This video shows how to troubleshoot and clean the flame sensor in your water heater. You have any doubts then you should call your local professional to show you how to fix your water heater. The purpose of this video is to show you how I cleaned my flame sensor to get my water heater working again.

Warning: Read your owners manual. It probably says: servicing
should only be performed by a Qualified Service Agent.

If you choose to do this on your own, injury or death can occur.

If you water heater fails to heat water it might be simply a dirty flame sensor. On my water heater, I was able to easily access the flame sensor, remove it, sand it clean with sand paper or steel wool, and reinstall it and that resolved the problem. IT IS BEST TO USE STEEL WOOL if you have it.

Symptoms: Your water heater might make several attempts to ignite and a flame lights up but then the system shuts the gas off and then makes another attempt. A dirty flame sensor makes the water heater think there is no flame and so it shuts the gas off and vents it out. After several attempts you will see an error indication and eventually your water will be cold.

If you reset the power and try it again (read your owners manual first) and you observe your water heater light the flame and shut down several times, then it is either a vacuum (vent) problem or it is a flame sensor.

Watch as I Inspect the Flame Sensor and its ceramic insulator for cracks and wear. I would Replace the Flame Sensor if it shows any sign of damage or excessive wear. Ensure the Flame Sensor is not touching the Burner surface, the gap should be approximately 1/2 inch.

Several websites, and my service professional both indicated that the flame sensor is the cause of failure of water heaters in almost every case.

IF you do decide to remove and clean your sensor (which I do not recommend until you have a professional show you how) then make triple sure that the water heater has cooled down in the burner area, and that you completely remove power by unplugging or shutting off circuit breakers….AND shut off the gas valve.

Disclaimer: I am only showing you how I was able to clean my flame sensor AFTER a professional showed me how. If you choose to try it yourself without having a professional show you how to safely remove and clean the flame sensor then you are responsible for the outcome of your actions and I am in no way liable.

This water heater is a power vent type…which means it has a vent fan that sucks the exhaust gasses out and makes a lot of noise. You might still have a standard draft type of water heater. Always refer to your owners manual.
You can still write comments if you find that this helped you understand your water heater better, and by all means, you can subscribe to learn about other home tasks.