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Water Heater Recall 2018

Two recalls of water heaters were announced in November, 2018, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. One of the recalls involves several brands of residential 30, 40, and 50-gallon water heaters. All water heaters in this recall are either natural or propane gas-fired Ultra-Low NOx models.

The other recall is for 30-gallon gas water heaters with the model number G6-UT3030N.

 

A.O. Smith 30-gal. Water Heater

[/media-credit] A.O. Smith 30-gal. Water Heater

Ultra-Low NOx Water Heater Recall

Brands being recalled include American Water Heater, A.O. Smith, Kenmore, Lochinvar, State, Reliance, U.S. Craftmaster, Whirlpool. Most of the affected water heaters were sold and installed in California between April, 2011 and December, 2016 to meet strict emission standards.

According to the CPSC’s release, the Ultra-Low NOx water heater’s burner screen may develop tears. If this happens, the water heater’s burner can develop excess radiant heat. If the water heater stands directly on a wood floor (or similar combustible material), this poses a fire hazard. A.O. Smith has received 6 reports of fires occurring from this issue. No injuries have been reported to date.

 

Recall of 30-Gallon Gas Water Heaters Sold at Lowe’s

This recall was announced because this particular water heater’s flame arrestor can fail to work properly, posing a fire hazard.

This recall is for A. O. Smith 30-gallon natural gas water heaters with model number G6-
UT3030NV and serial numbers with the first four digits of 1805 through 1809.

 

What To Do

Check your water heater for model name and serial number. The data plate where these are listed is next to the gas control valve/thermostat.

Go to https://www.waterheaterrecall.com/ and input your water heater’s model and serial numbers and complete the form to see if your water heater is being recalled.

Regarding the Ultra-Low NOx recall, only water heaters with the first four digit serial numbers between 1115 and 1631, where the first four digits represent the year and week of production, are included in the recall.

If your water heater has been recalled, turn it off and stop using it. Contact the following to determine if a free repair is necessary.

If you own a Whirlpool, U.S. Craftmaster or American Water Heater brand water heater, you may call toll-free 866-854-2793 for more information.
Reliance, State, A. O. Smith, and Kenmore owners can call toll-free 866-880-4661.

Next See: Water Heaters Buying Guide

 

Countertop Instant Hot Water Kettles & Appliances

For instant hot water without the hassle or expense of plumbing an under-sink hot water dispenser tank, you can buy an inexpensive plug-in countertop hot water appliance that heats hot water in a flash.    [Ad_content DEL]

hot water kettle

[/media-credit] Instant hot water kettle quickly boils 1.5 liters of water.

Two main types of countertop hot water dispensers are made: electric kettle style and one that looks like a small drip coffeemaker. You can also buy a hot-and-cold dispenser that works like an office water cooler. Electric kettles are made by several manufacturers in glass, stainless steel, and plastic. Most heat and hold from 6 to 10 cups of water. Cordless models that sit on a plug-in base are the most convenient way to go.

Popular brands for both glass and stainless steel electric kettles are Ovente and Hamilton Beach. With their products, you just fill the kettle, set it on the base, and turn it on. An LED lets you know when the water is boiling. Pay attention to the size of the heating element, which may range from 1000 to 1500 watts. The larger the element, the faster it heats. Costs range from about $20 to $30.

sunbeam hot water dispenser

[/media-credit] Sunbeam Hot Shot instantly serves a mug full of hot water for hot cocoa, tea, or soups.

The Sunbeam Hot Shot is made more like a drip coffee maker. It will heat 16 ounces of water to near boiling faster than a microwave or a kettle. Note, however, that it only heats water for one mug or bowl at a time—and a tall mug won’t fit in it. You pour a cupful of water in the top, set your mug or bowl beneath, and turn it on. When the cycle is done, it shuts off automatically. It’s recommended that you empty any excess water to prevent leaking or deposit build-up. It has a 1-year warranty. Cost is about $20.

hot and cold water dispenser

[/media-credit] When equipped with a large water bottle on top, this dispenser serves hot or cold filtered water.

 

You can also buy a tabletop water cooler that serves both chilled and heated water, patterned after the office water cooler. Some of these are made to hold a 5-gallon water bottle; others are not. The Honeywell 21-inch cooler shown is a popular model. Prices range from $100 to $200.

 

 

 


How to Replace a Water Heater Drain Valve

Flushing a water heater is an important part of basic household maintenance, as discussed in the article How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater. Unfortunately, sometimes a water heater’s drain valve becomes so clogged with mineral deposits that it must be replaced. Here we show you how to replace it, step-by-step.

Water Heater Drain Valve   Photo: B&K

Water Heater Drain Valve Photo: B&K

You’ll need a replacement water heater drain valve, which you can buy in a hardware store or online for about $8. The most conventional size is 3/4-inch.

Drain valve is located at the bottom of the water heater's tank.

Drain valve is located at the bottom of the water heater’s tank.

Unless you can empty the water heater first, replacing its drain valve raises the possibility of flooding your basement unless there is a floor drain nearby. In most cases, it will involve having a helper use buckets to collect and dump water that is pouring from the water heater while you’re extracting and replacing the valve. Once you’re ready to begin the valve replacement, have a helper on hand to catch water in a bucket while you remove and replace the valve. And be prepared to get wet. But before this stage, you’ll need to let the water cool and, if possible, partly drain the tank through hot water faucets in the house.[GARD align=”right”]

1Shut off the valve on cold water supply pipe that fills the water heater so that it won’t refill as you drain-off its contents. Then turn off the circuit breaker of an electric water heater or the gas valve of a gas water heater so the water won’t reheat. Use hot water at faucets and tubs in the house as long as it’s available. Allow the water in the water heater to cool down to a safe temperature—this may take a full day.

You’ll want to have two buckets, a pipe wrench, screwdriver, and the replacement valve on hand before you begin the work. Wrap the threads of the replacement valve with pipe-wrap (Teflon®) tape to it’s ready to install. Wear leather-palm gloves and have your helper and plenty of rags ready to go.

2Using a pipe wrench, unscrew the valve from the tank, turning it counterclockwise. As it loosens, it will begin to leak, then spray, and eventually pour warm (or hot) water! This is when your helper can catch water in buckets as you work. Remove the valve entirely.

3If mineral deposits are plentiful in the tank, they may jamb the drain hole as the water pours out. Stick a screwdriver into the hole and move it around to break-up deposits. If deposits are severe, you’ll need to drain the entire tank this way.

4When the water begins to run clear of deposits, insert the new drain valve in the hole and screw it in until it is snug, pointing down, and not leaking.

5Open and close the new drain valve to test it. Shut off the drain valve. If you’ve opened the water heater’s pressure-release valve or any hot water faucets, close those, too. Then open the water supply valve to refill the tank.

6Turn the circuit breaker back on for an electric water heater or open the gas valve and relight the pilot (or use the electronic ignition) to restart a gas water heater, per the water heater’s instructions.

Call for free estimates from local pros now:
[telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

How to Back-Flush a Water Heater

Back-flushing a water heater is required when mineral deposits in the tank prevent the water heater’s drain valve from allowing you to flush or empty the tank. For information flushing the tank, please see How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater. In that article, you’ll see that a first step in breaking up a drain clog can be simply stepping on the hose as water is draining to pump water back into the tank.

Hose Coupler    Photo: Bosch

Double-Female Hose Coupler Photo: Bosch

If pumping the drain hose with your foot doesn’t do the job, you’ll need to move on to a more aggressive approach: back-flushing the water heater.

To back-flush a water heater, you’ll need a garden hose and a double-female garden hose coupler (available online for about $8).

1First follow the preparation discussed in the article How to Flush or Drain a Water Heater.

2Turn off the water heater’s drain valve by turning it clockwise.[GARD align=”left”]

 

3Using the female hose coupler, attach the male end of the garden hose to an outdoor hose bibb (faucet) or washtub faucet.

4Turn on the faucet to charge the hose with water pressure.

5Open the water heater’s drain valve. Water should rush into the water heater, pushing deposits away from the valve.

6Turn the water heater’s drain valve off again, and then turn off the water faucet.

 

7Unscrew the hose from the water faucet, and try flushing the tank again. If it still doesn’t drain well, the next step is either to replace the water heater’s drain valve or to replace the water heater.

Water Heater Drain Valve

Water Heater Drain Valve

First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog

Depending upon whether the water heater is gas or electric, turn off the gas valve or circuit breaker that powers it. Connect a hose to the drain valve and run it outside, placing the end of the hose below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere in the house or open the water heater’s pressure-relief valve to break the vacuum inside the tank. Then open the drain valve. If the water runs freely, the valve works. If it doesn’t, it’s probably clogged.

If you suspect that the drain valve is clogged, you can try repeatedly stepping on the hose a couple of feet away from the tank to squirt water and air bubbles back into the tank. Hopefully this will break loose the clog. If it doesn’t, back-flush the water heater as described above.

Call for free estimates from local pros now:
[telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

Water Heater Won’t Drain

The drain valve at the bottom of a water heater, which looks like a small outdoor faucet, is used for flushing mineral deposits from the water heater or emptying water from the tank for replacement or repairs.

Attach a hose to the water heater's drain valve and empty the tank.

A working drain valve at the base of the tank empties a water heater.

To drain a water heater using this valve, see How to Drain or Flush a Water Heater. Remember that the water is hot![GARD align=”right”]

Water Heater Drain Valve Problems

Sometimes the water heater’s drain valve won’t work or barely dribbles when you try to use it. Sometimes the drain valve is defective, but most of the time it’s clogged. Mineral deposits, which accumulate over time, consist of lime scale, calcium, and iron in the water.  If excessive deposits are allowed to build up inside the tank, they can clog the drain valve when you try to use it.

 

Water Heater Drain Valve

Water Heater Drain Valve

First Steps in Breaking a Drain Valve Clog

1Depending upon whether the water heater is gas or electric, turn off the gas valve or circuit breaker that powers it.

[GARD align=”left”]2Connect a hose to the drain valve and run it outside, placing the end of the hose below the level of the water heater. Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere in the house or open the water heater’s pressure-relief valve to break the vacuum inside the tank.

3Then open the drain valve. If the water runs freely, the valve works. If it doesn’t, it’s probably clogged.

4If you suspect that the drain valve is clogged, you can try repeatedly stepping on the hose a couple of feet away from the tank to squirt water and air bubbles back into the tank. Hopefully this will break loose the clog. If it doesn’t, please see How to Back-Flush a Water Heater.

Call for free estimates from local pros now:
[telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

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