How to Repair a Rheem Water Heater
Repairing your own Rheem gas water heater requires some do-it-yourself skill. Just following
the manual does not always cut it. Whether you are replacing Rheem water heater thermostat, Rheem heater gas
control valve, or simple cleaning your Rheem water heater burner assembly; here are a few tips may prove
helpful. These are tips from the field, you should always follow the manufactures instructions when working on
or installing a new gas appliance.
How to Replace the Thermocouple on a Rheem
Gas Water Heater
1. Turn the gas control knob
on top of the gas control valve to its off position. For safety, turn off the gas supply valve feeding the water
2. Remove the outer burner
chamber door. Disconnect the pilot tube, main burner tube and thermocouple from the Rheem gas control valve with a
small adjustable wrench. Remove the inner burner chamber door.
3. Install a new Rheem
thermocouple through the inner door and into position nest to the pilot orifice.
4. Install a new seal on the
inner door and reinstall.
5. Reconnect the pilot and
main burner tube to the Rheem heater gas valve, and then the thermocouple. Turn the gas supply back on to the
control. Light the pilot and turn the gas control knob on. Check the tube connections with a liquid leak detector.
If leaks detected, immediately turn the gas supply off and reseal all connections to the Rheem gas control
Cleaning the Burner on a Rheem Gas Water
1. Turn off the main gas
supply to the waterheater thermostat control.
Set the gas control knob to ‘Off’. Rotate the temperature dial to
2. Disconnect the burner,
pilot and thermocouple from the control valve.
3. Remove the front cover and
inner burner cover.
4. Pull the burn assembly
straight out of the water heater.
5. Vacuum the inner burner
chamber inside the water heater with a shop-vac.
6. Turn the burner assembly
upside down over a waist receptacle and shack it back and forth to remove any buildup. Vacuum the burner to remove
smaller partials of debris.
7. Replace the Rheem water
heater thermocouple while you have the burner assembly out.
8. Install a new Rheem
combustion chamber seal, and then reinstall the burner assembly and inner door.
9. Reconnect the burner, pilot
and thermocouple to the gas valve.
10. Follow the Rheem water
heater lighting instruction.
How to Install a New Rheem Water Heater
1. Close the main gas supply
2. Drain all the water from
inside the water heater tank. Connect a garden hose to the drain valve. Run the open end of the hose to a floor
drain. Open the drain valve and let the water run under pressure it flow freely. Caution- the water may still be very hot.
3. Disconnect the gas, pilot
and thermocouple from the thermostat. Shut off the main water supply to the Rheem heater. Open the (T&PR)
Temperature and pressure relief valve to allow the water to drain. If you do not open the relief valve, the tanks
will air lock and not drain.
4. Unscrew the Rheem
thermostat with a large pipe wrench. Turn the gas control valve counterclockwise to
5. Wrap the male threads of
the new Rheem thermostat with several rounds of thread tape.
6. Screw the new gas valve
into the tank and secure it with your pipe wrench. Line up the new control with burner
7. Reconnect the gas burner tube,
pilot supply tube and thermocouple to the new Rheem gas control thermostat.
8. Close the T&PR valve
and drain valve. Disconnect the drain hose from the water heater.
9. Turn the main water supply
back on. Open the hot water faucet in the bathtub to allow all the air to escape from the filling water heater.
When water-not air- is flowing freely from the hot water faucet in the bathtub, close the tub faucet.
10. Open the waters gas valve and light
the water heater according to the manufactures instruction label.