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Question DetailsAsked on 3/18/2016

What does overheat failure mean on gas water heater

Pilot still lit on gas water heater but heater will not kick on and heat water

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1 Answer


Don't know how you know it has an overheat failure - unless higher end model with electronic control panel.

I would presume, not knowing brand, that either you had a flame rollout (flame comes out bottom of unit because of duct blockage), or failure of high-efficiency unit exhaust blower fan/damper to kick on/open.

Could also be - and actually sounds more like this if that is what error code decodes to - overheating in the combustion chamber - due to above or due to misplacement of overheat sensor, or because access plate is improperly seated so air is coming in cockeyed and blowing the flame toward the sensor.

One way or another, sounds like either a blower/damper not working right when the unit kicks on, or a sensor turning it off (maybe correctly or maybe because of a failed sensor).

If you have a heat pump on top of your heater (high-efficiency unit), then might also refer to that unit overheating - maybe due to air passages getting blocked with dust ?

If you got an error code, go to your owners manual or manufacturer website for the descriptive text that matches the code.

Plumber would be your Search the List category for diagnosis - or many Heating and A/C contractors also do hot water heaters.

Here are links to a few similar questionds with answers which might help too -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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