I have a Kenmore Economizer 5 with the propane (LP) jets installed. This water heater has worked for several years perfectly. Yesterday however, I woke-up to no hot water. In checking the pilot light I noticed a massive build-up of soot. It was everywhere and was clogging the entire burner assembly. I also noticed that flames had escaped the service hatch and licked up the front of the heater. I turned off the LP supply as well as the valve on the heater itself, removed the burner assembly and thoroughly cleaned it up. I re-installed it into the heater and everything looks fine. The pilot light lights up without hesitation. But..... when you move the valve to light the burner, instead of the rapidly burning short little flames you would expect to see, like you see on a stove, there is a very large flame front. By that I mean it almost seems like there is too much pressure but the flames are slow burning. Kinda looks like oil burning on the surface of water.
The stove and oven work fine. One person told me that if I light most of the burners on the stove and light a another one the others should not vary much meaning that the regulator on the LP source is working. I lit three stove burners and let them run a bit then lit the fouth with no problems so I'm assuming the regulator is working.
Any ideas? I'm pretty mechanically inclined so hit me with you best as to where to look for the problem. I'd really like to find a manual on how to rebuild or trouble shoot the gas valve on the heater itself.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
your water heater has a pressure regulator built into the control valve...this may have failed. other possibilities are poor venting or poor supply of combustion air. do yourself a favor and change the heater as its several years old. erik
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