Sunday, December 22, 2013

Read the Instructions

I've found that even in the simplest things, it's best to read the instructions.
The Bible is an example.
There are others.
I just ordered a new high efficiency tankless water heater with a power vent.
I spent most of Saturday looking over the instructions to make sure I got it right.
It's a freezing rain outside, but it won't get better as the week goes on, so I decide to go for it.
I live in a ranch style home.
The PVC exhaust would best go straight up and through the roof.
It would come out right behind the chimney.
The instructions insist that the air inlet PVC also goes thorough the roof.
I believe it can take air from the attic, leaving only one roof penetration.
Finally, at 6pm I climb the ladder, in the rain, with a chainsaw, and the length of PVC (with the roof flange and weather cap on it) and the roof tar.
I had drilled a hole through the roof from underneath in the cramped attic.
I cut a square hole in the roof around the hole with the chainsaw.
That chain will need sharpening now.
I slid the PVC down through the hole into the attic and then through the ceiling hole and into the water heater.
I had already done all the plumbing and had run an extension cord to the water heater (I'll mount a box/outlet later)
I double checked all the instructions and with some trepidation, turned it on.
I cracked a hot water valve at the sink and slightly warm water came out.
The after a while, a series of beeps.
On the thermostat, a fault code of 90 showed.
90 is not on the fault code list.
I double checked everything, re-powered, and got a 99.
99 means blocked flue.
After that, I got a 99 every time I plugged it in, before the fan could even come on.
I removed the PVC from the heater to no avail.
Tech support would not be available til Sunday morning.
I took a bath with a pot of water off the stove and we went to bed.

I woke up today, called tech support and they told me that I had to rest the fault code and how to do it.
This was not covered in the instructions.
I then removed the PVC from the heater and turned it on again.
I got hot water.
I re-installed the intake PVC and still all was well.
I then replace the exhaust PVC and got a fault.
It must not like that weather guard I put on.
I went on the roof to replace it with a weather guard I had crudely fashioned from some tin and plastic.
As I removed the shiny weather guard and laid it on the roof, I noticed the wad of instruction paper inside of it.
Blocking the exhaust.

I thought I knew how it went on, but had I looked for instructions, and not installed it in the dark, I would have slept better.

Great hot water.
Scherie is happy.
Happy wife. happy life.


  1. Sorry Ed...but I can't stop laughing! Been there done that too...LOL

  2. I'm laughing now.
    Not so much before.

  3. I would comment but I dont know what to say

  4. So, you attribute your not seeing the instruction sheet stuffed in the pipe to darkness. I can do that in broad daylight given I'd not expect any instructions in such a place.

    And from what you've told, it seems you did everything else well without them, so were the instructions actually pertinent? For example: "Be sure to remove these instructions first." Or better: "Gotcha!" :)

    1. You have a firm grasp of the situation, Pasc.
      This happened once before with a water filter for our drinking tap. After six months the water tasted funny.
      When I went to change the cartridge, I found it full of instructiions and a bag og mounting screws.

  5. When things like that happen to me, I stop, reflect and wonder the reason.

    In the end, everything has a purpose and you're prepared to handle, deal with the error codes and completely secure in the knowledge you can unstop the vent in the future.

    It may never happen, but then again, this spring might find you on the roof removing the nest of a bird.

    1. You're right, Jess.
      I might retag this Rheem Tankless and see how my hits increase.

  6. It took me years and years, but I finally learned to read the instructions on everything.

  7. Yep, sometimes just FINDING the instructions are 'fun'... Glad it's sorted out now!

    1. Me too.
      Called the wife from work and she was giddy with having hot water.

  8. A Blessed Christmas to you, Ed.

    How greatly does 21st Century mankind need the Savior!