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Weekly Common Technical Issue: My Outdoor Tankless Water Heater Has A Yellow Flame/Black Smoke


 My Outdoor Tankless Water Heater Has A Yellow Flame And/Or Black Smoke:

This week, we will be focusing on an issue that we see more of this time of year, when the weather is warmer and customers are enjoying more time spent outdoors,  where our outdoor liquid propane models-the L5, L7, and L10 sometimes have a yellow flame in the burner window, and/or black smoke coming out of the top of the heater. 

When your tankless water heater is ignited, normally, you will have a bright blue flame in the burner window when the heater is in use. If the flames appear to be orange or yellow in color in any way, this typically indicates that some type of debris has fallen into the burner, or debris has built up over time in your water heater, which will cause the flame color to lighten to a yellow, and can also cause black smoke when the heater is in use, due to the debris burning inside of the heater. Possible debris that we have seen cause this can range anywhere from pine needles, to insects, and even birds nests. 

To clean your heater and rid any possible debris that may be causing this problem, first, be sure your gas supply to the water heater is turned off-and also, be sure that your water heater has also had time to completely cool before attempting to remove the front cover and clean the interior.

Next, you'll want to remove the screws at the top and bottom of the heater's front cover, then slide the gas and water regulator knobs off (please be careful when removing the front cover on the L5, as there are electrical wires on the inside of the front cover that connect to the on/off switch.)

Then, remove any obvious debris that you see loose inside of your water heater. Once this is done, you will want to take pipe cleaners and swab out the interior of each of the gas ports in the burner window (where the 3 pins with white plastic "heads" are located). If possible, you can also blow them out once you have broken out anything that is inside of them. Once this is complete, reassemble the water heater and anything remaining debris should burn off quickly, in turn, resolving the yellow flame/smoke. Also, please note that our L5, L7, and L10 are portable-only tankless water heaters models, and therefore, should only be used outdoors, and stored indoors and out of the weather elements when not in use. 


                                         Cleaning the L5 model burner with a pipe cleaner.                           

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