Rheem Water Heater Will Not Light

Hello everyone and welcome in this video
will be covering how to repair the water heater that’s not able to light it
can produce a hot water. I’ve done a video similar to this but it was a different water
heater it was a Bradford White and this one here is a rain water heater although
they both operate in a similar manner They do have some components that are different. And this particular one here this Rheem it will throw you for a loop if you’re not familiar with it at
first I wasn’t going to put this video out because I felt there was quite a few water heater repairs out there on water heaters not re-lighting but one of my
colleagues ran into a problem and he had the same water heater and he called me and he
said hey man I’ve done everything I could to get this water heater to work I replace the pilot assembly the gas control valve nothing that moment I asked I say hey what kind of water heater you working with and he told me it’s a Rheem and right away I knew the problem and I
asked and do he see a glass tubing in the combustion chamber, he said no I didn’t see that, I said well you may not have
most likely it burst a you’ll probably see glass fragments on the bottom of it. Anyways he was surprised to the of fact that so I did go over there to give him a hand, and so happen the supply house gave him the parts that he needed but he didn’t realize that the little glass tubing that held a little oil in it was the problem and when that little glass tube pops it holds the device in place. Once it’s popped it releases that device and device shuts down the water heater that’s only when the water heater is overheated and the burner is starting to burn out but anyway this is what we are going to do first if all we going to remove the cover for the pilot assembly and the burner I was talking at the beginning and probably didn’t notice the Star Wrench that I’m using and it was a T20 I was using the size that’s required to remove the screws with
Rheem water heater the others use the small little nut drivers They do make these Star Wrenchs where they do have a handle just like the screw driver and its a lot easier to work with but this is pretty handy and I keep all different sizes with this little set up that I have here and one of the first things we want to do once we remove our burner is kind of exam the insides of the combustion chambers we want to make sure that the combustion chamber is clear of debris and dust because if you have quite a bit of dust accumulated it will cause problems and keep your water heater from lighting because it will remove the oxygen from the air it will kind of smother it And of course if you have any flame it will need oxygen So you want to keep as much oxygen flowing into the combustion area as we possibly can and in this case the oxygen is coming from up under the bottom of the water heater you can’t see it but it is and this water heater here is in the attic. I know a of you people out there are not familiar with water heaters being in the attic unless you do live down south where the temperatures are warm there are issues with water heaters being in the attic The idea of having them up there is pretty good because of the energy it saves but at the same if your attic is not vented properly you will have issues because you will have insufficient air getting into
chambers and this will choke out like I was saying the insufficient air in the attic will cause the flames up underneath to choke out and what I’m doing here is just kind of taking a little pin and there are some little holes I’m trying to poke the holes where some of the oil from the little crystals that popped in there I’m trying to clear it up and free some of the holes there and below there will be a description or URL to a website explaining issues with water heaters in the attic I recommend you probably check that out if you have a water heater in the attic you’ll have a clearer understanding of water heaters in the attic Right there this little device I’m taking out that I’m moving around This is the device that holds the small kind of glass crystal that holds the safety device in place Again once that device glass is broken from being overheated it will shut the water heater down immediately it’s probably one of the best safety device I’ve seen because it works so quick but it does throw allot of the plumbers off because we are use to allot of the standard one’s Where the safety device’s are built in on the sides or in the gas control valve itself That little switch back there you can see me pushing down on it and what I’m doing is putting the safety device back in place and I’m going to have to squeeze down on that rod back there and spin it around to where it will lock in place and now the device will be set and ready for the water heater to operate and it is kind of tricky especially when your working in the attic and sometimes you don’t have allot of space people have allot of stuff around and I’m right handed if I was left handed it would be a little easier now and I am trying to position this flashlight in the best position so that I can give you the best view that I can give you of the spot where this safety device goes This is the safety device with the glass tubing look like a little fuse There is a closer look. Here is a picture of it That glass tube holds a little oil I’m not sure of what the substance is You can see on the previous one where you see it is not the same as the one I’m working on now but you can see the shard glass that was laying all across the deck Ok now we have it in place Once its in place this is a close up view this is a picture that I got off the internet and now it’s time to put the burner assembly the pilot assembly, everything back that goes into the combustion chamber This right here I love this. One of the great idea’s that Rheem came up with With the gasket seal to install back in place let me show you more of a closer look, where you can see the small little magnets see the little magnets right there So once you flip that over and flip it in place, those magnets will hold it right in place and you don’t really worry about it moving around on you I thought that was really cleaver see it holds it right in place If you done a water heaters before you know that some times putting this plate back in place can be a little difficult but they made this pretty easy with the magnetic gasket It makes it allot easier it holds it in place so you don’t have to fight trying to hold the gasket in place and screw the plate down by the way the camera I was using ran out of memory so now I’m recording the rest of this with my phone So I apologize if the quality is not there And right here is where we’re connecting the ignitor and this fat tube right here is the thermal coupling (copper tube) that goes into the combustion chamber and the thermal coupling the way it works is once you get the small pilot part lit The burner it burns against the thermal coupling and after a minute are so that small thermal coupling starts to generate a small amount of electricity And that small current operates that gas control valve And this bigger tubing here is for the main gas line where the main burner and the flames are coming out at And this tube is the last tube to go in, this is the tube that goes to the pilot light itself Its just a some amount of gas that goes here to keep the pilot lit Now we are turning the gas to the water heater on right here And this is the pilot button that we are going to hold down and we are going to hit the ignited switch on the right hand side Right now I’m holding it down to get some of the air out of the line and get some gas down into the chamber As long as there air in the area it’s going to be very difficult to light so we’re going to get the air out of here Now there is going to be a few times where I’m going to cut the light off in the attic, using the flashlight That’s only so that you can see the pilot, the igniter it makes it a little easier to light the water heater. At least to me it does Because you can see when it’s lit And I’m hitting the igniter. There is the spark And now we need to give it a little gas now that you have seen the igniter ignite Now you can see the pilot is lit and if you look real close you can see it’s burning up against the thermal coupling And I held this down long enough and it should be ready to turn on the main burners and start heating the water heater up And once that gets to going we’re looking about at 30-45 minutes for the water to heat up and be ready used I hope you enjoyed the video and I hope it was very helpful and if you have a Bradford White water heater I have a video on that also Again, same operations different components. Thank you for watching

Bernard Jenkins


  1. I must have missed it, what does that safety device(tube shaped near the burner do). Is that for high temp., and how does it work? Thanks.

  2. question is there a safety device is it a government issue or can you buy at any local store
    or is it ordered by manufacturer

  3. is it professional to need to install the sensor or can you do it yourself what do you recommend

  4. thank you very much for the recommendation and your video it's very detail and I would never guess that that's what was happening and thank you for your honesty thank you for posting the video

  5. Some models have recalls on them – and free repairs by Rheem techs. The problem is waiting. I don't think anyone wants a cold shower!

  6. I have a new vial on the way, I'm quite confident in replacing it, but is "checking my gas pressure" within the scope of DIY, or do I need a pro. 
    I'm sceptacle at this point, my last licensed install didn't install to code, and the guy who came out today was telling me that if the safety vial breaks, you need a new water heater. 🙁

  7. got as far to light the pilot and stuck…should the yellow button depress downward? mine dont seem to move much.. can see the spatk but wont light

  8. hello, i did know about the safe sensor in the back , my had a bad thermocoupler but after 4 day of the replacement whens off again.any input what else could be causing it. I just check the image i took in the inside of the chamber and the sensor glass still good. model 42v40f 2005.

  9. Thank you for the video! It was a breath of fresh air. I discovered mine out upon return from a trip. Now I REALLY see what's going on and what to do about it.

  10. can i convert a liquid propane rheem platinum model xp50t2dm36uo to natural gas thanks for your help excellent video

  11. Sorry This is a Rheem water heater video. I got it from a Rheem manufacture over the phone and if your still under warranty they will send you the part free. I don't know of any one that carries them in the supply house. You can buy Rheem water heater at The Home Depot, but not parts.

  12. I guess I missed it but what is this part called or do you have a part number for it? I called a local plumber to come look at mine and he said it might a few different parts but the main one he said was going to cost around $309-400 to fix so after seeing this thought I'd try it first and if it didn't work I'll replace the whole thing

  13. How tough are those glass ampules, for lack of a better word? Have you ever had one break while trying to install it? Thanks for the videos.

  14. Hi I have a Rheem  water heater located in garage and it will not stay lit……………went to lowes the guy said it could be the thermocouple but your video saying something abt a glass tubing….So what should I do…….P.S. question if it not lit should I turn the red knob off……

  15. is there just a kit for just the wires? or do i need to replace the entire burner??

  16. Landlord had a new Rheem installed about a year and a half ago. This morning woke up to no hot water. Tried to relight several times this morning but nothing. Obviously my little glass safety tube has given up the ghost. Waiting for Mr. repairman now. I know now if he can't figure it out what I need to tell him to look for. Thanks!

  17. I have a Rheem Model XG50SO6VP36CO that won't light up the "glower" (they don't have "igniters", but "glowers"); won't turn on the power vent, neither heat the water. Is this a crock of BS, or true? I do understand the principle of a "glower" very well: if this is true, a low voltage, high current thermo-couple generates enough heat to "glow" a metal exposed to gas, opens up a solenoid controlled valve for the gas to enter, and – at the same time – turns on the power vent; that ignites the combustible mixture. No secret in that. But I need to know what is the truth: igniter or glower? Can you, please explain its "sequence" of events, until water reaches its desired Temp? Begin with LOW TEMP condition and go on from there, if you can, and I will certainly be appreciative of your experience. Thanks.

  18. Your video saved my butt, seeing that the igniter was working I just had to bleed the line a little longer , I live a long way from town and it's all on me , me and my family are happy again good video thank you
    Wink !

  19. Repaired my Rheem 40 gal. gas w/h.The thermocouple needed replacing.I ran into a problem removing the main line from controls to burner.The problem was a reverse thread.By the time I figured it out of course the head is messed up.My son suggested try reverse I thought no way,why?Sure enough.The other lines,pilot supply and thermocouple were correct.Why would they do that?Have you ever ran into this?

  20. Hi – I am trying to replace the thermocouple on an old gas water heater. I am having difficulty removing the burner assembly from the thermostat/gas valve fixture on the outside of the tank. I can't get the bolt on the pilot tube loose. The bolt seems to be a soft metal and now has a bunch of nicks, etc. from me trying to remove it. Questions: 1) Can this be a "left-handed thred screw" situation where you must turn the bolt CLOCKWISE to LOOSEN? 2) Should I be using a FLAT adjustable wrench instead of toothed adjustable wrench? 3) Is there anything that the pros use that would help "grab" the nut better and leave fewer nicks – something like a kitchen jar gripper comes to mind. Thanks so much for any help you can provide!!!

  21. What do you do without breaking anything if the burner doesnt just pull out after removing screws?

  22. Is this "glass safety device" also on Rheem heaters with the Honeywell GCV that has the blue status light?
    My brand new Rheem ran one night then failed. The status light on the GCV no longer comes on so we suspect the GCV is the problem. The heat was set really high though when it failed..

  23. Thank you for posting this video, it definitely helped to see the process first. I have a question about that orange grommet where the burner, ignition, and thermocouple lines run through from the combustion chamber cover. How critical is it? I'd say you want a tight seal, but I had to slice a bit to remove the dead thermocouple and it ended up cracking just a tad while inserting the new thermocouple. While inserting the grommet back into the chamber cover I noticed it was frayed just a little and it sits a little crooked in the hole. To be honest it wasn't firmly seated to begin with but in either case no noticable gaps. Any need to worry?

  24. So the part that was missed is to get the parts for free under warranty call the number on the side of the tank rheem will send it for free you can do it yourself or hire a installer .

  25. my pilot went out. same blue covered valve as in video. Blue nob will not turn to pilot

  26. Hi thanks for the vid 1st of all. I got it running but now it has somewhat of a yellow flame and they almost dance in there. Any ideas?

  27. I have a ruud water heater and this past sunday it went down.Gas Valve led flash 3 times means bad Pressure switch or blower Assembly.Well my water heater is still under warranty and then next 2 days they send a technician out.He called Ruud the company and he troubleshoot with him over the phone and Ruud will send me a new a blower assembly out.Well blower assembly came today and technician came back and installed it and now there another problem.Now it shows Eight-Four Flash,
    three second pause on the Gas valve led..Which it means the Gas Valve fault detected.Now Ruud now going to send my a Gas Valve this Saturday.I dont get it it was fine and now that he installed the blower the gas valve is bad now..Maybe you have advice

  28. My basement flooded with only 2-3 inches of water. After removing all of the water out of my basement, I cant seem to get my Rheem to ignite again. The control has a LED that blinks 7 times, stops for 2 seconds and starts blinking 7 times again. The water never touched the controller. Ive tried turning the power off. Maybe theres water inside? 🤔

  29. This is exactly the same problem (not light) I see and once the blue light flashes, turn the knob from pilot to burning. It works. Thanks for the video.


  31. Thank you so much, this just saved us a weekend service call. You rock😀.

  32. Thank you for this very informative video. I was not familiar with the attic install issues. As a home owner, I opted to remove my thermal release device prior to installing my new water heater to ensure long operating life. In our current era of "everyone needs a helmet to walk outdoors," removal of any safety device is shocking and frightening, however, the flammable vapor ignition resistant mechanisms (FVIR) were introduced (mandated) in 2013 as a result of politicians reacting to a handful of horrible events where children were severely burned by the accidental ignition of gasoline vapors. To prevent such accidental ignition, we must simply avoid storing gasoline/flammables near any sources of ignition. Keep your gas can away from your water heater and furnace. If water heaters maintain plenty of fresh combustion air, they will burn nice and blue as designed. The challenge is that most, if not all, water heaters are subject to clogging of the flame arrestor which, all too soon, becomes much like a clothes dryer lint trap. Thanks again for the great video!

  33. So I have a 8 year old Rheem Fury 50gal. Thermal Couple went out. I replaced it. After a few day, that one went out. I replaced. Then I would have to manually ignite the the pilot and in turn the burner each time as if the thermal couple was bad. I replaced about 6 of them. Now, I can get the pilot lit, but the second I let up on that red button, no more pilot. That has been the case with the last thermal couples. Found your video and figured that glass safety bulb must have popped; nope. Al intact. Thoughts?

  34. Our Rheem water heater stopped working after a year and a half, we called Rheem and they will not honor the warranty unless you pay a certified technician to diagnose it and request the part so we called Hone Depot where we bought it and they want $189 to send that technician out. Then we have to pay again for installation of whatever part it is. Ridiculous! That could easily cost more than replacing the entire heater! Luckily a family friend helped us and replaced all the parts, for $45, but even after this it wouldn't stay lit! Searching for why we found your video. BEST. THING. EVER!!!!! EVEN THE PLUMBERS didnt know about this!!! Thank you so much!!!

  35. I’m having the same issue but the glass tube is still intact. Same model, pilot lights, burner doesnt. Only like 2 years old. Any thoughts on what else to check to keep the burner from lighting? Thanks

  36. My rheem lights but goes right back out so I am thinking it is that fuse thingy, when can I get one? you are the best. -PawPaw

  37. Rheem hot water heater almost burned my house down, total piece of crap, no hot water and my house smells like plastic. Don't buy Rheem, don't buy plastic crap.

  38. Thanks for the video, great information. Is there a difference between gas and propane when repairing? Any safety issues we should be aware of?

  39. Hi. We have a Rheem water heater (model number PROG50-36U RH62) and we our pilot light doesn't stay lit. Rheem sent us a new pilot assembly. We had a hard time "unscrewing" the thermocouple from the thermostat. As we were finishing installing the pilot we noticed that we can't "screw" in the thermocouple wire to the thermostat. When we looked at the connecting area, there aren't any thread marks on the thermostat. It's like the wire is held up by a nut that won't fit anymore. We are in desperate need of help. It seems like this is the only obstacle standing in our way. Please help if you have any advice. Thanks in advance.

  40. I recently replaced my thermocoupling. In the process, the little orange circular gasket that holds the thermocoupling and igniter cord etc deteriorated. Is there a way to replace it? I'm not sure what it's called or how to find the part.

  41. Thank you for taking the time to educate us. I have the same water heater control/t-stat. The pilot went out on mine. The control knob stops in either direction ccw or cc before I can get to the off or pilot switch position to re-light. Tech support said to push down on the control/thermostat knob to set it to the Off or Pilot switch position to re-light, but it won't push down. I'm wondering if the control/t-stat is shot? Any pointers would be appreciated. Thank you

  42. I took mine apart and the safety mechanism is intact still. But it won’t stay lit. Pilot works just won’t stay lit. Any suggestions?

  43. Thank you so much … I was able to help my mother with her boiler with your video and save a lot of money too

  44. Thank you, I followed your instructions and saw my FVIR (safety glass) broken. All I need to do now is buy a new and install. Again thank you

  45. Hello. Great video. I have a ge and it's set up the same way. I had a pin hole in the water connection hose. So the pilot went out. Is that safety popped because of it was it wont ignite? Also it says I need to replace the gasket if I open it up. Is that true?

  46. Total GARBAGE, with their thermocouples failing within 2 years. This has been going on since 2009 with Rheem and GE Low Nox water heaters.

  47. Where and how much can I purchase a FVIR for my rheem. I believe that's the problem because my pilot light glass has a white haze on it, making it hard to see threw so my thought is that the FVIR has exploded due to the water being turned up too high. Any vendor suggestions or help.

  48. I just to say thanks for this video. Our water heater went out and we had a hard time getting it started. We watched your video and it help and we got the water heater up and running! So thanks again

  49. The water heater does not sucking air from the bottom it sucks air from the sides

  50. Jonathan that your hot burner igniter but do yourself a favor make sure the clear hose is not clogged up and is connected

  51. It's a t20 can and you can put it on a drill I live in California with the ultra low nox they're a pain in the ass you have to have a 9 mm and a 10 mm socket and a t20 on a socket

  52. My Rheem water heater is not working we had a huge rain storm ever since that day my water heater was not working today I notice water was coming into the exhaust and getting inside wet

  53. Broooo!! thank you very much I fix the water heater following you you instructions step by step put everything back in it works thank you

  54. Is it normal for those rheem water heaters to have an orange flame when its heating water

  55. Great video, after looking online for possible solutions, to normal water heaters and reset devices.. I only found out about the glass vile after calling in the water heating company and they told me what to look for according to the symptoms.. found out it was this glass vile that broke and turned off system. after 2 days waiting and cold showers,, felt great to take cold showers in the middle of our Texas heat wave,, 95 degrees plus.. imagine if it was winter,, birdy baths,, LOL… but to end this,, followed your video,, got her done and now we have water again,, great video… if yall even want to do some Amazon Fishing,, check our site out.. no water heaters needed in the Amazon, nice warm water right out of the rivers and springs there,,,, Heck,, if this post gets a group together, ill take this great teacher fishing FREE to Brazil… So if you guys found out through his help,, let us know so he gets his credit and we can all go fishing with our teacher.. God Bless yall,,, good luck, www.amazonxtremefishing.com

  56. You saved me alot of headaches! And money! Streight to the problem! Thankyou!

  57. Thanks a million for posting this video! I was uncertain if my tank had that FVIR safety switch. To find out that all tanks after 2003 have some sort of FVIR sensor. My Rheem tank DID have the sensor and it WAS broken. Since Rheem is now sold at Home Depot and box stores, most of our plumbing houses have dropped their product line and parts line. The ONE local distributor in the Cleveland area told me that you cannot find the FVIR switches at any dealers, it must be ordered directly from Rheem. (They want to know what happened to the heater and why it broke). I could not wait 3 to 5 days for a part to arrive …. I was able to find the part on Amazon (Same day delivery) also as a back up, I found one on Ebay which was being sold by a local Ebay seller. Because of your video I was able to put everything back together. The tank is up and running! Thanks again!

  58. Thank you for the video — really helpful in understanding the Rheem set-up. But what caused the tank to overheat in the first place? What will prevent it from just overheating again after you replace the FVIR? Do they just wear out after so many years of use (my tank was installed in 2007)? I don't want to replace it, and then have it overheat again as soon as I get it running. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *