One of the first signals of an improper gas combustion is the change in flame pattern its:
Check the main burner, burner flame and pilot light regularly, at least once every six months, followed by dust and debris cleaning of the burner and combustion chamber.
An adequate supply of combustion and ventilating air must be available without obstructions. If there is an insufficient amount of air, the products of combustion will re-circulate, which will contaminate the surrounding air causing possible health risks.
Soot is a black powdery or flaky substance consisting mainly of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter.” Sooting is caused by the water heater not burning properly. Have someone check the flame.
Know what the color of your flame is telling you!
Blue – Gas burners burn blue if the ratio of fuel to air is correct.
Orange – Orange flame is usually dust or dirt getting burned, keeping watching it for a while it should turn blue.
Yellow – No air is going to flame, and this needs an inspection immediately.
How to solve yellow or orange flames
- Remove the scale from the top of the gas burner.
- Ventilation can very well be the issue, give your water heater proper ventilation and sufficient air
- If the flue or vent system is blocked, make sure to find the cause, clean the pipes and remove the blockage.
- Proper supply of combustion air is required, especially if the water heater is installed in a closed or confined area.
- If the main burner is clogged, make sure to unclog it or replace it.
- The excessive heat will build up inside the chamber so the thermal switch will trip, shutting down the whole water heater. Yellow burner flame is the number-one reason for the excessive smoking and soot build up in the combustion chamber, flue tubes, and the gas burner.
These scenarios simulate what affects the normal operation of the water heater and left unattended with only damage the water heater and cause it to breakdown even further.
Prevention of Yellow or Orange Flames
Most of the today’s gas water heaters are equipped with the FVIR or Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant technology and unique flame arrestor, which prevents the flame and burning vapors to escape the combustion chamber and put you and your family in danger of fire and explosion. Those water heaters that are subjected to this problem will show discoloration on the flame arrestor, which will require the unit replacement.
Some gas water heaters are equipped with the air shutter, which allows you to adjust the air-gas mixture for proper burning. Too much air will cause the burner flame to lift off the burner ports and burn with the noise. On the other side, little air will cause sooting. The manually adjustable air shutter is usually found on cast iron burners while the steel burners have self-adjusting air mixture.
Yellow or orange flames are an indication that a problem has occurred. If the flame is orange but goes back to full blue than your issue is minor. If your flame is more yellow than blue, than you need to call for help as this can be dangerous.