A.O. Smith Appliances
A.O. Smith Appliances

A.O. Smith Appliance Troubleshooting

A. O. Smith is proud to be known as one of the world's leading providers of water heating and water treatment solutions. As a leader, they refuse to sit quietly. Each and every day at A. O. Smith, they are working on developing state of the art solutions that are pushing new boundaries and paving the way in our industry.

Water Heater Troubleshooting

Combustion odor and sooting 
- If you find smoking and carbon deposits and smell the burning gas inside your home or room where the gas water heater is installed, make sure that there is no obstruction in the vents, flue baffle, and a gas burner. The venting path should be clean of any dirt, dust, and deposits. Preventive inspection and regular maintenance can reduce the risk. 
- Insufficient fresh air supply, which can happen in the confined spaces, is another major cause of the sooting and combustion odor. Properly sized openings on the outside wall for the fresh air intake is one of the solutions. The manufacturer usually recommends the size of the openings, and how much air is needed for the proper combustion. 
- Your gas unit might be receiving excessive gas pressure. 
- Tighten the main burner or gas connection if loose. 
- Replace the orifice if the unit is using an incorrect size. 

No hot water or the burner does not ignite 
- The main burner won't ignite because of the pilot light problems - this problem will be described below. 
- If the main gas burner line is clogged, there is dirt in the gas line, or pilot line, make sure to clean it all. 
- Check if the thermostat is working and replace it if not. If it is malfunctioning, the whole gas control valve should be replaced. 
- Inspect the thermocouple and replace it if it is broken or does not work correctly. Also, make sure that it is positioned properly, and the tip is not dirty. 
- For gas water heaters installed in the confined areas, make sure to provide a proper venting with sufficient air supply. 
- Bleed the air from the gas line. 

Pilot light assembly problems 
- Check if the igniter is working correctly and generates sparks. 
- Problems with the thermocouple. If the thermocouple is broken, replace it. If it is misaligned, position it correctly. Tighten the loose connections. 
- Is the venting correct? Lack of the fresh air will cause the pilot light outage. 
- Check if the flame arrestor and filter are clean and free of lint, dust, and dirt. 
- Replace the thermostat if it is broken or ECO switch is open. 

Insufficient hot water and slow recovery 
- Clean the tank from the sediment and lime build-up as the deposits reduce the gas hot water heater's efficiency. Use the draining and flushing guide to help you with the problem. 
- Insulate the long pipes if they are exposed to cold weather. If it is needed, install the insulation blanket. 
- Check the flue vents for the blockage and insufficient air supply. Clean the vents and flue baffle if needed. 
- Check the thermostat and if it is calibrated improperly, replace it. 

Problems with the burner flame 
- If the burner flame floats, lifts off the ports or is too large, you might have an incorrectly installed burner orifice (too large) or the vent system is blocked. 
- For the lazy yellow flame, clean the dirt from the burner gas supply line, clean the orifice, vent system and provide sufficient fresh air to the water heater. 

Gas water heater using too much gas  
Check if there is a gas leak. Mix the soap and water in a spray bottle. Spray it on the gas connections (you can also apply the mixture with the sponge or paintbrush). It is easy to recognize if there is a leak because bubbles will form. Use the pipe wrench to tighten the fittings. The temperature setting could be set too high, but it is not heating water as expected, because the sediment build-up will act as an insulation between the gas burner and water, and will reduce the heat transfer.

A.O. Smith Appliance Troubleshooting

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Product Reviews:

After 5 years of great service our water heater started acting up. The plum
After 5 years of great service our water heater started acting up. The plumber says 15 days until they can come out to fix, A. O. Smith stood behind the warranty and sent the much needed parts next day. I mean the very next day at no cost not even for shipping. I've never dealt with a warranty issue this easily. Simple install, Great company, great customer service. I look forward to many more years using their products.
Published: November 1, 2019
S. of Anza, CA
Source: consumeraffairs.com

I bought a lifetime warranty water heater 19 years ago. It sprung a leak an
I bought a lifetime warranty water heater 19 years ago. It sprung a leak and A.O. Smith gave me a brand new water heater at no cost. I called A.O Smith and they gave me a return authorization number. I took that and the old water heater back to Lowe's. Lowe's gave me a store credit for a water heater comparable to the one I bought in 2000. I paid $269 back in 2000 and Lowe's gave me a store credit for $500. I added another $200 and bought an A.O. Smith heat pump water heater. They do not offer lifetime warranties anymore but hopefully my new one will last another 19 years. My new one has a 10 year warranty.
Published: September 24, 2019
Scott of New Freedom, PA
Source: consumeraffairs.com

Installed an A.O. Smith water heater about a year ago for a customer. The u
Installed an A.O. Smith water heater about a year ago for a customer. The unit failed at the dielectric fitting. After speaking to their customer service they issued a full exchange at Lowe's. I was expecting a hassle at Lowe's and it was painless. Great customer service all the way around. Thanks.
Published: January 16, 2019
Bruce of Sarasota, FL
Source: consumeraffairs.com

If you look at Consumer Reports, EVERY SINGLE WATER HEATER regardless of co
If you look at Consumer Reports, EVERY SINGLE WATER HEATER regardless of company or brand is junk and easily breaks. So how you do buy a water heater? Do without a water heater? Boil water instead? Also consider many THOUSANDS of these are sold without problem, so occasionally there is a bad apple. Luck of the draw. I just got a AO Smith but I had one before that lasted for years. I just converted to gas so who knows. Yes I'm nervous... but Rheem also had its share of complaints so it's all luck of the draw. I won't be getting tankless -- the more parts and components, the more can break. I do agree you should get one with the longest warranty possible.
Published: February 25, 2018
Luke of Winter Haven, FL
Source: consumeraffairs.com

Hello. I have a A. O. Smith 50 Gal Gas Water Heater. I personally installed
Hello. I have a A. O. Smith 50 Gal Gas Water Heater. I personally installed it in 1990. The only thing that I had to do is replace the thermocouple once. It has never leaked or had any other problems. This is probably unheard of but true. 27 years and still no problems. I am going to replace it soon only because of its age. True story. I don't know if the new A.O. Smith Water Heaters are as good as the one I have, but I will buy another of the same.
Published: December 14, 2017
Dennis of Michigan City, IN
Source: consumeraffairs.com

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