Water Heater

Performance Standard: HBR article 12-1   Click icon to view book   SOP REDACTED

Power-Vent water heater not working due to VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) in the air

PERFORMANCE GUIDELINE: Power vented water heaters manufactured after June 2006 are mandated by the government to be protected by a VOC sensor. When exposed to VOC, e.g. gasoline, oil paint, brush cleaning materials, vanishes, oil stains, to name a few, the tank will automatically shut down. The tank then must be serviced by a technician. The builder is not responsible for the service call or parts to fix this problem.

Warranty Period: NONE

Discussion/Helpful Hints:

The homeowner should be aware that working in the basement with different chemicals could cause this problem to occur. Refer to your hot water tank manual for trouble shooting.

Water heater(s) will perform as intended by the manufacturer.


Tank Heater – Expect temperatures to vary if water is used in more than one location in the home at the same time.

Tankless Heater – Expect a short burst of cool water before hot water begins to flow.

Homeowner Operation and Maintenance

Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s literature (get link(s)) for your specific model of water heater.

Drain (Tank Heater) – Review and follow manufacturer’s timetable and instructions for draining several gallons of water from the bottom of the water heater. This reduces the build-up of chemical deposits from the water, prolonging the life of the tank and saving energy dollars.

Noise (Tank Heater) – The water heater in your home does not have a pilot light.  Instead, it has an electronic starting mechanism with a power vent.  The noise from the power vent can sometimes be heard on the main floor of the house.  This is normal.

Safety (Tank Heater) – Vacuum the area around a gas-fired water heater to prevent dust from interfering with proper flame combustion. Avoid using the top of a heater as a storage shelf.

Temperature (Tank Heater) – The recommended thermostat setting for normal everyday use is “normal.” Higher settings can result in wasted energy dollars and increase the danger of injury from scalding. Hot water will take longer to arrive at sinks, tubs, and showers that are farther from the water heater.


Before calling for service, check to confirm that the:

  • Temperature setting is not on “vacation” or too low.
  • Water supply valve is open.

Refer to the manufacturer’s literature for specific locations of these items and possibly other troubleshooting tips.

Even if the trouble shooting tips do not identify a solution, the information you gather will be useful to the service provider you call.

BUILDER Limited Warranty Guidelines

The performance standard will be met.


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