Water Heater Repair – Flame Arrestor

Blue Springs Water Heater Repair and Installation – Tips.

I’ve covered this subject before but have found myself dealing with a new problem with water heater repairs. Many of my customers have been complaining about their water heater pilot lights not staying lit. Now the standard answer to this problem is replace your water heater thermocouple or open more windows before turning on your attic fan. The new water heaters are different. A new problem has arisen with the built in safety devices on the new flame guard style water heaters. For that reason, I’m amending my water heater repairs tips to include proper maintenance of a flame arrestor and replacement of a failed thermal switch.

Blue Springs Water Heater Repair
Flame Arrestor

On the bottom of most gas water heaters there is a screen. The purpose of this screen is to allow air into the burner chamber of your water heater through such small orifices that if flammable fumes were near the pilot light of the water heater they couldn’t ignite outside the water heaters burner chamber.

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Flame Arrestor in burner chamber

The problem with this design is the need for occasional maintenance. A flame arrestor needs to be cleaned. If it isn’t, the water heater will be starved of air needed for combustion. The flame will “burp” out looking for air when it comes on and over heat the burner chamber cover plate. On this plate is a switch that senses temperature and combustible materials. When it reaches an excessive temperature a “breaker” of sorts stops the supply of gas to the water heater. If it senses a combustible material such as paint thinner or gasoline it will also activate.This is easily fixed by moving all combustible materials away from your water heater and cleaning the screen on the under side of the water heater with a brush. This will allow air to enter the water heater burner chamber at the needed flow rate to allow proper combustion. After a cool down time and some airing out, then the switch can be reset by pressing the button in the middle of the roll out switch.


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Flame Arrestor Thermal Switch

Not all water heaters look the same. Most of them do look like this. Always call your professional Blue Springs Water Heater specialist at Advocate Master Plumbing prior to attempting anything beyond your skill level. These are simple but dangerous appliances. We at Advocate Master Plumbing are Blue Springs plumbers that put your families safety first.