the hot water faucets opened.
- The gas valve LED may throw error codes
- On-Off Switch may be in the off position
- Unplugged Inducer
- Tripped Combustion Shut-off System
How To Fix:
Give some time to your water heater for recovery after an abnormal demand. It would be better to get the right size water heater that meets your daily usage.
On the other hand, adjust the gas pressure if it’s low. Conduct the manual and adjust the gas supply pressure and the manifold pressure.
Also, you will get insufficient hot water if you set the thermostat to the low setting. Just check the thermostat and set it to your desired water temperatures.
Next, ensure you close all the hot water faucets during operating the water heater. Don’t forget to check the position of the on/off switch of your water heater. It should be in the On position.
The Richmond Water Heater will deliver no hot water if you forget to plug in the inducer. So, check the inducer and plug it in.
Lastly, take help from a technician to inspect the combustion shut-off system and replace it if it gets tripped.
08. Too Hot Water
Excessive hot water output means either you set the thermostat too high or the gas control valve gets defective.
How To Fix:
Check the thermostat and set it to the desired temperature setting. Next, inspect the gas control valve and replace it if needed. The following video will help you in changing the gas control system:
However, I recommend you hire a certified plumber to do this task for you.
You experience a problem with your Richmond Water Heater doesn’t mean you need to call for a service. If you follow this guide on Richmond Water Heater Troubleshooting, it will help you detect the issue of your water heater.
Plus, I also mentioned how you can troubleshoot and fix the problem. As a result, you don’t need to spend your hard-earned money for a little issue.
However, never hesitate to call a certified plumber if you can’t solve a specific problem by following the troubleshooting steps I mentioned. And guess what, not every problem has a DIY solution.
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Eric Alvarez is an HVAC guy based in El Paso, Texas, United States. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University Of Texas at El Paso. Years of experience in the HVAC field have taught him many lessons, not the least of which is that the value of quality and knowledge far exceeds any promised initial savings. He has a good standing reputation for superior skills in heating, air conditioning, hot water tanks, and indoor air quality systems.