Burner is starved for oxygen

by Tom Tucker
(Roeland Park KS)

I have a Rheem model 22dv40f natural gas hot water heater. The burner occasionally turns off because it starved for air. Where is the air inlet to the combustion chamber. The unit is completely sealed on the sides and bottom. Help! This is driving me crazy.

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Apr 09, 2013
Rheem 22dv40f combustion air supply
by: Mark T.

If I am not mistaken, your water heater 22dv40f is Rheem Fury Direct Vent which can be with the horizontal or vertical venting, right? I will assume yes.

Rheem direct vent water heater has the sealed combustion chamber and is using the outside air for combustion. The vent type is coaxial type or pipe inside the pipe, where the outside pipe is used to bring the outside air in and inner pipe for the exhaust. This is why the water heater must be installed next to the outside wall (because of the short max. vent length).

If the burner starves for the air as you said, you will see that the flame shape and color changes from light blue to yellow.

The solution for this problem is to check the vent system for blockage or clogged protective screen (if there is one) and find the reason for the improper draft and insufficient air supply. Also you should check if the terminal end is close to the other (furnace) vent terminal (this is not good). Remember proper draft is the key.

Keep it mind that it is dangerous (fire, carbon monoxide) to operate water heater if it is not properly vented and doesn't have enough air supply.

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