What is this water heater problem called??

Can somebody tell me what the “official” name of this defect is? What causes it?


Sorry. The picture is rotated.

Looks like a severe case of ‘flame roll-out’ to me. Try this for an explanation: http://www.fsti.com/rollout.htm

I think you are referring to the evidence of flashback or flame roll out caused by delayed light of the gas stream at the burner. Caused by pilot improperly adjusted or dirty pilopt orifivce or spark assembly misadjusted if electronic ignition which I don’t see in your picture.

Was the inner metal “door” in place or missing?

Flame rollout. Typically caused by insufficient combustion air or blocked exhaust venting.

Absent access panel, absent burner cover, rust, debris, flame roll out, and melted drain valve escutcheon. Looks like it’s time to replace and make certain access to proper combustion and draft air is upgraded along with the installation.


I type way too slow!

I looked at this photo 3 times,call me nuts but I think this guy used newspaper and matches to light this heater up.

Ashes,match sticks? I’m still thinking newspapers,mini fire caused the damage.

O.K. now call me nuts!!

Keen eye Mario!!! :smiley: I didnt even notice that and had to look again. Maybe the cause maybe not,… I’d still call it out as “indications of roll out, recommend a qualified contractor review further for determination, repair/ replacemnt options or cost for safety”

Becareful about making asumptions to your clients,… may bite you in the ARSE!

Look at the picture file in the first post again.:shock:
I just noticed the plastic on the drain valve is melted. I would suggest that this water heater not be used until its been checked by a qualified person. That plastic didn’t melt suddenly! There had to be flame outside the burner area for a fair amount on time to cause that. It’s lucky it didn’t burn the house down.

**What is this water heater problem called?? **

Time for a new heater

Hope the new model comes with an electronic igniter!!
Singeing your eyebrowes su$ck. ha. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :wink:

Matches are from lighting the pilot. Scorching is either from backdrafting (rerverse flow direction of combustion gases) or from pre-ignition (delayed ignition) although I don’t see how you could have pre-ignition in a water heater burn chamber with an open-flame pilot.
Backdrafting can be caused by poor drafting as result of poor vent termination location or by negitive air pressure inside the home cause by fans or doors and windows left open on a windy day.

I think the “official” term for this problem is TOAST!



No I’m sorry you are all wrong…

The official term is POS


Is that term anything like N.F.G.?

Gary, When I was in product compliance engineering that was the “official” term for client’s products that obviously were deficient of poorly designed.:smiley:

Mike, did you test the unit, if so what were your observations, although from the looks of things it probably should be shut down.

My feable attempt to get rid of canadian BS

I saw a situation like this in a rental property. The picture looked identical to the one attached. It turns out the owners decided to put noise proof insulation between the basement and upper level because of noise complaints. By doing this they sealed the basement so tight that it was causing a negative air pressure and kept blowing out the pilot light on the hot water tank. Nobody could figure it out and they even replaced the tank and it kept happening. It took a while but it got figured out and they had to bring in some exterior air into the basement so the pilot would stop going out.

If there wasn’t enough for the pilot how did the burners ever operate? Probably worked only after someone opened the door to walk in and see why there was no hot water.