PVI-Water Heaters and the Power VTX

Ron Bohnak
March 27, 2021
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You have made a large investment in your new equipment purchase. So now that your new equipment is installed and up and running – sit back, relax, and enjoy the benefits of a high efficiency, clean-burning, dependable, and reliable water heater which can supply you with hot water for many years to come.

High volume highly efficient PVI-Water Heaters contain a stainless-steel heat exchanger referred to as the Aquaplex heat exchanger and they are highly resistant to corrosion and scale buildup.

Components Critical To The Proper Operation of PVI-Water Heaters

  • Fiber Mesh Burner
  • Hot Surface Ignitor / Flame Sensor
  • PWM Blower Motor with Air Proving Switch
  • Gas Valve with Hi & Lo Gas Pressure Switches
  • Upper Tank Sensor & Hi Limit Sensor
  • Lower Tank sensor
  • Circulating Pump
  • EOC-Electronic Operating Control
  • PIM- Platform Ignition Module-Fenwal

So just like a new car, your new equipment will require maintenance, cleaning, and/or service. After all, you paid a lot of money for the equipment and installation and you want to protect your investment. If you purchase a new car and never change the oil, air filter, brakes, tires or perform any of the other factory-recommended maintenance there is a good possibility that something will fail, and possibly cause additional failures of other components and possibly completely breakdown.

If you are not doing the factory-recommended maintenance on your PVI-Water heaters, it may also void your warranty leaving you to pay for costly repairs. So, let us look at how to help avoid nuisance problems, expensive repairs, possible warranty disputes.

Recommended Maintenance for Water Heater Efficiency

Below, I have listed some recommendations to help keep you “In Hot Water”. Remember as with anything else mechanical this does not mean that a component will not fail at some point. But it does help keep that to a minimum and helps keep your water heater running at peak efficiency. Below is a list of recommended items to test, check, clean and inspect along with how often. However, always refer to the manufacturer’s I/O manual for specifics.

  1. Check circulating pump for operation. This can be done several ways. Visually check that pump is running, use an amp clamp to read amperage. Use the EOC to put pump in manual/hand operation. Pump is designed to stratify tank water and keep tank temperature even between top and bottom of tank. Monthly
  2. Inspect, clean, and flush condensate drain trap and condensate neutralizer. Remove trap and/or open neutralizer. 3-6 Months
  3. Test pressure relief valve. Trip lever on relief valve. Remember this is a pressure vessel and the inspector will test yearly. 3-6 Months
  4. Check and test LWCO. Push test button to verify and then push reset button. 3-6 Months
  5. Hot Surface Ignitor / Flame Sensor. 15sec glow period, 4sec trial for ignition. A resistance test can be done. Unplug ignitor and test across ignitor terminal in parallel. Resistance should measure between 40-100 ohms at 70F. An amperage test should also be performed. During glow period amp clamp using either ignitor lead to verify amperage measures between 3.5-5.0 amps. Below 3.5 amps recommend replacing ignitor. Because the hot surface ignitor is used as a flame sensor also, I recommend checking flame signal strength. This can be done by reading the EOC control and verified by measuring terminals FC+ and FC- terminals on the PIM-Fenwal Ignition Control using a digital voltmeter set to DC voltage or with a microamp meter. Readings below 2 microamps may require replacement of the hot surface ignitor. 6 Months
  6. Fiber mesh burner. Remove, inspect, and clean with compressed air. Replace burner gaskets. 12 Months
  7. Heat Exchanger. Inspect for dirt, debris, soot, obstructions flush as necessary. Recommend anytime the burner is removed.
  8. Gas pressure and combustion testing. Recommend checking gas pressure, gas pressure switches. Should be between 3.5’-14.0” w.c. Perform combustion test for hi / lo fire. Verify CO2 is between 8.8%-9.4% and CO levels are less than 150ppm. This should put the O2 levels between 5-6%.
  9. EOC- Electronic Operating Control. There is no required maintenance for this control but be sure to set the potentiometer on the PIM-Fenwal Ignition Control to 120F as this is a failsafe should the EOC fail the water heater will maintain 120F. This is viewable in the EOC through the Source Menu.

All work should be performed by a qualified individual. Be sure to follow all safety requirements when performing any service. Lastly, remember it is your equipment and your investment, so be sure to protect it and get the maximum performance and life from it by performing the tasks outlined above.

Platfrom Ignition Module (PIM) for PVI-Water Heaters

R.L. Deppmann is Here to Help

If you have any questions regarding these products, please contact R.L. Deppmann or call 800-589-6120 for more information.

Here are some resources where you can read more about PVI-Water Heaters and the Power VTX.


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